Bedtime is often a time when worries or fear show up in our children. In our family, discussions about the concerns of my kids’ hearts or anything that is making them feel anxious seem to surface in the quietness of bedtime. We have also walked through seasons of intense bad dreams and restless nights, and as a result, part of our bedtime routine now is to read and meditate on (or think about) Scripture as a family.
When I was a child battling fear and homesickness, God used His Word as a very real source of comfort and a reminder of His nearness and of His faithfulness. As I renewed my mind through the Word of God and trusted in His promises, fear dissipated and I was able to sleep peacefully.
Depending on Jesus through meditating on His Word is the only way I made it through some nights as a child and many nights as an adult. I learned the habit as a young child, and it is now something I am trying to teach my kids.
In addition to reading Scripture together at night, we have also begun to speak a bedtime blessing over our kids before they fall asleep. We see the example of blessing our children in Scripture and know there is power in blessing our kids.
By definition, a blessing is a prayer asking for God’s favor and protection, and to bless is to confer or invoke divine favor upon; to ask God to look favorably on.
“A bedtime blessing is a way to intentionally guide our children toward peaceful, Christ-centered thoughts” (Catherine Wilson, “Goodnight blessings: Making the most of bedtime discussions“).
I am a firm believer in praying Scripture and believe that a blessing based on Scripture is the most powerful of all.
The following 5 blessings, are bedtime blessings based on Scripture that we pray in our home, especially when one of us is feeling worried or afraid.
- Thank you, God, that You are our refuge and our strength a very present help in any type of trouble. May _______ be still and know that You are God, may _______ lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make ___ dwell in safety. (Psalm 46: 1, 10, Psalm 4:8)
- _______, may you go to sleep tonight thinking about things that are true and honorable and lovely and worthy of praise. And as you keep your mind fixed on God and trust Him, may you be kept in perfect peace, knowing the peace that Jesus gives so that your heart will not be troubled and you will not be afraid. (Isaiah 26:3, John 14:27, Philippians 4:8)
- _______, may you rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoice! Because the Lord is near, may you not be worried about anything but in everything, seek God with thanksgiving. As you sleep, may the peace of God, which goes far beyond all understanding, guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7)
- _______, may you seek the Lord who answers you and delivers you from all your fears. May your face be radiant and never ashamed as you look to Jesus and may the Lord hear you and save you from all of your worries. (Psalm 34:4-6)
- _______, may the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)
If you’ve never prayed a blessing over your kids, try one of these! I’d love to hear how it goes for you.
Because so many of you asked, I’ve made these available for you to print and have ready whenever you need them. CLICK HERE to grab a printable copy of these bedtime blessings!
Praying you find power in God’s Truth for your family,
Erika // erikadawson.com