My friend, Joanie Rich, recently gave me a definition of “to bless:” “to bless is to ask God to interfere, to take action in one’s life, to bring them to the desired relationship with Himself so that they are fully blessed and fully satisfied” (author unknown).

“Interesting perspective,” I thought. We normally think of blessing someone as meaning they will only experience “positive” things and things will go great for them. But this definition is based on Acts 3:26 which says, “When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

That does give a different perspective, doesn’t it? My sister, Karen Dye, taught me to pray, “Lord, don’t let them stay where they are (spiritually).” A long long time ago, I heard evangelist Winkie Pratney define love as “a choice for a person’s highest good.” When we want the best for a person, we may want difficulties and problems to be allowed in their lives so that they will know they need God or become aware that they have some “wickedness” in their lives. At the surface, that may not seem like a loving thing, but it is.

How might these ideas change the way you pray for someone–or yourself? The Psalmist wrote, “It is good that I was afflicted.” That’s a “good” that reveals God’s true love–and yours!