Someone will always be asked to start the meeting in prayer and often finish in the same fashion.
Reference: v.1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us (TNIV Bible)
Explore: Having worked for Christian organizations for over 10 years I am very familiar with meeting prayers. Not prayer meetings where a group of you gather to pray but meeting prayers – the prayers you say at the beginning and ending of a planning meeting. Whether it’s a meeting about a church service, youth group or a new mission opportunity, someone will always be asked to start the meeting in prayer and often finish in the same fashion. This was so familiar to me that when I started meetings at a local state school I always thought that they felt unfinished. All the decisions would be made and then it was like, ‘Ok then, meeting closed’. I finally realized that this made me feel unfinished because I was used to someone closing the meeting in prayer. It’s our Christian way of saying “Meeting closed.”
Application: A blessing used to be a way of saying the same thing at the end of a worship service. It was a way of saying: “Meeting closed but we hope God will go with you as you leave.” Although I love the blessing written above, we don’t tend to use blessings any more to conclude a gathering. I guess after people have visited my home I will often say, “Enjoy the rest of your day… safe travels”. It’s an everyday blessing. Sure, it doesn’t sound as good as “May God make his face to shine upon you” but it’s a little less formal.
Prayer: Lord, our lives would not be the same without you. May we not just acknowledge you but invite you into every aspect of our lives. Amen.
When people leave you – whether at the end of a meeting or a visit to your home – how could you give them an everyday blessing?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.