Soothe your child and help her have a good night’s rest with these Simple Bedtime Prayers for Children. A gentle way to end the day on a positive note.
Most of us have grown up in households that emphasized some kind of prayer. We were told that in addition to hard work, blessings were what would help us achieve anything we wanted. And the direct line to get those blessings was through prayer!
Prayer can be anything. It can be joining your palms or opening them. It could be a bent head or closed eyes. It could include an elaborate ritual or many steps. We may pray to express gratitude or to ask for something. Our prayers may be for ourselves or someone else. Whatever it is, prayer is a connection we have with the Divine, and it is often a source of solace in times of stress.
Whatever your religious beliefs, you may be wondering about starting a prayer practice or your child. Prayer has many benefits for children, including scientifically proven ones. Whatever way you choose to pray, these benefits apply. If you’re just starting out on this journey with your child, a good place to start is bedtime prayers. It’s at the end of the day when you don’t have to-dos looming out in front, and when you have the whole days thoughts and feelings to process. Here is why bedtime prayers are beneficial for young children.
10 Benefits of Bedtime Prayers for Kids
1. Praying inculcates Gratitude
Praying is an excellent way for children to say thanks for whatever they have. It can be something as simple as getting an unexpected ice cream that day, but doing it everyday will encourage kids to look for the good parts in any situation and it also helps them appreciate whatever they have.
2. It Helps Reduce Stress
Various studies have shown the stress-relieving effects of prayer – in both adults and kids. Spending a certain amount of time in prayer everyday can help reduce anxiety, promote relaxation and help kids sleep better. It also helps as a coping strategy as kids get older and face bigger stressors in their lives.
3. Praying Helps With Self-Regulation
People who pray regularly have better self control, according to studies. Children who pray every day are better able to control their emotions, less likely to throw tantrums and are generally more disciplined. Prayer helps kids sort out their thoughts and feelings, and helps them get more clarity on their own emotions.
4. Praying Makes One Compassionate
When we pray, we humble ourselves, as we submit to a higher power. For kids, this means that everyone is equal before the Divine, and if we are to expect mercy from there, we need to give it to others as well. Prayers help children be more empathetic about other peoples troubles, making them more compassionate as a results.
5. Praying Makes One More Forgiving
Holding on to grudges is generally because we can’t let go of certain things in our mind and this makes forgiveness difficult. However, children who pray understand the value of forgiveness since they’re often asking for it themselves. Prayer acts as a vent to their emotions and this makes it easier for them to let go of negative emotions.
6. Praying Builds Discipline
When you include a slot for prayer in kids’ bedtime routines, it helps build discipline as they practice it everyday. You can also use it to stack habits, like prayer comes after brushing but before a bedtime story. When kids do this every single day, they are also more likely to keep up the habit as they grow older and maintain it throughout their lives.
7. Praying Sets a Child’s Moral Compass True North
Our world today is a chaotic one, and kids are constantly bombarded with all kinds of messaging from various sources. In the middle of this noise, praying helps them establish certain core values. This gives them a code of morals to live by, and it also helps them when faced with making difficult or confusing decisions. They are likely to feel more accountable for their actions, as they know that everything they do is being watched by a Supreme Power.
8. Bring Parents and Children Closer
Many parents are busy during the day and don’t get to spend quality time with their kids. Bedtime prayers help solve this problem to an extent, by creating a family ritual that everyone can participate in together. It works as a bonding activity, and it also helps kids know that this is their safe space, and they can always come here no matter what.
9. It has Physical Benefits
Besides all these emotional and mental benefits, praying also has physical benefits. Praying has benefits similar to meditation – it can calm the nervous system, reduce anger, lower blood pressure and boost immunity. Studies show that praying to a certain power has greater benefits than general, non-praying meditation.
10. It Connects them to Something Bigger
Prayer is a way for kids to realize their position in this whole wide world, and how everyone in this universe are connected to each other, by being connected to something much bigger than them. Whenever there is a problem they can’t solve, an obstacle they can’t overcome or a decision they can’t make, there is the reassurance that there is Someone out there who can help – one only needs to pray!
1. Thank You, God!
This is an easy prayer to build gratitude for all the thing we tend to take for granted everyday.
“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
If kids get anxious around bedtime, this prayer should help soothe them so they can relax and sleep better.
“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 is a simple rhyme that encompasses all the benefits of prayer in a few lines. The short lines make this easy to learn.
