Category Archives: Benedictions

Paul’s Prayer for You


If the Apostle Paul were here, this is how he might pray for you and share God’s blessings with you.  I know this because he prayed this to a church bursting with Ephesians.

May God, out of his glorious riches, strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
May Christ dwell in your heart through faith.
May you be rooted and established in love,
May you have power,
May you dwell with all the Lord’s holy people,
May you grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
May you know this love that surpasses knowledge
May you be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
– based on Ephesians 3:16-19

Now that’s a benediction!

And I will add,
May the beauty of Christ be seen in you,
May you be with Christ
May you become more like Christ
And may you live for Christ

And again from Paul, but this time from Ephesians 1:

He chose us.
He adopted us.
He predestined us.
He gave us His grace.
He redeemed us.
He forgave our sins.
He lavished God’s grace on us.
He made known His will to us.
He marked us with a seal.
He guaranteed our inheritance.

That, brothers and sisters, is how much favor we have with God.

May the beauty of Christ be seen in you!

May the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with You


Holy Spirit painting
Image by hickory hardscrabble via Flickr

May the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with You

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. – 2 Cor 13:14

This is a benediction, and a wonderful one at that.

Isn’t it amazing that it is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit that is being wished upon us?

It could have said, the power of the Spirit or the wisdom of the Spirit, but no, it’s the fellowship; the companionship, the company, the family, the communion, the koinonia, the partnership, the togetherness, the close relationship, the sharing, the bonding, the enjoyment of each other’s company, the interchange, the binding together, the friendship, and the helping that goes with the word fellowship.

It is a divine and spiritual fellowship that you are being blessed with.
Worshipers, the next time that you hear this at the close of worship, take heart, take comfort, and smile for God loves you and is with you.

Pastors, maybe you could consider using this passage of scripture to close your Pentecost worship.  Pentecost is on June 12 this year.

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Divine Bookends


Divine Bookends

With a new Pastor, comes some new ideas & new practices.

 

One of the things that our new Pastor has instructed me to do is to consider beginning each service with a song that has a message that helps to prepare us for worship.   He does this with hymns and my task is to do it with contemporary music as well.  Unfortunately our songbook’s thematic index does not have this as a category, so I paged though the songs and found the following song choices to be appropriate as opening music:

 

“All Over Again” by Michael Zehnder

“Because of Your Love” by Paul Baloche

“Celebrate the Lord of Love” by Paul Baloche and Ed Kerr

“Come and Behold Him” by John Chisum

“Come and See” by Lenny Leblanc

“Enter In” by Billy Christopher

“Here in This Place” by Bobbly L. Schroeder

“I Want to be Where You Are” by Don Moen

“Let it Rise” by Holland Davis

“Lift Him Up” by Billy Funk

“Only by Grace” by Gerrit Gustafson

 

While I’m at it, here are some contemporary songs that have closing or benediction-like messages:

 

“Everyday a Celebration of His Love” by DeGarmo & Key

“May the Peace” by Keith Getty

“Peace be Yours” by Blaire A’Hearn

“the Hope of Your Call” by Don Chapman

“the Lord Bless You” by Don Chapman

 

These songs are “divine bookends” for our worship.

A Benediction based on Psalm 20


A Benediction based on Psalm 20

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  (vs 1)
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.   (vs 2)
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.   (vs 3)
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  (vs 4)
And may the LORD grant all your requests.  (vs 5b)

Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.  Used by permission of International Bible Society

Psalm Benediction


Psalm Benediction

Here’s a Benediction based entirely on the Psalms:

Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.  (Ps 4:6)

The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life;

the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Ps 121:7,8)

The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (Ps 29:11)

Praise be to the LORD forever!  Amen and Amen.  (Ps 89:52)

All scripture text is from the NIV Translation

Benediction Introduction


Benediction Introduction

At the conclusion of worship, before the Pastor says his blessing, consider having a Lay person read an introduction to this very special blessing. As parishioners, we hear this so often that we tend to forget its importance and meaning. Its helpful every now and then to reminded of “why we do the things we do in worship.”

One of the great miracles of life is that God pays attention to us – each one of us. In a moment Pastor is going to announce that the very God that we’ve been worshiping and singing songs to all morning, will turn His face toward us, to make His face shine on us and to give us peace. If you think about it, to turn your face toward someone is to give that person your whole-hearted and undivided attention. This is God basically telling us that we matter to Him and that we are important to Him. It is not the casual listening of a preoccupied mind. It’s God saying to us: “I have nothing else that I’d rather do, nowhere else I’d rather be. I’m fully devoted to being with you– right now, in this house of worship, and after having heard you worship me.” In Pastor’s blessing, this is the kind of attention that our Creator God lavishes on us.

But it gets even better than this. God not only turns his face towards us but He lets His glorious and holy face shine on us. This shinning face is an image of delight. It is the face of a proud parent beaming while a child plays her first piano recital. It is the radiant face of a bride as she walks the isle to her groom. We can turn our face and pay attention to anyone, with little effort. But our faces shine, and gleams, and grows radiant only in the presence of those we love most deeply. And this, says the Benediction, is how God loves us, and how God pays attention to us.

Can we top this “attention” and this “love?” Yes, it goes one step further. God gives us peace, the type of peace that transcends our understanding. The peace with God that comes from Christ and what He accomplished for us on the cross, as well as the peace in our souls to know we are right with God because of Jesus. The type of peace that makes us children of God and brothers and sisters with each other. We have found peace, because He is our peace.

So get ready people: it’s about to happen. This awesome God is about to give you His undivided attention and make His face shine on you, and give you his peace. Let’s listen now as Pastor lifts his arms in praise of this incredible God and bestows on each one of us God’s abundant blessings.

Credits: Some of the above text comes from the book “Love Beyond Reason” by John Ortberg.