BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#24 - "A Cradle Prayer" by Rebecca St. James
Kevin Davis speaks with Rebecca St. James on her Christmas song "A Cradle Prayer," just in time for the holiday!
 


"A Cradle Prayer" by Rebecca St. James is my favorite original Christmas song on Rebecca’s only Christmas album simply titled, Christmas from 1997. This is a great review of the album:

Rebecca St. James' Christmas is an enchanting holiday record, highlighting not only her faith, but also her remarkable vocal skills. The album is divided between traditional songs and new material, and while some of the newer material is a little weak, St. James sounds terrific, no matter what song she is singing.
--Rodney Batdorf, All Music Guide

I’ve been a fan of Rebecca’s since her self-titled major label debut album in 1994, when she was only 17. Her maturity has always been beyond her years and her Christmas album, recorded when she was just 20 (she turned 31 this year), is a great example of her originality and excellent singing voice. Current up and coming young Christian female artists Bethany Dillon, Britt Nicole and Francesca Battistelli have followed in Rebecca’s footsteps the way Rebecca has followed the all-time great Amy Grant, who was also a teenage sensation in Christian music.

I recently had the opportunity to hear from Rebecca about "A Cradle Prayer:"

"Usually songs take hours to days or even weeks to write. This song was a total miracle. It took 20-30 minutes. We prayed specifically about the right lyrics and this is the idea that came to me...

Imagine yourself, sitting by baby Jesus' cradle on the night He was born, and singing to Him everything you were feeling inside! The lyrics just flowed onto the paper.

I absolutely love the season of Christmas. There’s something very special about it. It’s a very powerful, very moving time for me. I love gathering with family to celebrate the birth of our King Jesus. I love decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music. Growing up I loved to listen to Amy Grant’s
Home for Christmas album while we trimmed the tree. The Christmas season is warm in Australia, where I grew up, so to see the beauty of snow and experience the exhilarating brisk air of winter since moving to America has become truly 'Christmas time' to me.

Several of my most memorable Christmases growing up in Australia were at Shannon Park just outside of Toowoomba, Queensland. On several occasions our family went to this campsite for family reunions at Christmas. We had lamb, turkey and ham at the table with relatives all around. I have about twenty-four cousins and a good many of them were there. We wore brightly colored Christmas hats, and pulled apart bonbons to find little treasures waiting inside. We talked and laughed and just had a wonderful time of fellowship together. My grandfather who is a minister prayed, then we talked about the true meaning of Christmas. It was just a truly beautiful time.


I love the simplicity and worshipfulness of the song. The song is biblically reverent and reflective and the repeated use of the phrase "I am in awe of You" is inspired by one of my favorite bible passages, Ecclesiates 5:1-7.

Stand in awe of God. Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.

Some other songs based on that same passage are "Let My Words Be Few" by Matt Redman and covered by Phillips, Craig & Dean and "Stand In Awe" by Jeremy Riddle.

Here are the lyrics to "A Cradle Prayer:"

Jesus I love You my Lord my life
Where would I be without You
Here in the quiet, the still, the night
I am in awe of You

Trials may come and friends they may go
What really matters is You my Lord

Beautiful Savior my God, my friend
I am in awe of You
Lord I am in awe of You

Trials may come and friends they may go
What really matters is You my Lord

Jesus I love you my Lord my life
Where would I be without You
Here in the quiet, the still, the night
I am in awe of You

Why would you, Creator and King
Come as a baby for all, for me

Beautiful Savior, my God, my friend
I am in awe of You
I am in awe of You


What a great way to reflect on the miracle of Christmas. God came down as a baby, gave Himself to us, our Creator and our King. Whenever I’m tempted to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the commercial Christmas season, a song like this one can help me focus on the true meaning of Christmas, which is to stop and be in awe of my Lord.

You can listen to the song here.

Kevin Davis is a long time fan of Christian music as well as, movies, TV shows and multiple PodCasts. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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