The climax of the priestly blessing that Aaron and his descendants were instructed to pronounce on the people of Israel came with these words: “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27).
Often, the most effective prayers we can offer on behalf of others are prayers of praise and thanksgiving, invoking the name of the Lord Jesus on them. When we put the name of Jesus on those for whom we are praying, we invoke God’s blessing on them. Few of us realize how much we uplift people in their spirits when we simply praise God for them. It is a major part of our ministry as intercessors.
“Praying Hyde” was an outstanding missionary in the Punjab in India in the last century, when India was still under British rule. Hyde’s ministry was prayer; everything else was secondary. Early on, he came across an Indian evangelist whom he considered ineffective and cold. As he began to pray about this man, he said, “Lord, You know—” he was going to say, “—how cold Brother So-and-so is.” But the Holy Spirit stopped him with Proverbs 30:10: “Do not slander a servant to his master” (niv).
So, Brother Hyde changed his approach. He began to think of everything good in that man’s life and to thank God for him. Within a few months, that man became outstandingly successful as an evangelist. What changed him? Not being accused in prayer, but being the object of thanksgiving.
God has taught me that if I cannot thank Him for somebody, I probably have no right to pray for that person. I had better not pray at all because my prayer may do more harm than good. As Numbers 6:27 says, “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”