Call upon God, adore, confess,
Petition, plead, and then declare
You are the Lord's; give thanks and bless,
And let the Amen confirm the prayer. ~Isaac Watts
The eighth item of prayer in this poem by Watts is blessing, that is, we should bless God in prayer.
Watts is precise to define blessing as something distinct from praise, adoration, and thanksgiving. He explains blessing God as taking place in two ways.
First, we bless God by gladly acknowledging His attributes and glories to Him in prayer. To quote Watts, this means “mentioning the many attributes and glories of God with inward joy, satisfaction and pleasure.” We enjoy telling God who He is, and by doing so, we bless Him.
Second, we bless God by telling Him we wish these excellencies to continue forever and revel in the fact that our wishes will be so. To quote Watts again, this means “wishing the glories of God may forever continue, and rejoicing at the assurance of it.”
Some of our more well-known passages illustrate the words we could echo in blessing God:
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21)
“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 24–25)
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
Pastor David Huffstutler
Pastor Huffstutler regularly writes articles for our Sunday bulletin. See his bio on our pastoral bio page.