Image from http://pathways.aish.com/pathways/graph … eh-ani.gif
The first prayer of each and every day is a statement of gratitude. Thank G-d I am still alive. It is a little bit an answer to “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the L-rd my soul to keep…”
The blessing is so simple, and in fact written quite eloquently, without the mention of G-d’s name. Why? So that you can recite as soon as you open your eyes before you do even get out of bed.
When I pick up my son from his crib, as he gazes up at me with his beautiful bright eyes, I sing to him, Modeh Ani. I am grateful, not only for my soul, but also for his. I am grateful that G-d has granted me another day of parenting, of trying to figure it out.
I could have had a rough night, my son could have woken up every hour, but in the light of the new day, I still sing to him Modeh Ani.