by Mike Santoro
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established praise because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
It has become quite popular during Advent for families to study the names of Jesus in preparation for Advent. This rhythm serves as a nice countdown to Christmas, but it can also be a catalyst for starting Family Worship in your home. For us, as we have done family worship together, it’s been a sweet affirmation for my wife, Rachel and I, to hear beautiful biblical truths proclaimed through our home in our children’s voices.
What is “Family Worship,” you might ask? At its core, it’s simple: Read, pray, and sing.
Read – A small passage of Scripture together
Pray – Together through that passage’s context or a psalm
Sing – A song together (via youtube, instrument, or acapella)
Over the past few months, our family has taken part in a new bedtime prayer. Inspired by “The Chosen” series and the recitation of a traditional Jewish prayer, we use the same first line, but then uniquely add the Attributes of God. Here is how the prayer works:
- Recite each line and pause for the family to repeat.
- Find a good cadence. This prayer is rhythmic and naturally accelerates as you go. Start slow and let the pace pickup naturally.
Blessed are you Lord, Our God. (family repeats)
King of the Universe! (family repeats)
Maker of Heaven and Earth. (family repeats)
Who brings sleep to our eyes (family repeats)
And slumber to our eyelids (family repeats)
That’s the first line. Depending on the rhythm of your prayer, you can then add 5-10 (or more!) attributes, names, or truths of God. Build on them each night; work on committing them to memory. You can use the attributes of God (peace, compassion, holiness, kindness, justice, righteousness, patience, justice, love); names of Jesus (Son of God, Immanuel, Prince of peace, Messiah, Alpha and Omega, good Shepherd); truths in his Word (strength, deliverer, protector).
After you repeat some of these, you can let your prayer shift into praying for your family (intercessory prayer), your church, your school, your workplace. You can offer prayers of thanksgiving; prayers of confession; prayers for the world.
This may sound like a lot, but generally this time is a period of about 5-10 minutes. You can start small and you may find that, as your family gets more used to it, the time can stretch out longer. You will be amazed at how quickly your family will remember these names, attributes, and truths of God!
With each time you practice this habit, precious biblical truths are kneaded into your family’s hearts, magnifying their view of God. Seeds and fruit are grown, and we can trust God to use it to bear fruit in your family for his Glory and his Kingdom.
This adoration prayer is simple.
This adoration prayer is easy to implement.
This adoration prayer is wonderful for both young and old.
As a closing to this family bedtime prayer, here is something my wife, Rachel, loves to pray over our children (the italicized words can indicate when they repeat after you):
I pray that (child’s name) would know that he/she is precious, loved, a child of the King, fearfully and wonderfully made. In Jesus name, Amen.
Read, Pray, Sing. 10 minutes. The best 10 minutes of your day!
If you would like a card to help you, here are some resources from other locations specifically for Advent-themed family worship:
- Names of Jesus Advent Cards – From Missional Mums – $5.35 (Digital Download)
- Names of Jesus Advent Cards – From LittleGreatDesignCo – $5.00 (Digital Download)
- Names of Jesus Advent Cards – From MoreLikeHome.net – (Free)