When our nation was founded, selections from the King James Bible provided the text from which many students learned to read. Recognizing God, understanding sin, and reciting prayers were an important part of public education.
For the next 150 years, school children prayed:
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, I pray thee, Lord, my soul to take.
When I was two years old, a plaque with these words hung on my bedroom wall. I couldn’t yet read, but I knew what the words said. That’s because I repeated them each night with my mother before I crawled under the covers to go to sleep.
In this simple prayer, I daily acknowledged God’s presence, expressed my commitment to him, and found comfort in his protection. No doubt, this is one important reason why God has always been the most important person in my life and I’ve never had a reason to fear death.
Do parents pray these words with their young children today? I’m guessing the number is much less than it used to be. Why?
Maybe they haven’t heard the words of Jesus, saying, “Allow the little ones to come to me” (Luke 18:16).

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