response, "Bless you." This caused me to think about what that common expression actually means—namely, a request for divine favor—and the different ways we can bless others.
First, we can bless people by praying for them, and we should be specific when bringing such petitions to the Lord. General requests like "please bless him" can become rote and devoid of meaning. Besides, supplications with greater detail might bring more identifiable answers. And imagine how others will be encouraged when they see that we cared enough to pray thoughtfully—and God cared enough to fulfill the request.
Second, we can ask God's favor on events and situations. Of course, He will respond only when these have His approval. For example, it is appropriate to request the Lord's presence in a church service, and to ask that He touch those present.
Third, we can bless God. We do this by expressing our praise and thanksgiving for His character and for what He has done (Ps. 104:1). Blessing Him also takes place through our obedience, service, and desire to please Him. When we place Him first in our lives, He is honored.
The Lord provides a vast array of good gifts, and the desire for such benefits is normal and universal. In fact, as we yearn for divine blessings, why not apply the golden rule as a motivation to bless others—including God Himself—through prayer and service?
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.
Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.