Yesterday we commissioned & blessed the families of our church for 2018. We modelled this time of prayer and blessing for one another on traditional prayers of blessing used by Jewish families at Shabbat. If you'd like to read more about the tradition, you can do so, and watch a helpful video here:
We used the time to pray first over our kids, with the prayer from Numbers 6:24-26, then prayed specific things over each child, mentioning their gifts and our hopes for them this year. Then we did the same, asking husbands to pray over their wives, thanking God for them and again praying our hopes for them in 2018. Then, the whole family prayed over their dads & husbands.
Finally, we used the candle tradition a little differently. Each household was given a tea light candle, and asked to think of someone, or another family that God could bring to your table this year. We talked about how each time your family sits around the dinner table, we can light the candle and pray that God would extend His family to this person/family, and that your family would be able to serve and care for them.
We pray that this has been meaningful to your family this year, and encourage you to use this model of family prayer and blessing as often as you can – be it weekly, monthly or whenever you'd like. Here's the prayer from Numbers again, just in case you need it –
"May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace."
Have a great week!