Praying the ABC’s of Jesus

A few weeks ago, I came across this lovely little article at Tim Challies’ blog, and it reminded me of something I have been meaning to share with y’all.

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night? Knowing what to pray? Leading your children in prayer? Expanding your vocabulary? Helping your children with their vocabulary words from school? Here’s something that can help in all of those areas, but, above all, it can draw you closer to Christ as you worship and commune with Him.

I don’t think it’s technically insomnia, but I have frequently had trouble falling asleep at night for as long as I can remember. It’s just hard for me to mentally settle down and turn my brain off. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve looked for little mental tricks and games to help lull my brain into unconsciousness. Counting. Spelling. Imagery. Sleep apps. (Right now what seems to work best is reciting in my head whatever passage of Scripture I’m working on memorizing.)

One of the things that has worked well for me is a little mental “game” I call “Praying the ABC’s of Jesus.” It’s a simple recitation of God’s names and attributes in alphabetical order. Here’s an example of what it might sound like:

Lord, You are Amazing.

You are my source of Blessing.

You are Creator.

You are my Delight.

From Everlasting to Everlasting, you are God.

You are my Father.

You are the Giver of life.

You are Holy.

You are Immanuel.

Thank you for being Just.

You are King of Kings…

…and Lord of Lords.

You are the Mighty One of Israel.

You are the Name above all names.

You are Omniscient.

You are the Prince of Peace.

You Quiet my soul.

You are Righteous.

You are my Sabbath rest.

You are Truth.

You are beyond all Understanding.

You reign Victorious over all.

Wondrous are your mighty works.

You are Xenodochial.

You are Yahweh.

You are Zealous for the glory of your Name.

This is also a great, simple way to start off your regular daily prayer time, or lead your children in prayer, as you take time to savor and meditate on each descriptor of God and His nature.

Now you might have to “cheat” a little on letters like Q and X. I usually say, “You are Quite lovely, awesome, beautiful, etc…the Quintessential judge, provider, etc.” or use an “ex-” word for X (eXcellent, eXceedingly gracious, etc.). But you can also build your vocabulary (not to mention your Scrabble score!) by searching out words that begin with those letters. I found the word xenodochial (“friendly to strangers”) by Googling “English adjectives starting with the letter X”. Just make sure the word is reverent and supported by Scripture.

You can also be on the lookout for words you can use as you study your Bible, and if your child has a vocabulary list to work on every week, you can integrate any of those words that would be biblically appropriate.

Good night and sweet dreams!