baptism bowlYesterday evening at our worship service I had the privilege of baptizing Isaac.  Below is the prayer I prepared for yesterday, though it didn’t all come out as I prayed with a wet and squirmy baby in my hands.  What a privilege to baptize my own children. 

Isaac Frederick Allebach, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. May all the blessings of God’s covenant of Grace rest upon you…

Living God, faithful through the generations, who is the same yesterday today and forever. You are the God who called Abraham our forefather in the faith. When he had no children and his wife was infertile you made a covenant, promising them descendants more numerous than the stars of the clear night sky. You said that in him all the nations would be blessed. And in old age, when hope seemed to fail you gave a son, a child of promise… Isaac. And the story goes on of Jacob, Isaac’s son, brought from a life of deception and ambition to the end of himself and dependence on you. Then Jacob’s children become the people of Israel who were enslaved in Egypt but you rescued them. By your strong arm you led them through the wilderness, brought them over the river Jordan into Canaan the Promised Land. You gave them leaders, prophets, kings and priests and in the fullness of time sent your son… Abraham’s heir and our great hope in answer to all your promises. O God who is faithful to all your promises we entrust Isaac to you. You knit him together in mother’s womb. You number every hair on his head. You see the beginning and end and from eternity you knew day he would be born and you know day he will close his eyes in death. We thank you for him, for the time in which he is entrusted to us his parents, your church, our family and our friends. We remember that children are a blessing from Lord, a sign of hope for this world. And I pray that through all his days Isaac will know you. I pray that by faith he would receive all that is promised in baptism: cleansing through Jesus, new life by Spirit, you as great influence in his life, and the church as his family his home. I pray that through his life he would be a man of faith who believes you for great things. Make a man of love with neither indifference nor meanness but genuine compassion and commitment that flows from you. Make a man of humility so that pride and self-congratulation would find no place in his life. Rather let him acknowledge you as the source of his gifts and graces, sharing and delighting theses. Make Isaac a man of courage who resists the pressure to blend in who lives for you and has a heart for the weak and needy. May he give his life to your Great cause and not insignificant things. Make Isaac holy. There are so many ways to go astray: money, sex, power. Set his heart on generosity, purity, and being a servant to others. If he is to marry give him a woman who loves you and with whom he can faithfully live through the years. I know you want to use us, his parents, his siblings, this church… do so! Work through us and despite us. Most of all may Isaac point beyond himself to your faithfulness. We ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.