“… Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head… and… he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head... Then he blessed Joseph and said, ‘May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm - may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.’
…He blessed them that day”
Genesis 48: 14 - 16, 20, NIV, abridged, emphasis added

So far we’ve started our this month by learning that the a few things about the laying on of hands:

  1. It is an ancient practice of God’s people, 
  2. It is a way of agreeing with God by speaking out His word and always includes a prophetic word,
  3. One of the reasons for laying on hands is to impart blessing.

Remember that sheet where you jotted down what you thought the laying on of hands was? can update it. Did you learn anything new? 

The laying on of hands can and should be a regular if not daily practice. But there is also something very important to notice from today’s passage: there came a specific day that Abraham blessed Ephraim and Manasseh. The laying on is a regular practice, and it is also a practice for special days. 

Some of these special days takes us by surprise. We don’t see it coming and God may catch us off guard by prompting someone to speak a significant prophetic word to us. Other days we can plan. It is a great blessing to ask God for a special blessing-word for someone specific. This could happen for a number of reasons:

  •  a birthday,
  • a day they start school or a new job,
  • at a wedding or engagement or anniversary,
  • at the purchase of a home, or other significant purchase, or
  • in the new year.

A blessing spoken over someone at the laying on of hands can be a significant and beautiful blessing. How can you mark special days with the laying on of hands?


Dear Heavenly Father, help me to be sensitive to Your timeline in identifying when you want me to bless others by the laying on of hands. Help me also to make special days significant by the laying on of hands.

Would you like to do this devotion with the family?

  1. Start by asking the kids if they can remember the passage from the last two days. Ask them to describe it in their own words and help where necessary, reading the passage to them.
  2. Get a calendar or diary or some other planner and show the kids how many sleeps til the next birthday of someone special: a friend or family member. Explain to them that they don’t need lots of money to give someone a wonderful present, but they can ask God for a word for them.
  3. Consider getting card or paper, crayons and pens and making either a card or a bookmark for someone with the word God gave you on it, to remind them of His promises.  
  4. Finish by praying together and lead younger children. If the prayer above is too complex for children use the one below:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for making me Your partner in blessing people. Help me to be  sensitive to your timing, and to remember to invite you into my special days