How often do you actually bless the people in your life?
And what about loving and blessing your enemies? And why should we bless our enemies anyway, and how do we do it?
The power of blessing
My guest this week, Pierre Pradervand, talks about how he discovered the power of blessing everyone he meets. It all started when someone undermined him at work. At first Pierre was really mad and full of resentment.
But he was reminded of Jesus’s command to love and bless our enemies. As he did this, he found a freedom from hatred.
Then he started blessing everyone he passed on the street, the people on the bus and at the grocery store. It has changed his life.
Pierre now helps others learn to love and bless in this way.
Book gives examples of how to bless others
His book, The Gentle Art of Blessing, shares more of his story and many examples of his own and people he has helped.
I shared with Pierre how our book group had read his book and how it had affected people. One lady in the group would bless everyone at an event, and everyone who helped make the event possible: the cleaning staff, the organizers, the tech people, etc.
Another lady in our group has a post-it note on her computer as a reminder to bless someone every day when she gets to work.
Another lady said she had forgiven her ex-husband, but after reading this book, she had actually blessed him and felt more freedom than ever before.
I shared how I blessed everyone at the Federal Correctional Institution where I conduct Bible studies. I couldn’t get any new visitors to come to my classes. But after reading the book, I blessed everyone at the prison, the inmates, the staff, the officers. The next week I had five visitors at my class.
Highlights from our conversation:
Pierre is very spiritual but he’s only interested in a practical spirituality. He said:
I only believe in spirituality that works. Spirituality that is just an adornment is worth nothing.
We talked about how to bless someone like Vladimir Putin.
I asked: Are blessing your enemies and loving them the same thing or are they a little different?
They’re just two different expressions of the same different motivations.
God’s command to love
One day he heard God “order” him to bless and love Putin. He shared it in his newsletter and people responded positively.
He actually shared the fact that he genuinely feels love for Putin.
I shared my experience of praying and loving Muammar Qaddafi after American planes bombed Tripoli in 1986. To read about this, check out my blog post about that experience.
Putin is no different from any of us in one way, he needs to love, to be loved, and to feel loved.
We have to give up our personal opinions and ego in order to love everyone, especially our enemies.
When you bless others, when you love your enemies, it gives you freedom. Pierre points out,
You’re the first person to benefit from blessing others.
What about blessing ourselves?
Should we – is it right – to bless ourselves?
We must start there. Don’t forget to bless the wonderful person you are.
I mentioned that all too often Christians feel like it’s not humble if we bless ourselves. Pierre turned the question on me:
“How can we love and bless others if we don’t start with ourselves?”
Questions and answers
What does it actually mean to bless someone?
“For me, in a deeper sense, it means to recognize their total holiness, their total goodness, their total sonship with the divine.”
How do we see past the exterior of someone who is doing things that aren’t right?
“I’ve stopped asking God for anything. Because in the parable of the Prodigal Son, there’s the most extraordinary verse in the whole Bible, ‘My son, thou art always with me and all that I have is thine.'”
He learned from Joel Goldsmith that the only way, or the best way, to pray is to listen.
Pierre had a mystical experience from reading Joel Goldsmith’s book, The Art of Spiritual Healing.
Learning to listen in prayer
Pierre tells of a deep spiritual listening experience where he realized everything was already perfect. He couldn’t ask for anything in that prayer because everything was already complete and full.
Pierre also shared a spiritual healing he had of dysentery. On a flight back from Africa, he saw such tenderness of expressed by a flight attendant to a young boy traveling by himself. This prompted unbounded gratitude.
He went into a deep spiritual awareness of infinite love and he was healed.
Prayer is not trying to get God to do something.
“Blessing is a way of sending unconditional love, peace, healing, goodness to a person or a situation, or simply seeing them bathe in the love.”
Structure of the universe
He came to the conclusion that Divine Love is the structure of the universe. Scientists say the structure of the universe is atoms, and neutrons, stars and planets. It’s actually Divine Love.
Referring to his book The Gentle Art of Blessing, he suggests you go to his website gentleartofblessing.org. There is a whole section of testimonies by people who have been blessed by blessing others.
What would you say to someone having a hard time blessing enemies?
“Persevere. All things work together for good to them who love God. If you’re having trouble blessing others, that’s what you need to do at that moment.”
What is the biggest blessing in your life?
“The joy of knowing we are all one with the Source. I and the Father are one. Everyone can say that if they know what they are saying. Everything is the expression of this extraordinary love.”
Why don’t more people see this sense of oneness, this sense of love that is the structure of the universe?
Because we have 2,000 years of theology telling us we are separated from God. I always tell people, “You are God smiling on the earth.”
From his book:
“Blessing is not something we do to attract good into our life; that would be attempting to manipulate the universe. However, the result will be that you will find more and more harmony pouring into your life. You will find greater peace of mind, greater poise.”
Blessing is not using the human mind to get what you want.
If the highest form of prayer is listening, why did Jesus verbalize his prayers sometimes?
Because the people around him needed it.Prayer is seeing what God has already done.
Why do we bless God?
It’s a sense of joy, just a sense of how extraordinary this universe is and that we are one with the Source, God. Blessing is a tool that works, not just something the minister says at the end of the sermon on Sunday. It’s a tool that works in everyday life.
The three questions:
In closing I asked Pierre the three questions I ask all my guests:
- If you could talk to anyone in the Bible, other than Jesus, who would it be? Pierre said he would like to talk to John on the deepening of love and ask: What was the spark that allowed him to practice this constant love?
2. What Bible character do you identify with? “David, because I love the Psalms. Psalm 23 is my daily bread. I work with it every day.”
3. How would you describe Jesus’s original message? To live out from the statement the father said to the Prodigal Son, Thou art ever with me. All that I have is thine.
Pierre ended the conversation by blessing you and everyone who ever listens to this podcast.
You are cherished You are infinitely loved and cared for and blessed.
Pierre Pradervand studied at the universities of Geneva, Bern and at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor before receiving a Doctorate in sociology from La Sorbonne University A true world citizen, Pierre has labored most of his life for social justice, living in or visiting 40 countries on every continent.
From his Geneva home Pierre is now active as a writer, speaker and workshop facilitator, helping people to live simpler, yet richer, more contented lives. His workshops provide personal development tools that empower attendees to strengthen their internal anchors and advance on their spiritual path.
He’s written 16 books in as many languages, several in English. In addition to the Gentle art of Blessing, 365 Blessings to heal myself and the World, Messages of Life from Death Row, which is based on correspondence with an inmate on Death Row in Texas
If you have questions or comments please contact me. I’d love to hear from you..
James Early, the Jesus Mindset Coach, is a Bible teacher, speaker, and podcaster. He conducts Bible workshops online and in person. His focus is on getting back to the original Christianity of Jesus by embracing the mindset of Christ in daily life. Contact him here.
Check back soon for Bible references mentioned in this episode.