Entry #52 The Prayer of Benediction
A benediction is the utterance or bestowing of a blessing or good wishes, especially at the end of a religious service by a minister or religious leader. It is that which imparts a benefit or mercy, the advantage conferred by blessing, or a prayer for divine protection. There are 52 weeks in a year. As we come to the end of this year, this 52nd entry is an examination of prayers of benedictions. Numbers 6:23-27 declares the Aaronic Blessing, “May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace”. Jude 1:24-25 states, “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.” An anonymous ancient Celtic/ Irish blessing is a benediction song, “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You.” “May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rain falls soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. The following is a prayer of St. Patrick, “Christ Be With Me.” “Christ be with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ when I arise, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of the Christ. May your salvation, Lord be ever with us”. A modern short benediction prayer states, “May the God of peace who raised Christ from the dead Strengthen your inner being for every good work. And may the blessing of God Almighty Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Rest upon you and dwell with you this day and evermore. Amen”. Apostle Paul ended many of his letters to the churches with beautiful benedictions. II Corinthians 13:14 states, “The grace of the lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen”. May God bless you all richly in this coming year, and may He keep you always as the apple of His eye until we meet again.