Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Prayer (Lyrics, Versions, & Meaning)

Now I lay me down to sleep prayer.

Prayer will always be a powerful tool for finding comfort and peace before bedtime. 

But have you ever wondered about the origins and significance of the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" prayer?

This simple yet profound bedtime prayer has been recited by countless children and adults alike throughout history, offering comfort and a sense of connection to God.

We will delve into the history, origins, and meaning behind the "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" prayer. 

We will explore whether its a biblical prayer, examine its spiritual significance, and discuss the power of bedtime prayers in fostering a sense of peace and connection in our lives with God, our Heavenly Father.

What does the "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Prayer" mean?

"Now I lay me down to sleep" is a common bedtime prayer that many children (and adults) have been taught to say before going to bed. 

It is a simple and humble plea to God for protection and guidance during the night. 

The phrase expresses a child's trust in God's care and their willingness to surrender themselves to His watchful eye. 

It is a reminder of our need for rest and the acknowledgement that we are not in control of everything. 

It is a moment of vulnerability and surrender, as we recognize our dependence on God's grace and mercy as we sleep.

A woman prays before laying down to sleep.

Original version of the 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. Amen.


Different versions and lyrics

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Guard me Jesus, through the night,
And wake me with the morning light.


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 — every one.


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.

The history of the prayer

The “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" prayer has been said to tied to a very old poem called "The Black Paternoster." 

During the later Medieval period, a German version of the poem gained popularity and eventually made its way to England. It was known as "The Four Corners Prayer" and was first published in English by Thomas Ady (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.


In 1711, Joseph Addison, an English author, wrote an essay for his daily magazine "The Spectator." It included a passage with a similar theme to this poem, but Addison emphasized seeking help from God at night rather than the Saints.


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.


The rhyme as it is known today first appeared in the 1737 edition of the New England Primer book authored by Thomas Fleet

It was later set to music by J.G. Rush for his "London Jingles" collection in 1840.

The prayer origins

The "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep " prayer started as a Christian prayer, but it has become popular outside of church circles. 

It has been featured in various printed and performed works across different genres.

It has appeared in hymnals, such as the Young Singer's Friend, the Hymnal for Primary Classes, and the Hymnal for Church and Home.

It has also been used as lyrics for songs in collections like David's Harp, The Cherub, and Little Pilgrim Songs.

It is a common rhyme in Mother Goose books. 

The poem has inspired artists, including portrait painters and World War I poster designers. It has been incorporated into songs by bands, featured in a Broadway musical number, and recited by characters in movies.

Despite being considered a nursery rhyme, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep " carries a powerful message about finding true peace by relying on the Lord for salvation. 

This prayer, along with others like it, can bring comfort and confidence to children and adults, helping them sleep better and face each day with assurance.

Is the ‘Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep' prayer biblical?

The 'Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep' prayer is not explicitly found in the Bible, but it can still be in alignment with biblical principles if the statements made are scriptural (there are several versions). 

This simple prayer teaches children and adults alike to acknowledge their dependence on God and to seek His protection and guidance before going to sleep. 

It encourages us to trust in God's love and care, recognizing that He is the source of peace and security. 

While the exact words may not be biblical, the underlying message of surrendering to God's will and seeking His presence in our lives is certainly in line with biblical teachings.

3 powerful benefits of saying this bedtime prayer

Saying this prayer has three benefits that will impact your life in a powerful way.

1. Firstly, it opens the door for a personal and intimate relationship with God. 

By uttering these words, you invite the Lord to dwell within you, guiding, comforting, and empowering you in every aspect of your life.

2. Secondly, saying this prayer unleashes the transformative power of the Holy Spirit.

As you surrender to the Spirit's leading, you will experience a radical change in your character, behavior, and perspective. 

The Spirit will empower you to overcome sin, walk in righteousness, and live a life of purpose and fulfillment.

3. Thirdly, saying this prayer grants you access to supernatural gifts and manifestations.

The Holy Spirit equips believers with spiritual gifts such as prophecy, healing, and speaking in tongues. 

These gifts enable you to edify others, bring healing and restoration, and boldly proclaim the message of salvation to the world.

A man with his eyes closed, thinks about the now I lay me down prayer lyrics.

I pray the Lord my soul to keep prayer

In the sacred hours of the night, when darkness shrouds the world and stillness settles upon our weary hearts, we utter a humble prayer: "I pray the Lord my soul to keep."

