On the Journey
By Rick Hamlin

Five Christian Prayers for Bedtime

Do you have a bedtime prayer? Throughout my childhood I said the one below (and the words are probably my own variation on the original). Here some other bedtime prayers to make for a good, peaceful sleep.

Jesus, tender shepherd, hear me,
Bless this little lamb tonight.
Through the darkness be down near me,
Keep me safe till morning light.
—Mary Duncan

Oh Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed. Then in thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest and peace at the last.
Book of Common Prayer

Ah dearest Jesus, Holy Child,
Make thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for thee.
Martin Luther

Oh Lord, go with each of us to rest; if any awake, temper to them the dark hours of watching; and when the day returns, return to us, our sun and comforter, and call us up with morning faces and with morning hearts, eager to labor, eager to be happy, and if the day be marked for sorrow, strong to endure it.
—Robert Louis Stevenson

Lord, it is night. The night is for stillness.
Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day.
What has been done has been done;
What has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark.
Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet.
Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn.
Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities.
In your name, we pray, Amen.
—New Zealand Book of Common Prayer

Rick Hamlin is the executive editor of Guideposts magazine and the author of 10 Prayers You Can't Live Without. To learn more about the book and explore your own prayer journey, watch this video.

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Your Comments (5)

I love reading this section, it brings me good comfort and helps me to relax my spirit in Jesus and to trust that he is taking care of me and my children. Praying thease prayers isa cup of cold water to a parched soul.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
Bless this bed that I lay on.
Before I lay me down to sleep,
I give my soul to Christ to keep.

Four corners to my bed,
Four angels 'round my head,
One to watch, one to pray,
And two to bear my soul away.

I go by sea, I go by land,
The Lord made me with his right hand,
If any danger come to me,
Sweet Jesus Christ, deliver me.

For he's the branch and I'm the flower,
Pray God send me a happy hour,
And if I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Thanks for updating this poem. I have heard this during my school days at St. Edwards primary school in Freetown during early 60's.

I'm sorry, but can you explain the fact that you mentioned matt,mark,luke and john? And thanks for the prayer... Mwa lots of love. God bless

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my soul to keep
For if I die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to take
Amen