Bedtime Prayers

My spouse and I just compared our childhood bedtime prayers.  I find that hers were much more humane than mine, and they reflect the differences in our personalities.


Father we thank Thee for the night
And for the pleasant morning light
For rest and peace and loving care
And all that makes the world so fair.

Help us to do the things we should,
to be to others kind and good.
In all we do in work or play
To grow more loving every day.

God bless… (list of names)


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

God bless… (list of names)

I remember rushing through my prayers to get it over and done with, and I never thought about the meaning of the words I was reciting until years later.  But the interesting part, the freestyle section if you will, was the “God bless” verse.  That part didn’t have to rhyme and you just had to name people.  Of course, the names of the blessed also became rote.  For me, it went like this:

God bless Mommy and Daddy
and Aunt Pearl and Elaine
and please make me a good boy Amen.

Amen followed boy like tail follows dog.

There must have been one night that turned out to be the last night I recited this prayer.  Maybe it was this night, November 3, in the year 1959 or 1960 or 1961, who knows.

What I can say is, the good boy may be gone but my soul is still here.  Amen.

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2 Responses to Bedtime Prayers

  1. Bruce says:

    I vaguely remember saying prayers as a very young child, but by the time the third child had arrived, I think my parents were too tired to care. By the sixth, they were happy if we didn’t murder anyone (my dad actually said this at some point). I gave up on religion by second grade, but I have to say that Sue’s childhood prayer is pretty great even if there’s no one listening. A worthwhile note to self.

  2. Susan says:

    I am certain that if you wanted the last part to rhyme, you could have figured something out. Maybe something like:
    “God bless Mommy and Daddy
    Also Aunt Pearl and Elaine
    Please make me a good boy and
    Bless my Left Brain
    Amen (wag wag)”

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