"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." -Romans 15:13
Birthdays Are Gifts From God
For Christians, birthdays are a time to celebrate God’s gift of life. When we say birthday prayers, we remind each other that all life comes from God. Think about it: every person is literally a gift from God! In addition, a birthday is an opportunity to re-dedicate ourselves to God. We begin another 365 days, ready to love God, and ready to love others.
How To Do a Birthday Blessing
1. Declare God's love
Birthdays are a great time to say I love you, especially to children. But also say, “God loves you,” and “Jesus loves you.” This is a theological affirmation: the God of the universe loves YOU!
2. Give thanks for the birthday person
Language is important here. It’s not, “God, we thank you for Tanya’s birthday today.” But rather, “God we thank you FOR Tanya, your beloved child. Thank you for the gift of her life.”
3. Bless the birthday person
This is all about making a big deal. Stand up, lay your hands on the birthday person’s head or shoulders. Say one of the birthday prayers or scripture blessings below. Then bless the person! You can say, "I bless you... (or, you are blessed…) in the name of God / in the name of Jesus / in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."
A Prayer for a Birthday
God of all creation, we offer you grateful praise for the gift of life. Hear the prayers for _____, your servant, who recalls today the day of his/her birth and rejoices in your gifts of life and love, family and friends. Bless him/her with your presence and surround him/her with your love, that he/she may enjoy many happy years, all of them pleasing to you. We ask this through Christ our savior. Amen.
(Printed in the United Methodist Book of Worship)
Our Times are in Your Hand
O God our times are in your hand; Look with favor we pray, on your servant _____, as he/she begins another year. Grant that he/she may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen his/her trust in your goodness all the days of his/her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(By Charles Price, Episcopal Book of Common Prayer; Presbyterian Book of Common Worship)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep… make you complete in every good work to do his will, working in you what is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Matthew Kozlowski manages, edits, and writes for Building Faith. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife Danielle and two young daughters. Throughout his career he has been a teacher, camp counselor, school chaplain, camp chaplain, Sunday school teacher, parish priest, and Alpha course coordinator.