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A Bedtime Prayer for Grown-Ups: How to Offer Up Your Unfinished To-Do List

When I was a child, I learned and often prayed the well-known bedtime rhyme:  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 some great theological insights packed into this little rhyme, including a gentle memento mori — a reminder that one day we will die, and we should orient our lives to be ready to meet God. Despite the prayer’s gentleness, I felt the need to add another, hopeful couplet for some focus that I felt was missing: “If I should live another day, I pray the Lord to guide my way.” Now I pray this with my children sometimes, but it’s not our only bedtime prayer — and it’s not the one I turn to when I’m ready to lay my head on my own pillow.  I love to speak with God candidly and spontaneously throughout my day, including when I pour my heart out to him in the calm of night. But sometimes a prayer from memory can provide the spark you need when your own words feel inadequate. When I

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