10 Good night prayers for a peaceful sleep

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Prayer Full and bible study

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Christian children’s prayer “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” has brought comfort to many children (and adults) before bed. One of the most well-known rhymes ever penned, it has grown in popularity over time:

Thank you Lord for another day,
The chance to learn, the chance to play.
Now as I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Please, guard me Jesus through the night,
And keep me safe till morning’s light.
But if I should I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
And should I live for other days,
I pray that God will guide my ways.

                      Amen.     

 

The poem itself is not a verse from the Bible, despite the fact that it reflects a Christian need for God’s protection. Actually, the origins of this cute rhyme can be traced all the way back to history.

 

How This Prayer Has Appeared in the Culture

Though it was originally a Christian prayer, “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” has become widely popular throughout society. It has appeared in a variety of literary genres’ printed and live works.

A number of hymnals from the time, including the Young Singer’s Friend (about 1859), the Hymnal for Primary Classes (around 1896), and the Hymnal for Church and Home, included it as a poem or prayer among the readings (c.a. 1928).

Sometimes it appeared in collections like David’s Harp (1842), The Cherub (ca. 1863), and Little Pilgrim Songs as the words of a straightforward song (c.a. 1883). The rhyme is a mainstay in Mother Goose rhyme books as well.

The poem has influenced artists ever since it was written, including portrait painters and designers of World War I posters. The rhyme has recently been incorporated into music by a number of bands, a Broadway musical performance, and even by characters in a number of movies.

Although “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” could be seen as a nursery rhyme, it has a strong message. When we allow the Lord to keep and save us, true peace follows. The only one who can is him. This and similar prayers can help children and adults sleep sweeter and have more confidence each day.

Different Versions of this prayer: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
   

Different iterations of this prayer started to arise as time went on and more people shared it. Some individuals believed that discussing death with children might be frightening, which was one of the reasons for the shift. Therefore, in this example and similar ones, the second section was changed to convey a more uplifting thought.
Below are some additional versions.                                                                                                     You may find the one that you are most familiar with or the one that you most prefer, among them.

Thank you Lord for another day,
The chance to learn, the chance to play.
Now as I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Please, guard me Jesus through the night,
And keep me safe till morning’s light.
But if I should I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
And should I live for other days,
I pray that God will guide my ways.
 Amen.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Angels watch me through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.  
Amen.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Lord, be with me through the night and keep me ’til the morning light.     
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

If I should live for other days,
I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I die before I wake,
I ask the Lord my soul to take.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
when in the morning light I wake,
teach me the path of love to take.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray, dear Lord, my soul to keep;
and if I die before I wake,
I pray, Dear Lord, my soul He’ll take.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
thy angels watch me through the night,
and keep me safe till morning’s light.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I die before I wake,
bless me Lord, my soul to take.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep, 
Keep me safe all through the night, and wake me with the morning light.
Amen.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.  
God bless those who are so dear,
and thank you Lord, for all good cheer.
Amen.
_________________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May angels watch me through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord, my soul to keep.
May angels watch me through the night, and keep me in their blessed sight.   
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep;
Guide me safely through the night, wake me with the morning’s light.    
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep;
See me safely through the night,
and wake me with the morning’s light.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Guide me through the starry night,
wake me when the sun shines bright.
For Jesus’ sake.
Amen.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Guide us through the starry night,
and wake us with the morning’s light.

I ask not for myself alone,
but for thy children — everyone.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Thank you for another day,
a chance to learn, a chance to play.
Amen.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
See me safely through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.
Amen.
___________________________

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May angels watch me through the night,
and keep me in their pleasant sight.
Amen.
___________________________

Origins of the ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’ Prayer

“Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” was in all likelihood inspired by a very old poem called “The Black Paternoster.” A German version of the poem was popular in the later Medieval period, and it ultimately spread to England. The rhyme came to be called “The Four Corners Prayer,” first published in English by author Thomas Ady in the 1600s.

Mathew, Mark, Luke, John
Bless the bed that I lie on;
And blessed guardian angel keep
Me safe from danger while I sleep.

When I lay me down to Sleep
I recommend my self to his Care;
When I awake, I give my self up to his Direction.

Eventually, the rhyme we know today appeared in the 1737 edition of the New England Primer book by Thomas Fleet. About a century later, J.G. Rush set it to music for his “London Jingles” collection in 1840.

Glory to God in the Highest

How This Prayer Has Appeared in the Culture

Though it was originally a Christian prayer, “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” has become widely popular throughout society. It has appeared in a variety of literary genres’ printed and live works.

A number of hymnals from the time, including the Young Singer’s Friend (about 1859), the Hymnal for Primary Classes (around 1896), and the Hymnal for Church and Home, included it as a poem or prayer among the readings (c.a. 1928).

Sometimes it appeared in collections like David’s Harp (1842), The Cherub (ca. 1863), and Little Pilgrim Songs as the words of a straightforward song (c.a. 1883). The rhyme is a mainstay in Mother Goose rhyme books as well.

The poem has influenced artists ever since it was written, including portrait painters and designers of World War I posters. The rhyme has recently been incorporated into music by a number of bands, a Broadway musical performance, and even by characters in a number of movies.

Although “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” could be seen as a nursery rhyme, it has a strong message. When we allow the Lord to keep and save us, true peace results. The only one who can is him. This and similar prayers can help children and adults sleep sweeter and have more confidence each day.

Is the ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep’ Prayer Biblical?

Though this rhyme may have had a questionable origin, it actually imparts some Biblical truths. It’s easy to treat this as just a quick poem to recite. But a closer look at the words reveals a heart that looks to God in trust and devotion.

One such heart in Scripture belonged to King David. He rejoiced in God’s goodness, both in his own life and that of the Israelite nation. David had experienced God’s watchful care countless times as a boy in the fields and as a King in battle. So, many of his Psalms naturally offer reassurance and encouragement that God is more than worthy of our trust.

In fact, Psalm 4 shares the same sentiment as Addison’s and Fleet’s passages, and probably inspired them, either directly or indirectly:

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8

With a firm reliance on his Lord, David could let down and rest comfortably. We can as well, if we follow David’s lead. His writings say we can trust that:

God loves us.

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. – Psalm 86:15

God wants to take care of us.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life… – Psalm 23:6

God doesn’t forget us.

…he remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations…  – Psalm 105:8

God hears our prayers.

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1

God will protect us.

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. – Psalm 32:7

God is faithful.

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:10

God’s ways are perfect.

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart. – Psalm 40:8

God has a good plan for us.

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. – Psalm 40:5

Meditating on verses like these will help us grow into believers who, like David, can delight in knowing that we are safe in God’s care…not just overnight, but always.

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3 Benefits of Saying this Prayer

Lifting up any prayer brings some benefit to us. So, though the “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer may be short and simple, it can minister in wonderful ways.

1. Prayer focuses our minds on God. Fixing our attention on His “ability” to protect and watch over us takes away fear.

2. Prayer realigns our spirits with God. Looking to Him for our deliverance releases us from the pressure of trying to control everything.

3. Prayer leads our hearts to worship God. Asking for His care reminds us how deeply we are loved, and praising Him is a natural response.

Therefore, even though the exact “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” prayer isn’t found in Scripture, the idea of finding comfort in God’s protection is. One of the great and pleasant ways to give your life over to God, even while you sleep, is by praying this prayer.