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
Here are 10 popular bedtime prayers to teach your children. Don’t use these prayers just to give your children something to say before going to bed. Help your children learn what these prayers mean and why we pray. Obviously, we can pray any time of the day, but having a set time where we teach our children to pray may help instill in them a lifetime habit of talking with the Lord.
I have attributed some of these prayers to their authors. If you know who the original author of the other prayers are, please include their names in the comments below. Or, if you know which book they originally appeared in, leave us a comment.
Don’t use these prayers just to give your children something to say before going to bed. Help your children learn what these prayers mean and why we pray.
Table of contents
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Some people may find this prayer a little too heavy for little children, however it is probably one of the best-known prayers that children say at night.
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.
Now the Light has Gone Away
Now the light has gone away;
Savior, listen while I pray. Asking Thee to watch and keep And to send me quiet sleep.
Jesus, Savior, wash away
All that has been wrong to-day; Help me every day to be Good and gentle, more like Thee.
Let my near and dear ones be
Always near and dear to Thee. O bring me and all I love To Thy happy home above.
The Day is Done
The day is done;
O God the Son, Look down upon Thy little one!
O Light of Light,
Keep me this night, And shed round me Thy presence bright.
I need not fear
If Thou art near; Thou art my Savior Kind and dear.
Forgive, O Lord
Forgive, O Lord, for Thy dear Son
The ill that I this day have done. That with the world, myself, and Thee I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
Jesus, Tender Shepherd
Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me:
Bless Thy little child to-night; Through the darkness be Thou near me, Keep me safe till morning light.
All this day Thy hand has led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care; Thou hast warmed me, clothed me, fed me; Listen to my evening prayer.
May my sins be all forgiven;
Bless the friends I love so well; Take me, Lord, at last to heaven. Happy there with Thee to dwell.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven
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 And lead us not into temptation But deliver us from evil.
Lord, I have Passed Another Day
Lord, I have passed another day
And come to thank Thee for Thy care. Forgive my faults in work or play And listen to my evening prayer. Thy favor gives me daily bread And friends, who all my wants supply: And safely now I rest my head, Preserved and guarded by Thine eye.
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
Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes; I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray; Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.
James Murry and John T. McFarland 1887
Abide With Me
Abide With Me is a song that was not written as a bedtime prayer, rather, as a farewell to this world. Henry F. Lyte was dying with tuberculosis in 1847. These beautiful words can be taught as a prayer full of great Bible teaching.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord, Familiar, condescending, patient, free. Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings, Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea, Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile, Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee, On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be? Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte 1847
Do you have a favorite Bedtime prayer? Share it in the comments!
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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.