I've enjoyed hearing from so many of you as I've read your comments. Several of you wanted to know what I meant when I wrote that I speak blessings over my husband in my "Bragging Rights" post. Its pretty simple, really.
Through out the Bible we see this spiritual principal in action. God's first act after creating Adam and Eve was to bless them (Gen.5:2). He also spoke a blessing over Noah and his family after the flood (Gen.9:1), and Abraham (Gen.12:1-3), and Jacob (Gen.32:24-30), and David and his descendants (2 Samuel 7:24-29). Look these scripture references up today for yourself and read them.
There are also examples through out the Bible of people speaking blessings over other people. Genesis 27 tells the story of a father departing a blessing to his son (vs.27-29) - although this particular story involves some trickery and scandal! In Genesis 48:14-20 we have a beautiful picture of how Jacob (Israel) blessed Joseph's sons by placing his hands upon their heads and speaking. Then in Genesis 49:22-28 we read how Jacob also blesses Joseph. In the New Testament in Luke 2:34, Simeon blesses both Mary and Jesus. Hebrews 7:6-7 mentions blessing being departed. Jesus himself even instructed us to "bless those who curse you" (Luke 6:28).
A beautiful traditional blessing can be found in Numbers 6:22-27. Many pastors speak this blessing over their congregations at the conclusion of the weekly worship service.
These blessings I speak aren't prophetic, except perhaps in a vague sense of the word. A prophecy would come from God's Holy Spirit, and be spoken through a person. A blessing comes from a person, and is spoken to God's Holy Spirit, that it might be carried out. It's an active, intentional prayer spoken with confident authority and faith.
So how do I do this? I often lay my hand on my husband and declare in Jesus' Name that he is blessed of God. I don't always touch him, but I always say it out loud - whether Rick can hear me or not (sometimes he is busy working or asleep). I say this confidently but respectfully - knowing that I cannot command God to do anything, yet believing that God has good plans for my husband and desires to bless him (however He defines that or sees fit). I'll do the same for my kids as we say nightly prayers together, or as as I stop into their bedroom at the end of the day to check on them before I head to bed. While they sleep I touch them or call them by name, as I call them blessed in Christ's name. Sometimes I go into more "detail,"other times I simply declare them "blessed."
Bottom line: a blessing is essentially a commanding form of prayer, seen in the Bible performed by God or by children of God. Its part of the way God reigns in and through our lives. So, all you who desire God's blessing and seek His face, today I call YOU blessed in Jesus' Name!