(note: this version of the prayer is noted as the most popular modern day version in p.103 of 'Encountering Ecclesiastes: A Book for Our Time' By James Limburg)
(note: on occasions the word "shall" in the third line becomes "should" in vernacular forms of this prayer)
A question over the prayer in it's early form
"If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take".It is questionable whether we would want to encourage children to contemplate their own death shortly before going to sleep. Whilst we might want to cultivate a healthy fear of God in children (e.g. that God is awesome and infinitely all-powerful) this needs to presented in the context of God being all-loving:-
"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment".
(1 John 4:16-18, NIV)
"When I lie down, I go to sleep in peace; you alone, O Lord, keep me perfectly safe."
discover prayers for children to say here
A family that prays together stays together.