MODEH ANI (Heb. מוֹדֶה אֲנִי; "I give thanks"), initial words of a prayer said immediately upon waking in the morning. The short prayer ("I give thanks unto Thee, O living and eternal King, who hast restored my soul unto me in mercy; great is Thy faithfulness") does not mention any of the Divine Names and may therefore be said while still in bed and before performing the prescribed morning ablutions; hence it was preferred to the traditional Elohai Neshamah prayer (which was transferred to the morning benedictions).
Modeh Ani, possibly a shortened version of the Elohai Neshamah prayer (Ber. 60b), is of late origin and seems to have been composed about the 17th century; it was printed for the first time in the addenda to the prayer book Seder ha-Yom (1695). Because of its shortness and simplicity it became a favorite morning prayer for very small children before they are capable of reciting the ordinary daily morning service.
Hertz, Prayer, 1116ff.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.