I challenged a young man in my congregation once to explain the origin of a phrase he was fond of using in public (and probably also in private) prayer. He would say, “I plead the blood of Jesus,” or “cover these tithes and offerings with thy Holy blood.” For one who has already been cleansed by the blood of Jesus (Romans 5:9, Colossians 1:20) it seemed strange to pray for more blood. The way he was using “the blood of Jesus” did not sound like New Testament language to me. In my reading through the Bible I have not found any incident where Jesus blood was called upon to provide extra protection or good luck.
The place where I did find reference to “the blood of Jesus upon us” was when Jews were held accountable for the crucifixion of our Lord. In Matthew 27:25 after Pilate washes his hands of the matter, the people calling for Jesus to be crucified declared, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” On another occasion Peter and the Apostles were questioned by the high priest saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us” (Acts 5:28). I am sure this was not what my friend intended in his prayer.
I think maybe praying the Blood of Jesus has some Roman Catholic origin. Prayers can be found on Catholic sites like this one:
Pleading the Blood of Jesus: “We ask that the Blood of Jesus cover all who are in need of protection (all civil, religious and lay leaders, our families, friends, enemies, all those for whom we have promised to pray, and ourselves). We mark the borders of our nation and the doorposts of our churches, homes, schools and places of employment with the Precious Blood of Jesus. Also, we cover our vehicles that no one may ever be injured through them. Thank You, Lord, for shedding Your Blood for us. May the Water and Blood that came from the side of Jesus create a protecting fountain of grace, one which flows directly from the throne of God to us. Come, Lord, and fill us with Your Holy Spirit.”
I find this disgusting and unbiblical. The Bible, Old and New Testament, always refers to sacrificial blood as shed for sin and salvation. Even the story of the Hebrew people, placing blood on the lintel and doorposts of their houses for protection from the death angel was about God saving His people from His righteous wrath, not about protecting His people from a donkey accident or slave master’s whip. The blood of Jesus is for cleansing from sin, for justification, for new birth into the kingdom of our Lord, and for the establishment of the new covenant. “And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, Drink from it all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28).
Christians sometimes adopt seemingly innocent phases into their prayers and conversation that they have heard others use without questioning their doctrinal correctness. In the matter of “pleading the Blood of Jesus” for anything other than forgiveness and salvation, it is not only doctrinally incorrect but irreverent and profane. Of course, it really doesn’t matter what I think. But His Word matters.