Of Such Is the Kingdom of God

My dear wife and I have tried to be consistent with saying prayers with our kids before bed time. By no means do we have a “perfect” routine, but we try to recite the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and Luther’s evening prayer when tucking the kiddos in. We don’t always want to do it, but we know it is good for us and for them.

Martin, our youngest (almost 3), is very concerned that everyone is in the room when we pray. The other night Amy was at Wal-Mart shopping and I was putting the kids to bed and Martin said, “Mommy not going to pray?” Of course I told him that mommy was getting food for us to eat and that she would pray later. Martin is able to say phrases from the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and Luther’s evening prayer. Usually he will say the last word of each phrase.

Another custom we have is to sing, “Nun Ruhen Alle Welder” (Now Rest Beneath Night’s Shadow). Occasionally I’ll sing the first verse in German, and then we sing “Lord Jesus…” and then “My loved ones…” like I used to do when I sang for the A Cappella choir at Seward. This was always a well-loved tradition by all of us at the end of our concerts, particularly when we were in Germany (maybe it was only when we were in Germany). It is also a well-loved custom of our family. Sometimes, as I said earlier, we don’t really feel like doing prayers. So we get to the end of the prayers and we’re ready to tuck the children in and Martin wants to sing “Daddy’s song.” It is really quite cute. We like singing that song, or sometimes we sing “Christ Be My Leader” (LW 365, not sure in LSB). I think it is best to have one or two songs that everyone can sing from memory, songs that the kids can learn to look forward to.

It is something to marvel at, but it reminds us of what Jesus said: “Let the little children come to me and do not prevent them, for of such is the Kingdom of God.”

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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4 Responses to Of Such Is the Kingdom of God

  1. JDart says:

    It’s amazing how very similar our bedtime kid routines sound. For us it’s Nun Ruhen most of the time as well, although we alternate by weeks between the Lord’s Prayer, Creed, Commandments, and Evening Prayer with our 3-year-old. He’s sometimes hesitant to speak them, but he knows all of them by heart by now, and most of the time does them all with a touch of prompting. One night he was late to bed so we were just going to put him down. Nope. “We forgot to sing and pray.” Kids, man.

  2. Dan @ Necessary Roughness says:

    I don’t have a song, but I do say the Evening Prayer and Lord’s Prayer with my four-year-old. Tonight I made the sign of the cross over her forehead, and she made me do that again all through the prayers. 🙂

  3. Lance says:

    Having that routine is such a blessing. We use a similar routine whether at home or on the road. I never had any such thing at home, and I credit Helen Kraus’s article in the second issue of For the Life of the World with teaching me, powerfully, the impact such a routine can have. See http://www.lifeoftheworld.com/lotw/article.php?m_vol=2&m_num=1&a_num=4.
    Thanks for the post.

  4. Pastor Beisel says:

    JDart,

    I would imagine that there are a lot of former Pelicans who use that song with their children. Remember how many tears were shed on Germany tour whenever that song was sung? College students are so emotional. 🙂

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