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
Thank you! What a beautiful idea <3
I prayed this over myself tonight…as I have been dealing with fear
Oh, THANK YOU for this!!!!! Your post has come to my attention at such perfect timing for me and my four yr old son, who is struggling with fears at bedtime. This is so very helpful and I’m thanking God for bringing your post to me today!
Thank you! We pray before bed but I haven’t prayed like this. Will be trying tonight!
My seven year old has been having trouble sleeping lately. He always says he’s scared but he doesn’t know what about. Probably has anxiety like in do. I have prayed over him but thought I’d like a bedtime scripture prayer. Thank you for sharing.
I love this and will be incorporating it in our nightly Bible and prayer time. We have been having nightly prayer time with my oldest daughter (4 year old) because she says that she has bad dreams. We also pray about other things with her but bad dreams seem to weigh heavier in her mind at night than anything else. We have her say a prayer and then we say a prayer as well. We have been using it as a way to teach her about prayer and about trusting in The Lord. She tells me some mornings that she had a bad dream and that she prayed on her own without waking mommy and daddy because God would take care of it. I love seeing her grow in Christ and learn how much He truly loves her and her sisters.
Thank you so much Erika for sharing these scripture-based prayers. I have used them tonight over myself as I have been having trouble sleeping for the last month. It is so hard to trust God when you’re afraid and when you let your worries get to you, but I admit that these prayers touched my heart and warmed and me and it is the first safe feeling i’ve felt all month. Thank you again for sharing. I’ll be bookmarking this post for future reference! xo.
Thank you Erika for the prayers…. I will start doing for my family. I did my prayer last night and ask God to help my 7 year old with the process of grieving and to give me the strength to tell her…. Her grandma passed away yesterday and I don’t have the words or heart to tell my child because they were super close!!! I’m glad I came across your prayer because we don’t have no one where we are. Thank you!!!
Timely info! I feel like I just scarred my daughter for life watching Jesus’ crucifixion on “The Bible” series version which is the actual depiction with much more violence than she realized. She was terrified. She was afraid to sleep and we prayed and talked about what we saw. These scriptures will help us move forward. Thank you for sharing.
Since I was little until he died, my father (and grandmother if she was staying with us) would give me a blessing every night. Also before big trips or sleepovers. It was the one constant and gave me a feeling of… Favor is the best word I can use. Like it was ok to go to sleep or go out and do what was planned.
My Son has night terrors. They aren’t as frequent as they used to be, but he just had one tonight and I found this while searching for Bible verses to pray over him. These nightmares are so awful because he can’t wake up. His eyes are open but there’s just nobody home. He cries and cries and sometimes screams out. It’s horrendous. I am printing this out now and we will talk about these verses over Bible devotional during homeschool tomorrow. Thank you!
I love this. We’ve been dealing with some bedtime battles. I’m not sure if it’s fear or trying to sneak out of bed as a game. But either way, these tips are awesome! I’m saving this post.
My 5 year old and I pray every night together, he even reminds me on those busy nights but it’s usually something as Now I lay me. He has been having trouble settling to go to sleep and I can’t seem to figure out why. I am so glad I found your post, we will be trying these. Thank you
Thank you you have help my daughter so much :-).
Thank you for this. Fear at night, of the dark, of being alone is a daily battle of mine. It consumes me at times. This daily prayer of scripture has opened up my eyes to try something new! Thank you xx
Thank you for this gentle and encouraging reminder! ~Laura Jane, http://www.howtobless.com
Thank you I will try them, it hurts my heart when he tells me he can’t even speak of his nightmares, but I will keep you posted☺
Hello. Thank you for this prayer. In the past few days my 1yr old was waking up in the middle of the night crying and very restless. We prayed for him these prayers and used some holy water on him. He slept through the whole night.
Love this so much! I read this to my boys at night. It calms their heart and fears and brings a peace over their room. Thanks
My 6 year old daughter has been waking up so fearful of the dark and so scared to be in her room. I remember being her age and I was terrified of the dark as well. I remember my mom writing scriptures down for me to help me for when I woke up scared. One that always stuck with me was “Lord you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind. I pray these prayers over my 6 and 2 year old daughter and I pray these comfort their little hearts. Thank you <3
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