Such a simple phrase, yet it holds meaning and deep longing.

When we utter these words, we express our surrender to the Almighty, acknowledging our utter dependence on His watchful eye and protective hand. 

In this prayer, we recognize that our souls are fragile and vulnerable, susceptible to the dangers and temptations that surround us.

But in the same breath, we proclaim our trust in the Lord to guard and preserve our very essence.

"I pray the Lord my soul to keep" encompasses our yearning for spiritual security and guidance.

We humbly admit that we cannot navigate the treacherous paths of life on our own. 

We acknowledge that without the Lord's divine presence, our souls would be left exposed to the perils of this world.

In uttering this prayer, we also recognize the ever-present reality of evil forces that seek to steal, kill, and destroy.

And so, we seek the Lord to shield our souls from the clutches of darkness, to fortify us against the snares of temptation and sinful desires. 

We express our desire to remain tethered to His loving embrace, knowing that in His arms, we find safety and refuge.

"I pray the Lord my soul to keep" serves as a constant reminder of our need for continual communion with the Almighty. 

It encapsulates our dependence on His sustaining grace, His unwavering love, and His divine protection. 

What is the spiritual significance of the prayer?

It is not just a simple bedtime prayer, but a powerful declaration of trust and surrender to the Lord.

Every night, as we say these words, we are acknowledging our dependence on God and our reliance on His protection and guidance.

In this prayer, we recognize that our lives are fragile and fleeting, and we entrust ourselves into the hands of our Heavenly Father.

We acknowledge that He alone has the power to watch over us and keep us safe throughout the night.

By saying these words, we affirm our belief in the sovereignty and goodness of God. 

We declare that our lives are in His hands, and we trust Him to be with us in every moment, both in waking and in sleep.

"Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Prayer" is a heartfelt expression of our faith and dependence on God, Our Father.

It reminds us of our need for spiritual rest and renewal, and it encourages us to surrender our burdens and cares to God before we sleep.

Is now I lay me down to sleep a real prayer?

We must not be fooled by the familiarity of these words, for it is not the words themselves that make a prayer real, but the intent and faith behind them. 

If spoken with a sincere heart and in alignment with the Word of God, and with a genuine desire to commune with the Lord, then yes, it can be used as a real prayer. 

It is not the eloquence or length of our words that matter, but the connection we seek to establish with the One who hears our every cry. 

A woman prays sleep prayers before bed.

Where in the Bible does it say "lay down and slept"?

 One such verse is Psalm 3:5, which says, "I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me." 

This verse highlights the psalmist's trust in God's protection and provision even in the midst of danger

Psalm 4:8 states, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." 

The psalmist acknowledges that peace and comfort come from God alone, allowing them to rest peacefully. 

These verses remind us of the importance of finding rest and peace in God's presence.

What Psalm talks about lying down and sleeping?

Psalm 4 is the psalm that contains the phrase "I lay down and sleep." 

In this psalm, David is seeking refuge and asking God to hear his prayers. 

He acknowledges that God has set him apart and hears him when he calls. 

David also warns against sin and encourages others to trust in the Lord. 

Despite facing adversity and opposition, David finds comfort in knowing that God is with him.

He declares that he can lie down and sleep peacefully because he trusts in God's protection

This psalm reminds us of the peace and security we can find in God's presence.

How does the Bible say to sleep?

The Bible instructs us to have a peaceful and restful sleep which we can attain when we pray before bed. 

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

This verse reminds us that we can trust in God's protection and find peace in His presence as we sleep. 

In Proverbs 3:24, it says, "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

This verse assures us that when we have a relationship with God and pray to Him in faith, our sleep will be free from fear and filled with tranquility.

So let us seek the presence of God before we sleep, trusting that He will grant us peaceful rest.

Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep Bible Scripture Verses (KJV)

Proverbs 3:24 - When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Psalms 4:8 - I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 6:9 - How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Psalms 132:4 - I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids,

Psalms 121:3-4
 - He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

Psalms 91:1-16 - He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Matthew 8:24 - And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Psalms 127:2 - It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.

Proverbs 20:13 - Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

Psalms 3:5
- I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me.

Proverbs 6:10 - Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

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2 Comments

  1. I am 71and a very praying person. I start my night prayer with this familiar one. I pray from there. I Know the lord hears me. I am His Child and I will pray like his Child. This was an interesting article. Enjoyed the history.

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