This week, I was asked to bless a new home. It was awesome. Claire and I have prayed over every single house we’ve lived in. We’ve walked room by room through an empty house and prayed for the people who would inhabit that particular room or the things we hoped would happen there. We prayed for the ministry we’d do and the people we’d host.
In another friend’s house, we wrote on the sub flooring before carpet went down. We wrote permanent prayers for the children on their bedroom and the kitchen under the tile. It was awesome.
Where we live is holy, and Jesus cares deeply. He spent many nights and hours and meals in people’s homes. Your house is holy. It is a ministry center and a mission outpost for Jesus’ Kingdom. He wants to use it to love, bless, and evangelize people in your life. Do you think about it that way? Does Jesus’ mission to seek and save that which was lost, to host those who are cast out, and to heal the divisions of this sinful world define your home more than the latest fashions on HGTV? I pray you tap into Jesus’ dreams for your homes even as you thoughtfully decorate and purchase and enjoy your home.
“From one man he made all the people of the world. Now they live all over the earth. He decided exactly when they should live. And he decided exactly where they should live.” Acts 17:26 NIrV
As I prepared to go bless this person’s home, I found the following liturgy. I loved the guidance it provided as you move through your home. Why not pray over each room this week?
Leader: “Peace be to this house and: to all who dwell here, in the name of the Lord. All: Blessed be God forever.
Leader: When Christ took flesh through the Blessed Virgin Mary, he made his home with us. Let us now pray that he will enter this home and bless it with his presence. May he always be here among us; may he nurture our love for each other, share in our joys, comfort us in our sorrows. Inspired by his teachings and example, let us seek to make our home before all else a dwelling place of love, diffusing far and wide the goodness of Christ.
Reader: A reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; He loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of one body. Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; And never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. The word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
After the scripture reading, all go from room to room, offering prayers of intercession and sprinkling holy water, if desired. Some of the following prayers may be used.
At the entrance:
Leader: O God, protect our going out and our coming in; Let us share the hospitality of this home with all who visit us, that those who enter here may know your love and peace. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
In the living room:
Leader: O God, give your blessings to all who share this room, that we may be knit together in companionship. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
In the kitchen:
Leader: O God, you fill the hungry with good things. Send your blessing on us, as we work in this kitchen, and make us ever thankful for our daily bread. Grant this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
In the dining room:
Leader: Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth, for you give us food and drink to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad. Help us to be grateful for all your mercies, and mindful of the needs of others. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
In the bedrooms:
Leader: Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake we may keep watch
with Christ, and asleep, we may rest in his peace. Grant this through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
In the bathroom:
Leader: Blessed are you, Lord of heaven and earth. You formed us in wisdom and love. Refresh us in body and in spirit, and keep us in good health that we might serve you. Grant this through Christ our Lord
Leader: Let us pray the prayer that our savior taught us.
All: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will
be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
Leader: Be our shelter, Lord, when we are at home, our companion when we are away, and our welcome guest when we return and at last receive us into the dwelling place you have prepared for us in your Father’s house, where you live forever and ever.
Leader: May the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (+), and may the word of Christ in all its richness dwell in us, so that whatever we do in word and in work, we will do in the name of the Lord. All: Amen.