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Psalm 103:1-2 (KJV)
Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits

What does it mean to say "Bless the Lord"?. It is more logical that the superior one should bless the inferior one. We are sinners and the LORD is far more superior than us. We should be asking blessings from Him. But what does it mean when we bless the Lord?

There are many songs using this phrase like this beautiful song.

We are sinners and how can we bless the Lord? What is the exact use of this sentence? If I am simply telling my soul to bless the Lord then I think it's reasonable. But can it be used while praying and say "Lord, I bless you"? I feel uncomfortable at this.

Is this a translation issue? What is the meaning of this phrase and what is its usage?

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The Septuagint use of 'eulogia'--'eu' prefix for "good/well", 'logos' being "word"--to translate 'blessing' (in other passages) may give a hint, speaking a good word (benediction being the Latin derived form). This might get a better/more technical answer at Biblical Hermeneutics since it is asking about meaning more than interpretation, application, or other aspects more fitting with Christianity SE. –  Paul A. Clayton May 17 '13 at 11:55
    
@PaulA.Clayton As you say, it is related to hermeneutics but at the same time it has to do with its usage in prayers and meditations. –  Mawia May 17 '13 at 12:55
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Yeah, that is why I emphasized "might" and included "more technical" rather than simply "better"; a multifaceted approach would be more fitting here. (I am not involved at BH, so I do not at all mind keeping interesting questions here when they are reasonably on-topic. I just thought BH might have appropriate expertise that is less common here.) –  Paul A. Clayton May 17 '13 at 13:08
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

To bless is related to to consecrate. Both imply an act of recognizing and/or declaring and devoting something to have a particular purpose or holiness.

If a father blesses his son's decision in a matter, we mean that the father supports and acknowledges the decision.

If a priest blesses a marriage, he declares, with the approval of the whole Church in the case of Catholic + Orthodox priests, the marriage to be a approved, valid, and holy.

Similarly, when a person or group blesses God, they declare their approval and recognition of God's value, holiness, and "worshippableness" in their own "private" world. It is similar to, but distinct from, praise.

And a blessing always demands a particular type of treatment of the blessed object or person. In the case of God, it demands worship.

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TL; DR - essentially, it is a method of praising God and bringing him glory.

This article addresses the very issue:

There are two main things that we do when we bless the Lord. The first is synonymous with giving thanks and praise. Some translations actually say, “Give thanks to the Lord,” where others say, “Bless the Lord.” So, blessing the Lord is praising Him and giving thanks to Him—for blessing us! The other thing we do when we bless the Lord is to proclaim Him blessed. Here I think I’ll have to make a distinction between “blessed” and “blessed.” For clarity’s sake, this distinction is between “blessed” and “blest”—though I don’t really like that newfangled form of the word—the former in two syllables and the latter in one. The former is a state of being, the latter a consequence of something have been done or given to someone.

And this article also speaks about it:

Therefore, to bless the Lord means to praise Him, exalt Him and worship Him. The Psalms are filled with blessings upon God for His counsel (Psalm 16:7), His holiness (Psalm 103:1), His dominion over all things (Psalm 103:22), His honor and majesty (Psalm 104:1). We offer Him our praise and blessings because He deserves them. Unlike God’s blessings upon us, which are wholly undeserved and by His mercy and grace, our blessing God is done out of an understanding that He is the true praiseworthy Creator and our heavenly Father.

God is glorified when we bless and praise and acknowledge Him. That acknowledgement comes in the form of praise, adoration, thanksgiving and love. That is what we were originally created for. However, no man can bless God in this way unless He is right with God for we read in Proverbs 28:9: 'If anyone turns a deaf ear to the Law, even his prayers are detestable.' It is only once we have been truly blessed by God in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 1:3) that we can bless God in return, in a manner that pleases Him.

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  1. The Lord is blessed in His very being as part of His condition or state of being (along with timeless, omnipotent, omniscient, good, etc.). We can simply announce that as a way of blessing God.
  2. “Blessed be the Lord” may by our desire that all know His "condition," or let all celebrate His blessed "condition."
  3. Noah, Abraham, et al., blessed others with a prayer, e.g., “(May) the Lord bless you (in this way or that, by doing this or that)….” a. Could the second-fourth petitions of the Lord’s Prayer be a blessing such as typically pronounced by the patriarchs? (“hallowed by Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done’)
  4. Elizabeth’s words about Mary, “blessed are you among women,” is similar to number 1 above. Mary’s condition is that of being blessed. AB
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Welcome to the site! This next has nothing to do with the quality of your answer, it's just standard to help new visitors avoid misunderstanding the site (as I did at first.) As a new visitor, I'd recommend checking out the following two posts, which are meant to help newcomers "learn the ropes": the help page and How we are different than other sites? –  David Stratton Feb 6 at 19:25
    
Welcome and I'm glad you decided to participate. This is pretty good for a first post. You can really solidify this as an A+ answer if you gave scriptural examples (quote and link to the scripture) for all of these points and possibly quote a theologian or two on the topic. –  fredsbend Feb 6 at 19:59
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