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Our Children, Lord, in Faith and Prayer

Full Text

1 Our children, Lord, in faith and prayer,
we baptize in your name.
Let them your covenant mercies share
as we our faith proclaim.

2 Such children you did once embrace
while dwelling here below;
to us and ours, O Lord of grace,
the same compassion show.

3 In all their days their hearts secure
from sinful snares, we pray.
Throughout their lives let them endure
in every righteous way.

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

A prayer asking for God's covenant faithfulness on the children we baptize, this song is adapted from a baptism text written by Thomas Haweis (b. Redruth, Cornwall, England, 1734; d. Bath, England, 1820) and published in the enlarged edition of his Carmina Christo (1808). The Psalter Hymnal Revision Committee made some significant changes in the text to express more modern Reformed theological ideas about baptism.


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The inclusion of children at baptism is taught in Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 27, Question and Answer 74 when it says, “Children as well as adults are included in God’s covenant and people” and Belgic Confession, Article 34 which says, “…our children ought to be baptized and sealed with the sign of the covenant…"


Our Children, Lord, in Faith and Prayer

Additional Prayers

A Prayer for Covenant Faithfulness
Eternal God, maker and keeper of promises, you fold our children into your covenant people. Provide loving parents for them in homes made glad by your blessing. Provide a church for them that rings with song and prayer and the blessed Word. Provide the Holy Spirit to nudge our children along safe paths. Eternal God, maker and keeper of promises, keep our children in your fold forever through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Our Children, Lord, in Faith and Prayer

Tune Information

D Major



Our Children, Lord, in Faith and Prayer

Hymn Story/Background

A prayer asking for God's covenant faithfulness on the children we baptize, this song is adapted from a baptism text written by Thomas Haweis and published in the enlarged edition of his Carmina Christo (1808).
The tune, NAOMI was a melody that Lowell Mason brought to the United States from Europe and arranged as a hymn tune; the arrangement was first published in the periodical Occasional Psalm and Hymn Tunes (1836). Some scholars have attributed the original melody to Johann G. Nageli, but there is little evidence to substantiate this claim. The name NAOMI has no specific significance, though Mason did often assign biblical names to his hymn tunes. Sing this typically serviceable Mason tune in parts, possibly unaccompanied, and keep the tempo moving.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Initially apprenticed to a surgeon and pharmacist, Thomas Haweis (b. Redruth, Cornwall, England, 1734; d. Bath, England, 1820) decided to study for the ministry at Oxford and was ordained in the Church of England in 1757. He served as curate of St. Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, but was removed by the bishop from that position because of his Methodist leanings. He also was an assistant to Martin Madan at Locke Hospital, London. In 1764 he became rector of All Saints Church in Aldwinkle, Northamptonshire, and later served as administrator at Trevecca College, Wales, a school founded by the Countess of Huntingdon, whom Haweis served as chaplain. After completing advanced studies at Cambridge, he published a Bible commentary and a volume on church history. Haweis was strongly interested in missions and helped to found the London Mission Society. His hymn texts and tunes were published in Carmino Christo, or Hymns to the Savior (1792, expanded 1808).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

As a child, Lowell Mason (b. Medfield, MA, 1792; d. Orange, NJ, 1872) learned to play every musical instrument available to him. He bought music books and attended a singing school when he was thirteen, and soon began teaching singing schools and directing a church choir. In 1812 he moved to Savannah, Georgia, where he helped to establish the firm Stebbins and Mason, which sold musical instruments in addition to dry goods. Mason also adapted, composed, and harmonized tunes for The Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music (1821). This collection was widely used and resulted in public demand for Mason to lead the music at singing schools, concerts, and Sunday school conventions. He moved to Boston in 1827 to become the music director in three churches; later he became the choir director of the Bowdoin Street Church. In 1833 Mason helped to found the Boston Academy of Music, which was instrumental in introducing music education to the Boston public schools in 1838. An advocate of Pestalozzi's educational principles (an inductive teaching method), Mason frequently lectured in England and the United States. A major force in musical education in the United States and in the promotion of European models of church music (as opposed to the southern folk-hymn tradition), Mason also encouraged the change from exclusive psalm singing to the singing of hymns in the churches. In association with Thomas Hastings, George Webb, and others, Mason compiled some eighty hymnals and collections, includ­ing The Juvenile Psalmist (1829), Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1832), and, most importantly, Carmina Sacra (1841, revised 1852). Mason composed over eleven hun­dred original hymn tunes and arranged another five hundred, mainly from European sources. He derived most of his tune names from the Old Testament.
— Bert Polman
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