Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying

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Source: Voices Together #682

Author: Ken Medema

Ken Medema (b. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1943) is a song writer, composer, recording artist, and story-teller through music. Blind from birth, Ken began playing the piano at age five and studied classical music by reading Braille. He graduated from Grand Rapids Christian High School and studied music therapy at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan. As a music therapist in both Indiana and New Jersey, he began writing songs for hurting teenagers, an experience that helped to launch a career of writing songs on Christian life that has taken him to venues large and small all over North America and beyond. He responds to what he hears and sees in his heart at particular events, often improvising songs on the spot, offering compassion, h… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Lord, listen to your children praying
Title: Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying
Author: Ken Medema (1970)
Meter: Irregular
Language: English
Copyright: © 1973 Hope Publishing Company
Liturgical Use: Prayer Songs


Scripture References:
st. = Ps. 55: 1

Author-composer-performer Ken Medema (PHH 259) says the following about his writing of this prayer hymn:

"Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying" came out of my New Jersey years. One night [in 1970], I was with a youth group. We started talking about a young man who was in the hospital and who really needed our prayers. In the middle of our prayer time, the idea for this little chorus came to me. I started humming, then singing. Soon the kids were mumbling along with me. We sang that chorus, "Lord, listen to your children praying," several times over. Then I started adding verses, and the kids quickly joined me in singing the new words. So it was a song born out of our concern and prayer for a friend.
-Reformed Worship 9, Fall 1988, p. 4

The complete song was recorded on Medema's album Son Shiny Day (Word, 1973) and published in an accompanying songbook. As do other recent hymnals, the Psalter Hymnal includes only the chorus, not the various stanzas.

This chorus has become a popular sung prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit, for the Father's love, and for the grace of Jesus Christ to direct our lives. The words "love," "power," and "grace" in the final line allude to the well-known New Testament benediction (see 2 Cor. 13:14).

Liturgical Use:
As a song that concludes a prayer (for example, a silent prayer) or that frames a time of prayer; prayer meetings; ordination and commissioning services; baptism; a choral invocation at the beginning of worship.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



CHILDREN PRAYING is easy to sing from memory, and that should be encouraged. Be sure to keep fairly strict rhythms on the whole and half notes-some congregations may be tempted to cut short the cadences; accompanists could help by improvising with additional rhythmic accompaniment on the longer note…

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