Christian child's prayer

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A Christian child's prayer is Christian prayer recited primarily by children that is typically short, rhyming, or has a memorable tune. It is usually said before bedtime, to give thanks for a meal, or as a nursery rhyme. Many of these prayers are either quotes from the Bible, or set traditional texts.

While termed "Christian child's prayer", the examples here are almost exclusively used and promoted by Protestants. Catholic and Orthodox Christians have their own set of children's prayers, often invoking Mary, Mother of Jesus, angels, or the saints, and including a remembrance of the dead. Some adult prayers are equally popular with children, such as the Golden Rule (Luke 6:31, Matthew 7:12), the Doxology, the Serenity Prayer, John 3:16, Psalm 145:15–16, Psalm 136:1, and for older children, The Lord's Prayer and Psalm 23.

For the history of Christian songs for children, see Boys' choir § Middle ages & early development, nativity play, and Sunday school § Development.

Contents

Bedtime prayer[edit]

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep[edit]

Original version
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen

More recent variants:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Guide me, Jesus, through the night
and wake me with the morning light
Amen

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Keep me safe through the night
and wake me with the morning light
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I'll assume I'll rise rested and at peace.
For I know all day I tried my best
To treat all others with respect.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
Angels watch me through the night
and wake me with the morning light.
Amen

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
If I should live another day
I pray the Lord to guide my way

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
There are four corners on my bed,
There are four angels overhead,
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
God bless this bed that I lay on.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John[edit]

Luther's Evening Prayer[edit]

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. 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. Amen.[1]

Lullabies[edit]

Now the Day is Over[edit]

1. Now the day is over,
Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

2. Now the darkness gathers,
Stars begin to peep,
Birds and beasts and flowers
Soon will be asleep.

3. Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tend'rest blessing
May mine eyelids close.

There are five additional verses.[2]

Sleep my Child and Peace Attend Thee[edit]

Lullabies in German[edit]

Der Mond ist aufgegangen[edit]
Weißt du, wie viel Sternlein stehen[edit]
Brahms' Lullaby[edit]

Lullabies in Latin[edit]

The Virgin's Cradle Hymn[edit]

Lullabies in Scottish[edit]

Baloo Baleerie[edit]

Lullabies in Welsh[edit]

Suo Gân[edit]

Lullabies in Armenian[edit]

Koon yeghir, pahlahs, atchkert khoop ahra[edit]

Lullabies in Swedish[edit]

Vaggsång till Jesus[edit]

Morning Prayer[edit]

Luther's Morning Prayer[edit]

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. Amen.[3]

White Paternoster[edit]

Morning Songs[edit]

Morning Has Broken[edit]

Morning Songs in Swedish[edit]

Din klara sol går åter opp[edit]

Giving thanks[edit]

God Is Great[edit]

God is great and God is good.
And we thank him for our food.

By his hands we all are fed.
Thank you, Lord, for our daily bread.
God is great and God is good,
And we thank him for our food. Amen.

Thank You Lord[edit]

Thank you my God for the day you have given us!
Thank you because you are great and worthy.
Thank you for another day of living,
Thank you for each breath we have taken
Thank you for dying on that cross my God
For our sins!
Forgive our sins, Lord
Amen

Come Lord Jesus[edit]

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest,
let this food to us be blessed, Amen

A Slovak Lutheran tradition adds a second verse:
And may there be a goodly share
on every table everywhere.

A variant often used in the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod is

Come Lord Jesus, be our guest,
let these gifts to us be blessed, Amen

The Lord is Good to Me[edit]

All Good Gifts[edit]

The chorus to We Plough the Fields and Scatter may be used as a table grace:[4]

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love

For this Food[edit]

For this food and joy renewed, we praise your name, O Lord![5][6]

Organized prayer[edit]

Regent's prayer[edit]

Almighty God,
we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee,
and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents,
our teachers and our country.

Philmont grace[edit]

For food, for raiment,
for life, for opportunity,
for friendship and fellowship,
we thank you, O Lord.

S Bar F grace[edit]

For the gifts of food and freedom,
And the hills to roam.
For the crimson sunsets
And the Earth, our home
For the stars at night
And the gentle winds in the trees
We thank you, Great Spirit, for all of these

Spirituals[edit]

He's got the Whole World in his hands[edit]

He's got the whole world in his hands.
He's got you and me, brother in his hands.
He's got you and me, sister in his hands.
He's got the little bitty baby in his hands.
He's got the whole world in his hands.

Michael Row The Boat Ashore[edit]

Michael, row the boat ashore, Alleluia!
Michael, row the boat ashore, Alleluia!

Sister help to trim the sails, Alleluia!
Sister help to trim the sails, Alleluia!

The river is deep and the river is wide, Alleluia!
Milk and honey on the other side, Alleluia!

