Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen. 
Do you remember this little children’s bedtime prayer? I remember saying it when I was a child and then I taught it to my children when they were young. It was wonderful listening to their young voices saying the prayer, yet I wondered if they really understood what they were saying. Then as they matured and began to understand what God had done for them through Christ, their prayers also matured. No longer was the child-like prayer said out of habit, but their hearts truly started communing with their Savior.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep
One day as I was reading in the Psalms, I came across a verse I had never really seen. Isn’t it amazing how you can read the Bible over and over and still see something new after reading a passage for the hundredth time? The verse that stood out to me was Psalm 3:5. “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.” (NKJV) I immediately thought of that children’s prayer when I read that verse. Another verse is Psalm 4:8 says, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
When we have a personal relationship with Christ, we can lie down in peace, knowing that He will take care of us.
Proverbs 3:24 (NKJV)
“When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.”
And the reason we can have that assurance is because our God never sleeps. Notice this Psalm.
Psalm 121:1-8 (NKJV)
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills—
From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore.”
I Pray The Lord My Soul To Keep
Not only can we lie our heads down in peace, we can be assured that He is the keeper of our souls. We don’t have to be anxious of what may come. We can rest knowing that the God that watches over our night, is the same God who patterns our day.
Psalm 62:1-2 (NKJV)
“Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.”
Psalm 94:19 (NKJV)
“In the multitude of my anxieties within me,
Your comforts delight my soul.”
Psalm 116:7-8 (NKJV)
“Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.”
If I Should Die Before I Wake
One of the blessed hopes about being a Christian is knowing that we don’t have to fear death. Not that any of us are in a hurry to experience it, but we can have the assurance that when we die, we will spend eternity in heaven. Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we are His forever. Nothing can keep us from going to heaven, so we can lay our heads down at night knowing that God could bless us with another day here on earth, or He will bless us by allowing us to wake up in heaven with Him. Either way, we win.
John 10:27-29 (NKJV)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
Psalm 116:15 (NKJV)
“Precious in the sight of the Lord Is the death of His saints.”
I Pray The Lord My Soul To Take
The older I get, I find myself many times longing for heaven. It seems to get harder and harder to live in this sinful world. God’s favor has really been on the church I attend. Many times, especially on Sunday nights, the presence of the Holy Spirit is so strong that the congregation will stand and sing praise song after praise song, truly worshipping the Lord. I love those moments of real worship, but I also realize that those times here on earth are not even a drop in the bucket to what being in the actual presence of the Lord in heaven will be like. It’s in those moments that my heart is “praying the Lord my soul to take.”
2 Corinthians 5:1-8 (NKJV)
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
Revelation 14:12-13 (NKJV)
Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”
I think as adults we think that those simple little prayers that we teach our children to pray are only prayers for childhood. After we grow up we are supposed to have grown-up prayers. Right? Yes, our prayers can be more in depth, more encompassing, but the value of the children’s prayers are the simple, amazing truths that the words convey. We don’t need to have a lot of words or flowery language. God just wants us to commune with Him. So as we lay down our heads tonight, may we simply pray with simple child-like faith, knowing He hears every word.