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Since the language and pronouns used in the 1800s area a bit outdated, here’s how I might revise this for the 21st century: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