Jordan's river is chilly and cold, Alleluia!
Chills the body, but not the soul, Alleluia!

If you get there before I do. Alleluia!
Tell my people I'm coming too. Alleluia!

Kumbaya[edit]

Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen[edit]

Go Down Moses[edit]

We Are Climbing Jacob's Ladder[edit]

Children, Go Where I Send Thee[edit]

Every Time I Feel the Spirit[edit]

I Shall Not Be Moved[edit]

I'm So Glad, Jesus Lifted Me[edit]

Dem Bones[edit]

Ezekiel Saw the Wheel[edit]

Lord, I Want to Be a Christian[edit]

When the Saints Go Marching In[edit]

We Shall Overcome[edit]

Carols[edit]

The Twelve Days of Christmas[edit]

Away in a Manger[edit]

He is Born, the Child Divine[edit]

Light One Candle for Hope[edit]

A la Nanita Nana[edit]

Other songs[edit]

Jesus Loves Me[edit]

Jesus loves me - this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, he who died,
Heaven's gate to open wide.
He will wash away my sin;
Let his little child come in.

Jesus loves me, loves me still,
Though I'm very weak and ill.
From his shining throne on high,
Comes to watch me where I lie.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way
Then his little child will take
Up to heaven for his dear sake.

Jesus Loves the Little Children[edit]

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in his sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

  • Words written by preacher Clarence Herbert Woolston (1856–1927)
  • Sung to the 1864 Civil War tune "Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!" by George Fredrick Root
  • Inspired by Matthew 19:14: Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
  • Some versions change Woolston's original words slightly by inserting the color "brown" between "red" and "yellow."
  • Some modern versions read 'Ev'ry colour, ev'ry race, all are cover'd by His grace' instead of 'Red and yellow, black, and white, all are precious in His sight.'
  • Some modern versions read 'Native, Asian, African, Caucasian; Jesus died for every persuasion.'
  • Alternate lyrics:

Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Fat and skinny, short and tall,
Jesus loves them one and all,

OR

Jesus died for all the children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in his sight,
Jesus died for all the children of the world.

Praise Him, Praise Him[edit]

Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children,
God is love, God is love;
Praise Him, praise Him, all ye little children,
God is love, God is love.

Three verses following this replace "praise" with "love," "thank," and "serve."[7]

All Things Bright and Beautiful[edit]

The chorus of All Things Bright and Beautiful has been recommended for children ages five and younger.[8]

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Give Me Oil in My Lamp[edit]

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee[edit]

Zacchaeus Was a Wee Little Man[edit]

This Little Light of Mine[edit]

I've Got the Joy Joy Joy Joy[edit]

I Am Jesus' Little Lamb[edit]

The original text in German begins with Weil ich Jesu Schäflein bin (although the article is in German, it discusses multiple English translations).

See also: Henriette Maria Luise von Hayn (article in German)

Children of the Heavenly Father[edit]

(original in Swedish, Tryggare kan ingen vara)

Jesus, remember me / When you come into Your kingdom[edit]

In My Life Lord, Be Glorified[edit]

Lord of All Hopefulness[edit]

My Tribute (To God Be The Glory)[edit]

Seek Ye First[edit]

Jesus Bids Us Shine[edit]

Vi sätter oss i ringen (Swedish)[edit]

Print Sources[edit]

  • Bobb, Barry All God's People Sing. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1992, 316 pp.
  • English Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri and other States. Sunday-School Hymnal. Pittsburgh: American Lutheran Publication Board, 1901, 464 pp.
  • O'Neal, Debbie Trafton Thank you for This Food: Action Prayers, Songs, and Blessings for Mealtime. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994, 32 pp.
  • Johnson, David A. My First Hymnal. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2011, 128 pp.
  • Kirkpatrick, William J. Joy and praise: a Sunday-school song book Cincinnati, Ohio: Fillmore Music House, 1908, 266 pp.
  • Wesleyan Methodist Church The Methodist Sunday-school hymn-book, compiled by direction of the Wesleyan-methodist conference London: Wesleyan-Methodist Sunday-School Union, 1879, 488 pp.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1921 Triglott translation
  2. ^ The Lutheran Hymnal #654
  3. ^ 1921 Triglott translation
  4. ^ O'Neal, page 12
  5. ^ The Power to Comprehend with All the Saints: The Formation and Practice of a Pastor-Theologian, edited by Wallace M. Alston Jr., Cynthia A. Jarvis, page 50, from the chapter entitled "Raising Pastor-Theologians" by Brant S. Copeland
  6. ^ O'Neal, page 21
  7. ^ O'Neal, p. 25
  8. ^ The Power to Comprehend with All the Saints: The Formation and Practice of a Pastor-Theologian, edited by Wallace M. Alston Jr., Cynthia A. Jarvis, page 44, from the chapter entitled "Raising Pastor-Theologians" by Brant S. Copeland