Saying bedtime prayers every night can help a child develop a habit of praying regularly and to self-reflect on his/her thoughts, behaviour, and actions of the day. Teaching bedtime prayers to your child can be extremely beneficial. Read this article to find out how bedtime prayers can benefit your child, as well as 10 popular bedtime prayers that you can teach your dear child.
Benefits of Bedtime Prayers
Bedtime prayers are very beneficial for children. Some of the benefits include:
1. Saying Bedtime Prayers Helps Reduce Stress
Studies have shown that spending some time each night on self-reflection and prayer reduces stress levels in both adults and children. Praying increases feelings of calmness and wellness, thus, reducing the ill-effects of stress. Prayers can also nullify the negative effects of stress, on physical health.
2. Praying Helps With Self-control
Research has found that people who pray regularly have better discipline and self-control than people who do not pray. Studies have also shown that children who pray regularly are less prone to throwing tantrums and are more disciplined.
3. Praying Makes One Compassionate
Praying makes people more kind and compassionate. This is a value you definitely want to inculcate in your child. Studies have shown that regular prayer can reduce aggressive behaviour and prevent angry outbursts in adults and children. Praying for the needs of other people makes children more empathetic and sensitive to the feelings of people around them. Overall, praying makes kids nicer.
4. Praying Helps Develop Trust
Praying with your child strengthens the bond of trust and unity between you and your child. Praying with family members can help your child get closer to them.
5. Praying Makes One More Forgiving
Adults and children who pray regularly are found to be more willing to forgive others and are less inclined to hold grudges.
6. Praying Strengthens Faith in God
The best way for parents to inculcate and maintain their child’s faith in God is by having them pray before bedtime. Even if kids are unable to visit places of worship, due to school and homework, they still maintain a connection to God. Having a specific prayer time builds a habit that is likely to continue into adulthood as well.
7. Praying Builds Discipline
Praying every day builds discipline in kids, especially as their faith begins to grow each day. Maintaining a routine each day helps keep kids disciplined. Praying can have a great effect on children, especially if parents are having a hard time disciplining them.
8. Praying Sets a Child’s Moral Compass True North
A person’s moral compass is the internalised set of moral values and ethics he/she lives by. This is typically set during childhood, based on the beliefs inculcated in children and the experiences they have had. Praying sets a child’s moral compass north, which means their moral values are in the right place.
Simple Night Time Prayers for Kids
Here are some simple bedtime prayers for toddlers and young children:
1. Thank You, God!
This prayer is in the form of a rhyme and can be remembered by children easily. It is also simple and can be understood without difficulty. This prayer is about thanking God for all the good things he has provided. It goes as follows:
“Thank you God for the world so sweet,
Thank you God for the food we eat,
Thank you, God for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything!”
2. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
This is a very popular prayer that has several variations. Here are 2 versions of this prayer:
“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should live for other days,
I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
Lord, unto thee I pray, thou hast guarded me all day;
safe I am while in thy sight.
Safely let me sleep tonight.
Bless my friends; the whole world blesses;
Help me to learn helpfulness.
Keep me ever in thy sight,
so to all, I say good night.”
“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.”
3. Hi, It’s Me!
This beautiful rhyme is a child’s bedtime prayer and can be easily understood even by toddlers.
“Hi, it’s me, just come to pray
And thank you for a fun-filled day!
You’ve been with me, so I know you’ve seen
All the great exciting things.
But also when I’m sad or cross
I know you love me, no matter what!
So help me rest and go to sleep
And feel the peace of your love for me.”
4. Dear God
This is a prayer for young children of school-going age and for a child who has had a bad day or is feeling sad or troubled.
I’ve felt a bit sad today.
Sometimes people say things that upset me.
Sometimes I feel lonely at school.
Sometimes I feel misunderstood by my mum and dad.
Sometimes my feelings are all mixed up inside.
Please make me feel better.
Please make me sleep with good dreams.
Please make a happier day tomorrow.”
5. Father, We Thank Thee
Children should say this bedtime prayer to show gratitude to God for showering his blessings on them. This prayer is ideal for making your child understand that it is important to be thankful for the good things in life, and to be kind and loving.
“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.”
6. Angels Bless
This prayer asks angels to watch over your child.
“Angels bless, and angels keep
Angels guard me while I sleep
Bless my heart and bless my home
Bless my spirit as I roam
Guide and guard me through the night
and wake me with the morning’s light.”
7. Lord in Heaven
This prayer asks for God’s care and guidance. It also asks God to bless all the people who love you.
“Lord in heaven, hear my prayer,
Keep me in your loving care.
Be my guide in all I do.
Bless all those who love me, too.”
8. When I See the Moon
This is an ancient prayer that praises God for his kindness.
“When I see the moon in the night sky,
I speak my evening prayer;
Praise be to the being of life,
For his kindness and his goodness.”
9. Lord Be Beside Us
This prayer asks God to guide and protect the whole family.
“Lord be beside us, all every day
Guiding and leading us gently always.
Lord be above us, help us to see
The hope of the future, of all we could be.
Lord be beneath us, carry us when
We’re too shattered or tired to really have strength.
Lord be ahead of us, smoothing our paths
Protecting and blessing the places we pass.
Lord be behind us, healing our wounds,
Forgiving our mistakes and making us new.
Lord, be within us, this family is yours
Now and forever, you are our Lord.”
10. God, Grant Me the Serenity
This prayer is for slightly older children and asks God for serenity, wisdom, and courage.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.”
Making your child say a bedtime prayer every night will give you a chance to bond with him/her. You can also talk to your child about the things that might be troubling him/her and give a solution to his problem. After the prayer session, teach your child values like kindness and truthfulness. A bedtime prayer habit will also help your child calm down and sleep restfully. So, teach these bedtime prayers to your little one, and raise a happy child.
Also Read: Interesting Bedtime Stories for Children