Night Prayer or Bedtime Prayers
Teaching our kids bedtime prayer is a wonderful tool for leading them into a relationship with Jesus and for initiating a lifestyle of dependence on God. A lot of children have fears of nightmares which can be prevented by always praying to God at night. This also offers the opportunity to draw near to God and get to know Him more as a loving father who protects and comforts.
Bedtime prayer has the potential to instill in children certain values like prayer, trust, and thankfulness.
There are so many Bedtime Prayers out there and they are usually in the form of a poem so that children would be able to memorize them easily. Here are a couple:
Dear Daddy God in heaven
Thank you for this happy dayForgive me too dear AbbaFor bad things done I pray
Go tuck me now in Your embrace
All night watch over meAnd shower sweet dreams’til tomorrow when I will rise again to play!
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
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Ending your day with prayer is a wonderful way to let go of stress and find peace before falling asleep. No matter what you faced today, talking to God through goodnight prayers will renew your faith. Evening prayer also helps you see all the good things that happened in your day that you have to be thankful for!
Share these nine bedtime and evening prayers with your children, spouse and friends so they too can fall asleep feeling blessed and thankful!
- 1 Goodnight Prayer for Blessings
- 2 A Bedtime Prayer to Stop an Anxious Heart
- 3 Giving Thanks Evening Prayer
- 4 A Short Night-time Prayer (2 Timothy 1:7)
- 5 Popular Child’s Bedtime Prayer, 18th Century
- 6 A Beautiful Prayer to End the Day
- 7 Father, We Thank Thee
- 8 Bedtime Prayer (song by Twila Paris)
- 9 The Examen (Evening Reflection)
Goodnight Prayer for Blessings
Bless us with rest tonight, Jesus, and a good night’s sleep. Forgive us for the things we did today that did not honor you. Thank you for loving us so much and that you know us through and through. We need your help every day, and we thank you for the strength you give and for helping us know that with you, even hard things are possible. Bless our family and our home, and keep us safe through the night. May your angels guard us and watch over us, just like you promised.
You’ve told us we are just like sheep. And that you lead us and guard us like a shepherd. You know our names, and you make us feel special and loved. When we hurt, you help us feel better. Thank you, Jesus, for your good care and for giving us to help. Thank you for the Bible, and for teaching us stuff in life that helps us grow. Bless the people in our world, and help them to know you love them, too. Thank you for all the people who help us so much: teachers, doctors, policeman, and fireman—and so many more.
Thank you for your good plan for our lives. Help us to obey you and love you more and more. When we awake in the morning, put a smile on our face and your purpose in our hearts, ready to start a new day. We love you, Jesus. Good night. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen. ~ ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A Bedtime Prayer to Stop an Anxious Heart
Dear Lord, please help me trust You and empower me through Your Spirit to stop my emotions from bossing me around. I want to quit worrying about what might happen and focus on what has already happened by remembering and praising You for Your faithfulness in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. ~ Renee Swoop
Giving Thanks Evening Prayer
Dear God, we thank you tonight for the good day and for the special way you take care of us all the time. Thank you for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.
Thank you for creating us special, exactly the way you wanted. Thank you for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do. Thank you for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best. We pray for all the people who don’t know you, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.
Bless our family and thank you for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles and cousins. Thank you for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat. Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust you and to love you more and more. You are good; you are great; and you are faithful, God. And we love you. Good night. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
A Short Night-time Prayer (2 Timothy 1:7)
For God’s not given me a spirit of fear,
But a spirit of love,
and of power, and a sound mind,
To live each day and glorify his name.
Popular Child’s Bedtime Prayer, 18th Century
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.
Alternative Version for Children:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
Watch and guard me through the night,
and wake me with the morning light.
A Beautiful Prayer to End the Day
Heavenly Father, my day is drawing to an end, and I’m ready to turn in. But before I do, I have to thank you for your faithfulness today. It’s always a good day, even when things may not go the way I plan, or when the world seems in chaos, because you are in control.
For all the times when I was aware of your help today, all the times when your unseen presence seemed so near, thank you, God. But for all the ways you worked behind the scenes, unknown to me, moments when heaven-sent angels moved on my behalf in ways I’ll never know, thank you for those also, Lord.
Forgive me for any foolish actions on my part today or things I did without first asking your blessing or wisdom. Those are moments I’d rather forget, but I’m so grateful for your forgiveness when I ask. I never want to go to bed without clearing the air between us, Lord. Our friendship means too much, and your holiness deserves that. Thank you for loving me just as I am. Your love compels me to give you my all and fills my heart with praise for the relationship we share because of Jesus.
As I close my eyes tonight, I’m praying for loved ones around me, for friends and those who need to know you, Lord. I’m praying that your love, like the billions of stars in the night sky outside, will touch them and help them see who you really are. I pray for our world and those in it. I pray for their needs as well as my own.
Grant me a good night’s sleep tonight, God, so that I can awake refreshed and ready to begin another day loving you. Thank you again for blessings so undeserved and too numerous to count. I love being your child, and I long for the word “faithful” to describe my service to you, each day of every year. When I awake in the morning, may it be with a joyful smile, not a grumpy spirit. May your protection and your presence bathe this place with peace and safety against the enemy. Good night, Lord. In Jesus’s name, Amen. ~ Rebecca Barlow Jordan
Father, We Thank Thee
Father, we thank thee for the night,
And for the pleasant morning light;
For rest and food and loving care,
And all that makes the day so fair.
Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day.
