Baruch Ata Adonai, Elohaynu Melech ha-Olam, she-he-che-ya-nu v’kee-ma-nu v’hee-gee-ah-nu laz-man ha-zeh. Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life and sustained us and permitted us to reach this season.
XXX and YYY, welcome, and may you be blessed by the God of Israel, who is the Living God! The Word of God tells us that the Son of God, whose heart reflects the heart of God the Father, has a special place in His heart for little children. One day when people brought Yeshua babies to touch, His disciples were annoyed and rebuked the people. After all, babies don’t have political or economic or social power or influence, and focusing on them is no way to build a great movement. However, Messiah had a much different attitude toward the children. He rebuked His disciples and said: Let the children come to Me and stop hindering them, because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. On another occasion He also said: See that you never despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in Heaven are continually seeing the face of My Father in Heaven.
When we dedicate children to the Lord God of Israel, we are following the example of Channah, the mother of the prophet Samuel, who made a vow and said: O Lord of Hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of your maidservant and remember me, and not forget your maidservant, but will give your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life… The Almighty answered her prayer, and after Samuel was miraculously born she said: For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11, 27-28).
Dedication comes from the Hebrew word “Chanach”, the same word used in Chanukkah. Chanach has contains the idea of initiating, beginning, inaugurating, starting something off to serve God’s purposes. It is used in Proverbs 22:6: Chanoch – train up, dedicate, a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it. That tells us that good child rearing must begin at a very young age. Like the newly rebuilt Temple was solemnly dedicated to the Lord, so these children are to be dedicated as a Temple of the Holy Spirit while they are young and teachable.
Start your child from his earliest age in the way of the of the Lord, fearing God, and being committed to obeying His wise principles for living. Tell him about his duties to God and man. Teach her all of the Bible, both the Tenach and the New Testament, and particularly about our Messiah and Lord and Savior, and His teachings, and miracles, and His death and His amazing resurrection and His coming again. Teach the Scriptures continually and diligently to him, and talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Dedicate your new son to God, not just today, but continually. Initiate him, train him, plant these truths in his mind on a daily basis, until they take firm root. Then help your son implement these things until they become a habit, until he is accustomed to do them. Pray for him to grow in his knowledge of God, and the Scriptures, and salvation and righteousness and holiness.
Warn him that if he ignores God, and loves the world, and the things of the world, and desires its pleasures, he is almost certain to live for the world when he comes to adulthood, and may miss out on that which is true life.
But it is not enough to encourage your child to follow the truths in God’s Word, and warn him about the ways of the world. You must model these truths yourself. He must see you obeying God’s commands and living the right way. This will count more than anything else in his training.
XXX and YYY, do you promise to raise your child to know and love and obey the Lord his God? The congregation and your friends and family are witnesses.
And you members of the Messiah’s Holy Community, do you promise to encourage this family to raise this children in the fear of the Lord, as much as you are able?
Let’s pray: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, righteous and holy Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, we acknowledge that children are a gift from you; the fruit of the womb is a reward that You give. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man and woman whose quiver is full of them! May XXX and YYY rejoice in this child, as it is written: Let your parents be happy; let your mother thrill for joy.
Adon Olam, Ruler of Heaven and Earth, sustain this child for his father and mother. May (give name of child) fulfill his name. (I then add prayers based on the name of the child).
In Your great mercy, O Lord our God, give him a pure and holy heart to serve you all the days of his life. May he become great in Your Torah. May his heart be open to understand Your Word, to learn and teach, keep and practice it. May he enter into a life of good deeds, and if it be Your will, a good marriage. May he enter into the New Covenant and the salvation found in Messiah Yeshua. May he grow up to be a faithful son who forever remains within Your house. May he be blessed in this life and be rewarded with eternal life in the world to come!
(Name of child), your parents present you this day to the Lord. Like Samuel before you, may you always be dedicated to Him. The kingdom of God belongs you those like you! May He who blessed the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and brought a Savior to their children, may He bless this child who was dedicated to the living and eternal God this day.
XXX, YYY, and (name of child), may the Lord, bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace. May Your grace and favor and blessing, our Father and our King, rest upon this family all the days of their lives! Amen.
XXX is the father
YYY is the mother