In the Bible, priests would stand and pray the blessing that God gave Aaron for the people:
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26)
For God promised,
So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (v. 27)
This is a relationship blessing. It is being in God’s presence, where His face shines upon us and we find shalom—the peace of God. Without His presence, there is no peace.
Jesus refers to this imagery, saying,
“Whenever you stand praying”—then continues, “if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26)
If we hold onto unforgiveness, our prayers go nowhere.
Jesus was beaten, spit upon, rejected, crowned with thorns, and nailed to a cross—yet He said, “Father, forgive them.” He would rather have a relationship with the Father than hold onto offenses. He knows the Aaronic blessing is the key. If we have His presence, we have everything.
Another image of the priestly blessing is in 1 Timothy 2:8, when Paul says,
I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing
Where there is anger and disputing, there is no anointing. Paul also says in Ephesians 4:26,
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath
This is why we should pray, “Lord, am I holding anything against anyone? I don’t want to keep a grudge, because it takes away from my relationship with You. I want Your face to shine upon me. I want Your presence all through me. And I want my heart transparent before You.”
He will forgive anything if we ask—and when we have a clear conscience, we can pray with power. As 1 John 3:21-22 promises:
Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him.
God bless you.
© Copyright Gordon Robertson