What does ‘God Bless’ mean?

was writing some notes for one of the Bible reading booklets which are designed for young people, and the Editor asked me to put in one or two prayer pointers, in the belief that young people need help in praying.

Well, I am going to quote you one of the things I put, and then you see whether you agree with me.

I said that I thought people should be definite in the things to ask for. The example I quoted was the prayer that most people say; ‘God bless so and so’.

What do we expect, what do we want, when we ask God to bless someone? Do we mean anything more than the comedians who, after telling a string of suggestive jokes, say: ‘Well, goodnight and God Bless you’? As much as to say – ‘you see I’m really a good hearted chap after all’.

Does ‘Bless’ mean more than just ‘good luck’? When you pray for someone, instead of saying ‘bless so and so’ say exactly what you mean.

These brief messages were originally given over the church’s daily telephone service. Often I end by saying ‘the Lord bless you’. Let me tell you what I mean by it. I mean ‘may the Lord give you what you are really seeking, may He tell you what you really need to know. May He make you a more real person’. That is a real blessing – to make you an honest, loving, sincere person. Today the Lord bless you.

Now read: Matthew 6: 5-15Matthew 6: 5-15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. 9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  

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