Sunday, February 4, 2007

The "Bad Dream Prayer" Works

If your kids are having scary dreams—or if you are suffering from nightmares yourself—this prayer really works. It's from Compline, and you can look up the Latin which is "Te Lucis Ante Terminum" The authorship is credited to Saint Ambrose, but there are disputes regarding whether or not he penned the chant.

Our two oldest kids were having at least one bad dream a night between them for a couple weeks. We started saying this prayer before bedtime and the bad dreams were drastically reduced—only one in about 8 days! The poetic English translation is very good and my 4-year-old can almost say it by memory. A Catholic Priest told my friend about this prayer a long time ago.

To Thee, before the close of day
Creator of the world, we pray
That with Thy wonted favor, Thou
Wouldst be our Guard and Keeper now.

From all ill dreams defend our eyes,
From nightly fears and fantasies:
Tread under foot our ghostly foe,
That no pollution we may know.

O Father, that we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ Thine only Son,
Who, with the Holy Ghost and Thee,
Shall live and reign eternally.

Thanks for reading my blog. For current commentary and what-not, visit the Est Quod Est homepage


  1. well this is such a significant post... i never knew of this prayer... it seems really helpful for the kids.... thanks for sharing it here...u can drop by My Inspirational Blog sometimes as well..... hope u will find it interesting...!!!

  2. Via sitemeter, I've noticed that this post gets a lot of hits from people looking for prayers for protection against bad dreams. Please feel free to comment on the effectiveness.

    My 4-year-old has this prayer memorized. The results have been nothing short of miraculous for our family. I hope folks finding this post will add any stories they might have about this prayer in the comments. Thanks!

  3. It continues to astound me how many people google "bad dream prayer", "prayer for bad dream", etc. I really would like to see some comments from folks who say the prayer.

    The last time I took my wife out, my 5-year old insisted that the baby-sitter repeat after him as he recited this prayer.

    These poetic prayers are among my favorite. I know a very learned priest with 4 or 5 degrees who told me he prays the Angel of God prayer every morning and night -- so do I! It's another one which is consoling to children having bad dreams.

  4. Well, I googled prayers for bad dreams and this site came up. My 9.5yo dd has bad dreams periodically, and keeps wanting to sleep with us. She prays before she goes to sleep, but is still having dreams. So I googled, and this is what came up. I taught it to her tonight, explained the significance. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks, Renai. I'm proud that this page on my site is the top hit for "bad dream prayer". The second hit is a Jewish prayer which is very good also.

    Bad dreams are not a small matter to kids and although prayers aren't "magic", this one has really seemed to have helped. We have 4 kids and one on the way and we recite this every night.

  6. Thank you for this prayer. I prey that this works for my girlfreind. Who is having nightly bad dreams.

  7. Thanks, Rich, and may God bless you and your girlfriend.

  8. This prayer really does work!! I've had bad dreams all my life and the most recent one I had was so scary I thought I was gonba due in it so I googled prayers for bad dreams and came across this one, I prayed it and didn't have another bad dream, so I've been praying it ever since and it hekps which is good for me because now I get to have a decent night of sleep which I desperately needed!! Thank you so much for putting this up!! God bless and sweet peaceful dreams!!

  9. This prayer really does work!! I've been having nightmares everday since I wad young and this recent one was so scary and realistic that I thought that I was gonna die in my sleep!! So I googled prayers for bad dreans and came upon this one, prayed it that night and didn't have a bad dream! So I've been praying it and now I finally gave decent nights of slerp which I desperately needed!! So thank you so much for putting this up!! God bless and may you have sweet and peaceful dreams!!

  10. I am 3 months pregnant with my second child and I just moved in with my mother and step father and they are both Christian and we pray every night at dinner they go to church 2 or 3 times a week and we have Gods prayers posted everywhere in the household, inside and out have been living here for 1 month and not once did I have a bad dream until tonight. I woke up and came to the livingroom and fell asleep on the couch after I asked for The Lords protection I had the exact same nightmare as if it was truly out to get me! I found myself sweating when I woke and truly scared..... that's when I started searching for protection prayers and read every single one I could fine. Then I searched prayers against bad dreams and found this I have said this prayer twice already and I am still truly scared to go back to sleep so I will repeat this prayer over and over again until I am comfortable enough to close my eyes again thank you for this prayer in the time of my need, my God protect me from harms way Amen

    1. I hope everything is going well for you now, God Bless!

    2. This prayer really works. God is so great. He really defends us from our enemy at night time.

  11. This prayer is amazing and really good!! God bless you for sharing:)

  12. Wow, thank though so much for this. Since saying every night over my 2.5 year old, he no longer wakes up at night crying. We have co slept since his birth as well, do he sleeps right next to me. I had issues with a dark faceless figure that came to my room as a child, and I therefore recognize that my son being a sensitive child, could possibly be affected by bad energies at night as well. Th is prayer is not only piece of mind fit his well being, but also a testament that it works. If you say it with conviction...truly believe it, no negative energies can penetrate what creates essentially a protective bubble of God light.

  13. I've shared this prayer with people I meet everywhere. Often at the playground. It works for my son and myself. I typically have bad dreams. This prayer really prevents them. It's as if reciting the prayer just puts dreams devoid of nightmares into being. Thank you for sharing. Love to all.