A Child’s Evening Prayer

One of the earliest memories of my own religious education – some may say indoctrination – was the recitation of a prayer at bedtime. A common bedtime prayer for children in the 1960s when I was learning such things went something like this:

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.

As an adult I found the words a bit macabre for small children, and did not pass it on to the next generation.

In recent readings, I came across a different children’s prayer – one that is attributed to Nona Brooks, a founder of Divine Science (a metaphysical religious tradition from the 1800s). It reads in a much gentler manner and is much more appropriate for young children.

Now I lay me down to sleep; I know that God His child doth keep. I trust Him for my daily food, My life, my health, and all my good. May I grow stronger day by day, And learn to live the truest way. All this I ask because I know Thou art the Love that wills it so.

Nona Brooks

Described as a “prophet of modern mystical Christianity“, Brooks was a New Thought leader and a founder of the Church of Divine Science.

Since the language and pronouns used in the 1800s area a bit outdated, here’s how I might revise this for the 21st century:

Now I lay me down to sleep;
I know that I am in God’s keep.
Trusting God for daily food,
My life, my health; all my Good.
As I grow stronger day by day,
I learn to live the truest way.
All this I speak because I know,
God is the Love that wills it so.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

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