Many children who attend church receive the sacrament of baptism. Some denominations, such as the Methodists and Presbyterians, allow children to receive this sacrament as infants; others require the child be old enough to understand and take the vows for himself. Those that allow infant baptism require that the child take the vows for himself when he completes the confirmation class, and prepares to join the church as a full member.
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Infant Baptismal Prayer
The infant baptismal prayer is a suitable prayer for baptising a very young child. It includes the child and the family of the child.
"Heavenly Father, grant that this child grows in grace and love. May she learn to follow Jesus through the influence of the Holy Spirit. She is a true child of yours, and we pray she serves you faithfully all her days.
"We pray guidance and strength for the parents and family of this child. May their example, wise counsel and loving lead her to live a life of strength, righteousness, faith, love, joy and peace. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."
Child's Baptismal Prayer
The child's baptismal prayer is for a child who is old enough to take the vows of baptism himself, and has not been previously baptised. The prayer includes only the child.
"Father God, we stand here as witnesses to this child's profession of faith in your Son, Jesus Christ. The scriptures declare that the old nature dies and a new one is born at the moment of that profession. Grant that this child grows in the power and nature of a believer in Christ, receiving the Holy Spirit as a counsellor and teacher. Give him the strength and wisdom to live before you in righteousness, as a faithful member of your family. Amen."
Child's Baptism with Confirmation
If the child was baptised as an infant and is now old enough to accept responsibility for herself, the child's baptism with confirmation prayer includes the child's baptismal profession of faith and acceptance into the church.
"Gracious and everlasting God, this child has professed faith in Jesus for herself. The vows her parents took for her, she now accepts as a child of yours. Continue to guide and direct her through the Holy Spirit, and give her the wisdom and the strength to walk in your way. We accept her as a member of this church and promise to present ourselves as godly examples. We renew our vows with her to support you with our prayers, our presence, our gifts and our service. Amen."
Generic Child's Baptismal Prayer
The generic child's baptismal prayer can be used for any child baptism ceremony.
"God, surround this child with your light and love. Lead him in your love and mercies in righteous living on the path you choose. Order his steps and teach him true wisdom through faith in you. Keep him safe all the days of his life. Fill his life with all manner of good things. Grant the people in authority over this child provide him with love, compassion and direction as they present a godly example for his life. Amen."
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