Several years ago, I was going door-to-door in North Kansas City with a Midwestern student. After an older woman answered the door, I said, “Hello. My name is Tom and this is [my partner]. We are with [local church] and are telling people about Jesus. Have you heard of Jesus?” To this question the woman answered, “I’m sorry. I belong to [name of denomination] and I’m not interested.” I responded by saying, “Would you mind if I pray a prayer of blessing on your home?” To this the woman replied, “That would be fine.”
At this point, I began to pray in the name of Jesus every good thing that I could think of. I prayed what the Lord brought to my mind that I thought this woman may need:
- That God Himself would protect her home
- That His guardian angels would surround her and keep her safe
- That the Lord would keep evil far away from her home
- That God would bless her and all who enter her home
- That her financial needs would be met
- That God would keep sickness far from her
- That He would bless her local church and its pastor
- That the Lord would reveal Himself to her and give her peace, and
- That, if she did not know Jesus as her Savior and Lord, she would soon come to know Him as such.
As I prayed I literally sought to ask for everything positive that I could think of, knowing that we have a God who answers prayer!
Now, is it legitimate to pray a blessing for people in this way? Absolutely. In Romans 12:14, Paul encouraged blessing and not cursing:
Rom 12:14, “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
Jesus taught His followers to pray even for their enemies:
Luke 6:27-28, “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.”
If we ought to pray for our enemies, it only makes sense that it is also commendable to pray blessings upon people whom we do not yet know.
In any case, the older woman at her door thanked us for the prayer. Yes, she told us that she was already a born-again Christian. We were soon in a friendly conversation about the spiritual needs in her area. We gently asked questions about her spiritual welfare. Loving prayer opened the door of conversation and friendship with this woman. In the case of this woman, I turned over her contact information to the church planting pastor.
One church leader reminded us in chapel that when a person allows you to pray for them, you become their pastor. Go back and visit them two weeks later. See how they are doing. Pray for them again. The Lord may use that heartfelt concern to open doors for the gospel.
In our tool-bag of evangelism resources, let’s not forget the power of prayers of blessing. If a person has a hearing of faith or even a slight inclination toward the gospel, prayer can be a powerful tool. They will recognize that they are being brought by name before the throne of grace to find mercy and help in time of need as we pray for them:
Heb 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Let the words of our mouth bless and not curse.