Bless Me Father, Bless Me!
May our Father daily increase your wisdom, love, gratitude, reverence, healing, peace, joy, happiness, laughter and prosperity. In just about 15 seconds I declared my love for you by asking these blessings for you. If you are one who does not know One as Father, I wish you double portions of blessing.
Deepak Chopra tells us in Second Spiritual Law of Success, Law of Giving, that we should never visit anyone without bringing a gift; a card with a sentiment, a flower, a silent prayer or blessing. In fact, he says, a silent prayer or blessing is best gift of all. He says we should make it a point to bless everyone we meet, every day. He suggested a brief blessing like: I wish you peace, joy and happiness. I thought that covered a lot but I asked what blessings I would like to receive and my list grew to seven things. In a few weeks it grew to nine. In a few more it grew to ten, where I thought it enough.
I began with wisdom because I remembered a proverb that said wisdom was principle thing. With all my getting, get me wisdom. That pretty much defines my quest for this life. Wisdom teaches value of love and love springs forth from wisdom. To have some of each brings gratitude for gifts and reverence for all who provide them. This attitude facilitates healing for self and others. As we become whole, we find peace. In peace we find joy, in Joy we find happiness and contentment. In happiness we find laughter. In growth these blessings generate, we find a natural prosperity unmeasured by material wealth. If I want these things for me, so do I truly want them for you and for presidents, all their counsel, dictators and evil doers. Who on this earth has no need of blessing?
As I began to apply this wisdom, I was blessed in very unexpected ways. Yet I had much difficulty in remembering to bless everyone I met every day. It occurred to me that I could incorporate this blessing as a blanket blessing for world during morning and evening spiritual practice. Everyone is blessed, even when I forget to bless an individual I meet. I still try to remember personal blessing and grow better at it with time.
I had nominal religious training in a Protestant denomination between ages of ten and sixteen. I loved ritual and not much else. I left church and religious family to have all day Sunday for myself. I needed one day each week with nobody telling me what to do, for most of it. About fifteen years later, fatherhood had me asking questions about meaning of life and I began finding answers wherever I looked, especially in Scriptures. I became a fascinated Bible student. I would soon learn that every answer raised more questions and I would never know it all.
I did a study on what is commonly called Lord's Prayer, a prayer that already had a history in America and its schools. In 1962, when Supreme Court declared that God had no business in government schools, I could see how atheist's children could be made uncomfortable by this group activity. I did not protest loss of this daily ritual, or keeping Pledge of Allegiance ritual, since I was clearly pledging allegiance to ones who operated school that was preparing me for a godless life.
Less than two years from court decision, President Kennedy was assassinated. Less than two years after that, we were going off to Vietnam. Before that war was over we were fighting a war on poverty. Before that war was over we were fighting a war on drugs. I sensed a connection and my study of prayer confirmed it.
Incidental to my study of this prayer, I learned it was a fitting prayer for those who see theirselves in a paternal relationship to Supreme Power. Therefore, it could be prayed by Christians, Jews and Muslims. It is a prayer given to students by a master, recognized by all three faiths, upon request of one student who thought it good to know just how to pray.
It is important to note master did not respond saying, recite this prayer. He said to pray in this manner and then gave form which prayer should take. We are free to modify its content to our liking and it is a matter of respect to frame our content in proper form, as with a business letter. The form is thing of greatest importance to us and content as given is secondary, but still important.
The very first word, "Our", is plural possessive - a claim of possession. I am not praying for me. I am praying for us. Who we are depends on my worldview. We might be family, we might be other people praying with us. We might be nation in which most of children prayed for us, five days a week. We might be all Christians of world. We might be all people of world. We might be every living thing in this world. It is clearly a personal choice to define we/our or child of God.
"Father", next word, puts to rest all arguments about name of God. The master shows it is our relationship that matters and proper address expresses this relationship. "Who is in heaven" distinguishes from a living biological father, but not one who has passed over. "Sacred is your name" does distinguish from any biological father and explains ancient Hebrew custom of not publicly pronouncing a name. A sacred thing made common is no longer sacred, as in common sense. Name in Scripture also symbolizes authority. For example; Israel means rules with God. This is why Abram's name was changed and Jacob's. We are acknowledging this Father's authority in declaring sacredness of it.