lords prayer words - traditional and contemporary prayers

Night Prayer Before Sleep

The time just before we go to sleep is a great time for focusing our hearts and our attention on God. We can begin by giving thanks to Him, and perhaps ask Him for forgiveness for where we have failed Him, others, and ourselves. We can also meditate on His care and protection for the night ahead.

Further down this page you'll discover several traditional prayers that are suitable as meditations before bedtime. Here you'll find two ancient Celtic prayers, Anglican & Catholic prayers, and a modern night prayer for friends. There's also a meditation on psalm 91, a restful night prayer film to watch, and several good bible verses related to rest and sleep.

Short Night Prayer

Night Prayer

resources on this page

The Lord will protect you now and always wherever you go.

Psalm 121:8, (CEV)

Short Prayer Before Sleep

Goodnight Father God,
Thank you for your presence
Stay beside me as I sleep and dream
That I might wake with you to greet the morning.


(a short bedtime prayer from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

Celtic Prayers

Around The Fire

May the Sacred Three
The hearth,
The house,
The household,
This eve,
This night,
Oh! This eve,
This night,
And every night,
Each single night.

Traditional Celtic blessing used to celebrate the start of the Celtic New Year (Samhain - November 1st)

An Evening Prayer

When I see the moon in the night sky
I speak my evening prayer:
Praise be to the Being of Life,
For His kindness and His goodness.

The Wings of Sleep

O Lord our God, King of the Universe.
Let the wings of sleep fall upon my eyes,
and upon my eyelids.
O Blessed One,
Let me lie down in peace,
and rise in peace.
Into Your hand I entrust my spirit.

(Adapted from a Jewish prayer)

Night Prayer

A reflective and poetic night prayer accompanied by inspiring images of the Sea of Galilee as the sun sets over the waters. Useful for meditation before bed or for late evening prayer:-

Good night prayer for friends

Dear Father,
I treasure my friend so much, I thank you for their presence in my life.
I ask you to watch over them, to lead them into hope and blessing.
I trust that you will protect and hold them when life is hard.
Lord, help me to be a good friend to them.


(a short bedtime petition for friends or loved ones, from www.lords-prayer-words.com)

Calm instrumental music for encountering God's peace before sleep (this may be used in conjunction with the scripture meditation below):-

Scripture for Meditation

Here is a suitable bible passage to meditated on before going to sleep. It speaks of God's everlasting love and protection. Once read, try closing your eyes and filling your mind with these thoughts:-

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

(Psalm 91:1-7, NIV)
(this page explores this scripture in greater depth)

Martin Luther's Evening Prayer

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son,
that Thou hast kept me this night from all harm and danger;
and I pray Thee to keep me this day also from sin and all evil,
that all my doings and life may please Thee.
For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.
Let Thy holy angel be with me,
that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me.

Source: "The Small Catechism" by Martin Luther (1483-1546)

Anglican Evening Prayers

A Collect for Protection

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful,
the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead:
We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past,
and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night.
Bring us in safety to the morning hours;
through him who died and rose again for us,
your Son our Savior Jesus Christ.


A Collect for the Presence of Christ

Lord Jesus, stay with us,
for evening is at hand and the day is past;
be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts,
and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread.
Grant this for the sake of your love.


Source: " Daily Evening Prayer: Rite Two", Book of Common Prayer, 1979 version, Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America

Catholic night prayer

Eternal Father, I desire to rest in Your Heart this night. I make the intention of offering to You every beat of my heart, joining to them as many acts of love and desire. I pray that even while I am asleep I will bring back to You souls that offend You. I ask forgiveness for the whole world, especially for those who know You and yet sin. I offer to You my every breath and heartbeat as an act of reparation.


Night Vigil

(Ancient Christian Prayer)

Watch thou, dear Lord,
with those who wake, or watch, or weep tonight,
and give thine angels charge over those who sleep.
Tend thy sick ones, Lord Christ.
Rest thy weary ones.
Bless thy dying ones.
Soothe thy suffering ones.
Pity thine afflicted ones.
Shield thy joyous ones.
And all, for thy love's sake.

Saint Augustine of Hippo
(4th Century, North Africa)

Bible verses about sleep and rest

Below are featured some useful scriptures related to sleep and resting which are found in the Old and New Testaments. They may be useful to inspire your night prayers to God, or for a period of meditation on scripture and worship.

Psalm 141

"Let my prayer be set before you like incense; the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.".

Psalm 141:2, (NHEB)

From the Proverbs:

...you will rest without a worry and sleep soundly.

Proverbs 3:24, (CEV)


Seek him who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning, and darkens the day into night; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth: The Lord is his name.

Amos 5:8, (NIV)

More prayers for different occasions...

here are links to some wonderfully inspired prayers to aid your journey