Goodnight Prayer

I prayed with/for Ayden every night as he was falling asleep, and I would say the "traditional" nightly prayer:

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.

Yeah, very ironic.....and just plain hard to read those words. This was the prayer my parents taught me, so I carried it on to our first child....not even knowing he would live that prayer. Although I meant them when I prayed them, those words haven't been on my lips since the last time I prayed them for Ayden.

When Collen was born, I knew I couldn't bring myself to say that prayer over him. I was too afraid - even though I know I shouldn't have been.....but how could I not be? So, I sought out a new bedtime prayer. For a long time, I just said a generic prayer. Then, we went to visit my former pastor - a man of God I respect so highly. He was the minister at mine and Jeremy's wedding, and he cried and rejoiced along with us on that special day. He is such a strong man - so sound in his faith. After our visit with him, he said a prayer over Collen:

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon and bring you peace.
May He be with you when you are asleep and when you are awake.
And may the Lord watch over you all the days of your life.

I had him write it down for me, and since that day, it has been the prayer we have spoken over Collen every single night. I didn't realize that the first two lines were from Numbers 6:24 until I read it for myself. I love that....because these words were spoken by God. God's blessing is in each word.

So, if you're a parent who has a lost a child and you have gone on to have another - if you're struggling with prayer for that child - this is one that brings so much hope and peace.

Blessings to you all....


  1. Beautiful. I pray that blessing over Jonah each night. That's what my parents prayed over me. I have always loved it. Love you!

  2. Thank you for sharing this... I too have a problem with the first poem. The second one is perfect!

  3. There is a lullaby CD that my Mama used to play for us when we went to bed. It's by Michael Card and is called "Sleep Sound in Jesus". There's a song on there from Numbers 6:24 & on. It's one of my favorites and I've sung it over Joshua at bedtime since he was born. I have the CD if you'd like to borrow it.

  4. above my bed i have a variation of that prayer that was hung over my crib as a baby...

    it starts the same, but the second half does NOT speak about death. it says:

    "Guard me Jesus through the night,
    and wake me with the morning light."

    so if you want the traditional one with a different focus, there it is. i never even heard the other version til i was grown!

  5. I follow your blog, but don't think I have ever commented. You are such a wonderful mommy to both your boys. I wanted to share the version of the Now I lay me down to sleep prayer that I learned once when my daughter was probably 2-3 years old.
    Now I lay me down to sleep
    I prayer the Lord my soul to keep
    May love surround me through the night, and meet me with the morning light.
    I never liked the first version either so when I heard this one I thought it was nice.

  6. No clue how I ended up on your blog (I LOVE the www for just that reason)! Please accept my sypmathy for the loss of your beautiful son. That is the one hurt in this world I am not sure I could take. My comment was about your nightly prayer with your child now. The one your pastor gave you is lovely. Here is a prayer my loving, God fearing, Sunday School teaching grandma always said with me at night (and I still say it during my prayers at 46).

    Jesus, Tender Shepherd hear me. Bless this little lamb tonight. And in the darkness, be thou near me. Keep me safe, until morning's light.