“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. God, We Thank Thee
This prayer is both a way of expressing gratitude for all we have as well as a self reminder to do good and help others.
“God, 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.”
5. Lord in Heaven
This is a very basic prayer asking for guidance, and this can help build self confidence in kids.
“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.”
6. Child’s Evening Prayer
This is a sweet little prayer that focuses on faith, on believing despite not directly seeing or touching God.
“I hear no voice, I feel no touch,
I see no glory bright;
But yet I know that God is near,
In darkness as in light.”
7. God My Friend
This poem is a little longer than others, but it helps put God in the role of a friend and constant companion who will always guide and protect.
“God, my friend, it is time for bed.
Time to rest my sleepy head.
I pray to you before I do.
Please guide me down the path that’s true.
God, my friend, please bless my mother,
All your children–sisters, brothers.
Oh! And then there’s daddy, too–
He says I am his gift from you.
God, my friend, it is time to sleep.
I thank you for a soul unique,
And thank you for another day,
To run and jump and laugh and play!
God, my friend, it is time to go,
But before I do I hope you know,
I am thankful for my blessing, too,
And God, my friend, I love you.”
8. Thank you, God
This prayer shows kids that no matter how bad their day was, they still have a lot to be thankful for, and they should express gratitude for it.
“Dear God, thank you for this day.
Thank you for providing food, a home, and a warm bed.
Thank you for the love people showed me.
Please guide me as I prepare to head to bed and start the day again tomorrow.
Please guide my thoughts and actions. In your name, I pray.”
9. Hurry to Pray
This is great for anxious kids or kids who worry too much. The prayer focuses on taking action rather than worrying about any problem – an important skill everyone needs in their life.
“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.”
10. God is Near
This is a very reassuring prayer, showing kids that they’re never alone. No matter how dire the circumstances may seem, there’s always help at hand. It also acts as a reminder to control their words and actions.
“I hear no voice, I feel no touch,
I see no glory bright;
But yet I know that God is near,
In darkness as in light,
He watches ever by my side,
And hears my whispered prayer,
The Father for His little child,
Both night and day doth care.”
11. All Creatures Great and Small
This cute little prayer is great for very young kids and toddlers, who’ll enjoy the animal sounds and rhyming lines.
“The tiny, yellow chick says, “tweet, tweet, tweet,”
And the black-spotted cow says, “moo.”
The fluffy, brown dog says “woof, woof, woof,”
And the wise, old owl says, “hoo!”
From the very, tall giraffe to the fishies in the sea,
All your creatures great and small,
Thank you, dear God, for each and every animal,
We know you made them all!”
12. Counting My Blessings
This simple rhyme helps kids realize that if they were to count their blessings, they’d have a very long list! This is good for kids who tend to complain a lot about things.
“I count my blessings, God, 1-2-3-4,
Mommy, Daddy, friends and even more!
With my warm, snuggly bed and my cuddly, brown bear,
I might be the luckiest kid anywhere!”
13. Thank you God, for Loving Me!
While we know we have to thank God for all the things we have, we tend to forget that we also need to thank Him for loving us! This rhyme helps kids feel loved and protected, and alleviates any anxiety they may have.
“The sun is setting, dear Father, and it’s time to go to bed.
Thank you, God, for loving me from my toesies to my head.
Tomorrow will be another fun and silly and busy day.
Please keep me safe as I run and jump and giggle and sing and play.”
14. Help Me Feel Safe in the Dark
This is the perfect prayer for children who are scared of the dark or have just moved to a big bed of their own. The prayer reassures them that they needn’t worry, and there is Someone always watching over them.
When the lights go out and Mom and Dad say goodnight,
I sometimes feel worried; it gives me a lil’ fright!
I know I am safe, but the room feels scary,
As I toss and I turn, feeling a lil’ wary.
Help me feel safe, help me to see
That even in the dark you are here with me.
Help me fall asleep and sleep the whole night through
Knowing you’ll always love me, as I love you.”
15. Thank you God!
This is another prayer suitable for young kids. It also helps them appreciate Mother Nature and her many wonders, and realize that everything we see are blessings for us in some for or another.
“Thank you, God, for the sun that helps to grow the big, tall trees.
Thank you, God, for the little, fuzzy, buzzy bumble bees.
Thank you, God, for the rain that grows a peach that’s oh so sweet,
And thank you, God, for all the yummy food we get to eat!”