lords prayer words - traditional and contemporary prayers

Baptism Prayers

This page brings together the two different streams of thought within the Christian tradition regarding baptism, and provides suitable prayers for both occasions. Some traditions, such as the Catholic and Anglican faiths, offer infant baptism, and reproduced here are prayers and a link to the Episcopal baptism ceremony prayers. Other traditions, such as the Baptist, Pentecostal and New Church denominations, only baptise people who have come to faith in Christ, as they see this as the correct interpretation of the bible.

This page features examples of prayers for both infant and believers baptism. In addition, both the biblical arguments for infant and believers baptism are outlined, with links to further reading for both positions.

Why Baptism?

A contemporary explanation of what baptism is about and why it is so important. Useful as a video to show before somebody gets baptised or in baptism classes. A well crafted and edited film which lasts about five minutes:-

resources on this page

Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Psalm 71:18, (NLT)

Episcopal Baptism Prayers

Each candidate is presented by name to the Celebrant, or to an assisting priest or deacon, who then immerses, or pours water upon, the candidate, saying

N., I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

When this action has been completed for all candidates, the Bishop or Priest, at a place in full sight of the congregation, prays over them, saying

Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, and have raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit. Give them an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all your works.


(source: Book of Common Prayer, 1979 version, Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA).

N.B For other prayers in this ceremony (such as for the sanctification of the water) please see the Episcopal service for baptism.

Believers Baptism Prayers

It is common for a baptism candidate to usually make some kind of confession of faith in Christ before being baptised. This may be in the form of a testimony about their journey with God, or by a question from the leader or pastor, such as "N. do you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour?" to which the candidate would reply "Yes" or "I do".

The leader will then pray: "N. we baptise you in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit"

It is common for the candidate to then be prayed for.

Some traditions also ask these words (or similar) before baptism:-

Pastor or leader: "N. do you renounce the world, the flesh and the devil?"
Candidate "I do" or "Yes"

The biblical argument for infant baptism
Matthew Slick argues that Baptism is a new testament symbol of the covenant between God and Man. Just as infants where included in the Old Testament covenant (by the symbolic act of circumcision) so too are infants in the act of baptism. Matthew points to evidence for this in the Acts of the Apostles - at the conversion of the jailer in Acts 16:27-34, "he and all his household were baptized." (16:33, NIV)

As covenant Jews where commanded to have children (Genesis Chapters 2 to 3), it would be extremely unlikely that these households did not include children. Matthew Slick notes that infants are not necessarily saved through baptism - salvation may come at a later point.

The biblical argument for believers (or "adult") baptism
Greg Boyd argues that baptism in the new testament always follows belief in Christ. For example,  Peters sermon at the first Pentecost (Acts 2:38-39) and the Samaritans in Acts 8:12 who were baptized after believing in Philip "as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" (NIV). There are no recorded accounts in the new testament of infants being baptised. On the issue of households being baptised (Acts 16), Boyd argues that the term "household" in this context referred to the adults and servants of the household - the children where generally excluded in this term in the Roman times.

follow this link for prayers suitable for a baby blessing ceremony.