March 24, 2023

Day 4 : Two Types of Blessings | 12-Day Guided Prayer

Welcome to Day 4 of Our Guided Prayer

Note: This prayer meditation is first and foremost designed to be listened to, so we encourage you to listen to the audio as you read along.


Hey Church on the Move family,

Welcome to our 12-day guided prayer podcast.

Today is day 4.

Take a moment to prepare yourself to pray over the next few minutes by putting away distractions, setting aside mental to-do lists, and finding a place where for the next 10 minutes or so you can give yourself entirely to the task of prayer.

See yourself placing any worries or situations outside of your control at the feet of Jesus.

Let’s begin by praying a simple prayer. If you find your mind wandering or it’s difficult to focus simply return to prayer by repeating this phrase. Take a deep breath, rest your thoughts on God and pray:

God of all comfort, I trust You. 

Our prayers over these 12 days are based on reflections from the life and teachings of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

Today we begin our time in the Sermon on the Mount.

Matthew 5:1-11,

1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them. He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful,
 for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
 for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This short section of Scripture, known as the Beatitudes, holds some of the most familiar but often misunderstood verses in the Bible. We could spend hours unpacking the implications of the meek inheriting the earth or the pure in heart seeing God. But let’s slow down and first consider what it means to be blessed.

There are two different types of blessings in the Bible.

There are times when God actively gives a pronouncement of favor, like with Abraham in Genesis 12, and then other times where being blessed is simply a declaration of human flourishing, like Psalm 1 (blessed are those who walk not in the council of the ungodly) or like the beatitudes.

Blessedness here is a statement of fact. But those who had gathered around Jesus to listen to His teaching were for the most part likely desperate, destitute, and discarded. Even though they had inherited a covenant of promise they probably wouldn’t have described themselves as flourishing.

But that’s exactly who Jesus is describing. People who are thriving for their own benefit and for the benefit of everyone around them. What makes this possible? Only the favor of God. These two types of blessing cannot exist apart from each other.

The reality of flourishing cannot exist apart from God’s pronouncement of favor.

The presence of Jesus was the fulfillment of that covenant promise and made Jesus’s declaration of blessing possible. Jesus is declaring that these people are flourishing because He is in their midst. The presence of Jesus is what makes real, true, flourishing possible. Wherever He goes, things get better. If He is with you now, no matter what may be going on around you, you’re blessed.

For just a few moments imagine Jesus there with you in your room, at your dining room table, in your car, on your walk. Ask Him to show you the reality of the blessing that He declares over your life.

Jesus has a different idea of what flourishing looks like than we do.

He invites us to experience life and life to the full but that is often at odds with our idea of what that should be. Take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to show you where He might be leading you to abundant life but you haven’t recognized it because it doesn’t line up with your idea of flourishing.

Jesus wasn’t just talking about a blessing that was a present reality but a future one as well. Here are verses 11 and 12 again.

11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Jesus wanted His followers to know that the suffering experienced because of Him pointed to blessing that reached into eternity, a blessing that was and is incompatible with a broken world.

Don’t misunderstand, God gives so many good gifts that we often get to experience here and now. But there is also the reality that this world, as it is right now, is not our home. And as Jesus followers we will feel that.

Pray now that God would give you an eternal perspective on the blessing and flourishing that He offers.

To end our time today, let’s pray together.

Father, there is nothing better than being with You where You are. And the gift of Jesus, Your Beloved Son, made that possible. We have access to Your kingdom because we have a relationship with King Jesus. We fix our eyes on Jesus today. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith and we trust Him. We have so much to learn, so much to grow in and so much that we long to do, but for now we simply rest in the truth that because we know Jesus, because He is here now, we are blessed.


Looking for a Church Home?

Our Churches >