— Rebecca Weston – 1890
Bedtime Prayer (song by Twila Paris)
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray dear Lord that you will keep
Your eyes upon this sleeping world
Every little boy and girl
Bless the children far away
The ones who don’t know how to pray
Those who are not feeling well
The little one the slipped and fell
Bless the puppy down the street
The neighbors I have yet to meet
Bless my mom and dad especially
Just one more thing I’d like to say
Before I close another day
I’d like to thank you Lord for all the ways
That You bless me
Bless the child whose home is torn
The babies who are not yet born
Bless the ones who take your word
To all the hearts that have not heard
Bless all your children everywhere
I hope they know how much you care
Maybe someday I can go
And tell them that You love them so
Bless Grandma and my Grandpa too
And all my friend and all they do
Bless every twig upon my family tree
Just one more thing I’ll say to you
I’m so amazed by all you do
I’ll thank you once again because it’s true
That you bless me
The Examen (Evening Reflection)
Written by St. Ignatius Loyola, the Examen is a daily process for prayerfully reflecting on your day.
1. Remember God’s presence.
Even after a trying day, God will quiet your soul as you remember His presence and intentionally seek to enter into it. Remember He’s with you. Invite Him to make Himself present to you.
2. Respond to Him with thanks.
Giving thanks gives God glory and helps us look on the bright side of a bad day. What small blessings can you thank God for?
3. Reflect on how God showed Himself to you.
God reveals himself through scripture, but we also see glimpses of him in nature, events, and people. Sometimes He shows up loudly through miraculous, divine intervention. Other times He shows Himself quietly through the beauty of a flower or an earnest conversation. As you look back over your day, can you identify moments where you sensed God’s revelation or intervention?
4. Repent of your failings.
I don’t like recognizing my own sin, but repentance is key to continual renewal in our relationship with God.As you reflect on your day, remember specific points where you failed. Bring your shortcomings before God and ask Him to forgive you.
5. Resolve to grow.
God is in the business of changing us, so don’t let your failings discourage or define you. His mercies are always new. Accept His forgiveness. Ask Him for grace to change. Is there anything you need to make right or anyone you need to apologize to? What can you do differently tomorrow?
Do you have a favorite goodnight prayer you use at bedtime? One that your parents taught you or that you are teaching your children? Share it with our community in the comments below!
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
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It’s important that we pray at the end of the day with our children, thanking God for all that we’ve experienced, asking for peaceful rest and a fresh start for tomorrow.
“Some of the best prayers before sleep for children are simple prayers with rhyme and rhythm.”
If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to come up with a great prayer before sleep for your children, but are just too exhausted to find the words, you are not alone. If you are looking for original prayers, it’s not always easy coming up with the right words that are not only creative, but also are unique to your child’s personal experience. Some of the best prayers before sleep for children are simple prayers with rhyme and rhythm. Other times, coming up with our own words, even as you go, can be just as impactful. Here are a few great prayers before sleep for children.
A Child’s Bedtime Prayer
Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray to God my soul to take. If I should live for other days, I pray the Lord to guide my ways. Father, unto thee I pray, thou has guarded me all day; safe I am while in thy sight. Safely let me sleep tonight. Bless my friends, the whole world bless; Help me to learn helpfulness. Keep me ever in thy sight, so to all I say good night. Amen.
If you’re looking for a simple prayer to recite with your younger child, you can turn to A Child’s Bedtime Prayer. It’s very easy to recite and can get your child into the rhythm of saying prayer. Some people may find this one a little too heavy for little children; however, it is probably one of the best-known prayers for children to say at night, particularly the first few sentences. If you are looking for an adaptation that’s a little more toned down, your child can simply say: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; may God guard me through the night and wake me with the morning light. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer is the kind of prayer that kids can learn at a young age. It’s vital that your child doesn’t just learn to recite this prayer but that it’s taught to them in a meaningful way so that the act of prayer goes beyond simple recitation. You should consider the age of the child you’re teaching this prayer to. For younger children, you may encourage them to recite the Lord’s Prayer with you. With older ones, you may want to get them to think a little more about the meaning behind the words and see if they can write their own prayers to God based on one or more of the elements of the Lord’s Prayer.
Good Night, Jesus
Jesus, You are good and wise. I will praise You when I rise. Jesus, hear this prayer I send. Bless my family and my friends. Jesus, help my eyes to see all the good You send to me. Jesus, help my ears to hear calls for help from far and near. Jesus, help my feet to go in the way that You will show. Jesus, help my hands to do all things loving, kind and true. Jesus, guard me through tomorrow in all I do and all I say. Amen.
This is a great prayer for your child to start their day with. There is nothing better than getting your child in a mode where they are acknowledging Jesus first when they begin their day. The great thing about this prayer is it isn’t just focused on the self. It emphasizes love and concern for others. It’s important that we get our children in the routine of not only praying for themselves but also praying for others.
Thank You for the Night
Father, we thank thee for the night, And for the pleasant morning light; For rest and food and loving care, and all that makes the day so fair. Help us to do the things we should, to be to others kind and good; In all we do, in work or play, to grow more loving every day. Amen.
Giving thanks to God is important. Feeling and expressing appreciation is good for us. Like any wise father, God wants us to learn to be thankful for all the gifts He has given us. It is in our best interest that we remind our children that everything we have is a gift from Him and we should acknowledge Him every day for these gifts.
A Child’s Prayer for Protection
I won’t fret and I won’t worry. Instead I’ll hurry to pray. I’ll turn my problems into petitions and lift my hands in praise. I’ll say goodbye to all my fears. His presence sets me free although I may not understand I feel God’s peace in me. Amen.
Just like mealtime prayers, bedtime prayers can be short and sweet and you can say them right before you tuck your child in at night. You can use traditional blessings or make one up and cater it to your child’s life, requests and personal needs. You can also take turns saying one thing each of you is thankful for and one person or thing each of you wants to pray for. Getting your child in an active routine of prayer is crucial to building up their foundation in Christ.