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I wish my father had read The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing by Linda Schubert. He parented his three daughters from a distance, following the familiar pattern of how he was raised. Oh, Daddy was in town, working six days a week at the five-and-dime stores he managed in towns around Texas and New Mexico. He was sometimes home at suppertime and sometimes went to church with us. He wasn’t a demonstrative man who hugged or kissed much or sat down to read to us or ask us about school. He suddenly died when I was 18. I once asked my mother if he loved me, and she said, “Of course he loved you — because you reminded him of me!”
In the slim little book, The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing, Linda Schubert described the “father-wound” that so many of us experience. Father-wounds, the deepest wounds on earth, cover our hearts in layers and often are healed in layers. Father-wounds come from lack of bonding in an abusive or insecure environment where the child feels fatherless, not provided for and unprotected. Children with father-wounds are so vulnerable to the dominance of others that they cannot think for themselves or develop their unique self.
Fortunately, father figures have prayed with me and healed a few layers of my father-wound. The place God created in my heart that only he can fill is no longer empty. It fills up a little more each time I ask for my Father’s Blessing.
How do we get a Father’s Blessing? “Prayer of a loving Father based on Psalm 23,” the subtitle of Linda’s book, provides the answer. She enumerates 13 aspects of a Father’s Blessing with specific prayers to heal different each of them. The prayers relate to 13 verses in Psalm 23, and in other Scripture verses. The 13 prayers of blessing are stunningly personal, reaching into the heart-depth level of the father-wound to heal it.
How can these prayers heal the father-wounds inside us that hurt so much and yet seem a permanent part of us? Here are nine ways Linda Schubert offers from her 40 years of experience in the healing ministry.
- A father can pray his blessing onto audio or video tapes to play for his children at bedtime and times of crisis, illness or insecurity. My husband plans to do this after reading the book.
- A father of young children can pray his blessing during their prayer time, preceded by a discussion and drawing pictures of what “blessing” means.
- Fathers with adult children can use the prayer to ask forgiveness. Adult children can thank their father for “implied” blessings he gave them such as a sense of responsibility, sense of humor or gift of spirituality.
- A stand-in father in a group setting can share his experience and pray an individual blessing on each one in the group. I have seen this work well in groups as small as a Bible study and as large as a conference.
- A stand-in father can pray a blessing one-on-one, representing a natural father and asking forgiveness for hurts and abuses received. My husband and I were trained in praying a Father’s Blessing as one of the five keys of the Unbound ministry in our covenant community. We have partnered in praying for individuals in this way during and after the Unbound conference the community sponsored.
- Individually you can pray, asking the Lord to give you the experience of a Father’s Blessing as you read or listen to a recorded version. Now that I have read this book, I am adding a Father’s Blessing to my prayer tools to cooperate with the healing God wants for me.
- A male relative can pray a Father’s Blessing individually over the children in a fatherless home, or the mother could pray it as God the Father. My husband and I have prayed with single parents and widows, sometimes with their children.
- Male clergy such as Catholic priests can represent natural fathers and give a Father’s Blessing in the sacrament of Reconciliation. I would love to experience this.
- Prayer group leaders can facilitate a 13-week program using the 13 aspects of a Father’s Blessing in Psalm 23 with group discussions.
Because I have experienced several of these ways in private settings, prayer groups and Bible studies, seminars and conferences such as Unbound, many hurts of my childhood were healed. I can freely grow into the unique self that God created me to be as his child – safe, secure and loved.
Of the many books on inner healing, this one is focused on healing the father-wound. If you recognize that you have this wound, I recommend the book as a start or to take the next step in inner healing. Perhaps you will benefit from receiving a Father’s Blessing as I have. First Thessalonians 5:23-24 is my prayer for you.
May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.
Linda Schubert, from Sunnyvale, CA, is an international conference speaker and retreat director in the Catholic charismatic renewal. She has ministered in more than 25 countries since the publication of her international best seller, Miracle Hour, in 1991. More than a million copies of Miracle Hour are in print.in 27 languages. Her other books include Miracle Moments, Five Minute Miracles and Rich in Mercy. She has co-authored nine books with Rev. Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J.