Children’s Bedtime Prayers are important during their upbringing, from the cradle to early adolescents. There are important psychological benefits when a child is able to recite a version of bedtime prayers. Not only does it offer peace and comfort, but children’s bedtime prayers gives a child night time routine. Whilst there are psychological benefits, God’s Word also instructs us to ‘train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6). Teaching children bedtime prayers, is a good way to lead them on the right path, resulting in developing a relationship with God.
This article aims to raise the importance of teaching children to pray from childhood as well as the benefits of praying regularly together within a family unit.
The Importance of Teaching Children to Pray
- Teaching children to pray, helps to counteract and provide stability in an ever increasing dark and social-dysfunctional world.
- Bedtime prayers can help children to offset the negative emotions and feelings experienced through the day.
- Children’s bedtime prayers, also help us to pause, rather than just rushing throughout the day without a point of reflection.
- Praying will enable a child to give thanks for their blessings, families, friends and God’s love.
Children seek good role models in their parents, teachers and other influential adults. For example, children who experience a loving home, will therefore demonstrate love. Equally a child who is influenced by supportive teachers, will equally aim to support others.
In comparison, some children are influenced by negative peer pressures, social media as well as TV and movies that have the most deleterious effects on child behaviour.
Teaching children to pray, helps to counteract and provide stability in an ever increasing dark and social-dysfunctional world. Therefore, it is God’s desire and joy that children walk in truth (3 John 1:4). Truth comes through communicating and praying to God. It is therefore the responsibility of parents and guardians to teach ‘Children’s Bedtime Prayers’
Dear Lord, as the dark night is here
Please will You keep me all so near
May You guard me during the night
Hold me close and keep me tight
When I wake in the morning light
May angels encamp around me so bright
Shield and protect me whilst I sleep
Goodnight my Lord, until the morning we meet
(Clarke, C, 2018)
Bedtime prayers can help children to offset the negative emotions and feelings experienced through the day. These emotions may have derived from within a school environment. Therefore, children who are able to pray as part of their bedtime routine enables them to be less vulnerable to the negative emotions such as anger, depression, stress, sadness and anxiety.
Children’s bedtime prayers help because God’s word reminds us that we need not “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8). Subsequently, it is important to teach children how to pray from the early stages of their lives as it brings peace to their hearts and minds.
Children’s bedtime prayers, also help us to pause, rather than just rushing throughout the day without a point of reflection. Therefore, praying will enable a child to give thanks for their blessings, families, friends and God’s love. Children’s bedtime prayers will help to relax as well as boosting self-confidence through Jesus Christ; “in the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence…” (Proverbs 14:26).
Children’s Bedtime Prayers for Families
Dear Jesus, I thank you for this special family. Please keep us united together in love and bind us together with chords that cannot be broken. We ask that you guide and protect us each and every day. Please lead us by Your Holy Spirit today and always. God, we know that you are with us, so do not let the enemy overpower us. We love You Father, because You first loved us. So, we thank you for your blessings and protection in Jesus Name, Amen. (Clarke, C. 2018)
The importance of praying within a family unit
God’s desire and priority is to preserve family relationships. This is because the purpose of our Father is for families to accomplish His purpose and will for our lives. Family prayers are important because if they are not taken seriously and done regularly, communication with God can become omitted.
It is Satan’s plan to disrupt the functioning of Godly family relationships and as such he utilises busyness and work commitments to stop parents praying with their children. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10). Therefore, regular family prayer brings stability, love as well as strong spiritual foundations within the home.
Parents who engage in children’s bedtime prayers teach their children the most important foundation which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Families who pray together, help to build and develop a relationship of trust. This is because as children and parents join in bedtime prayers, unity, trust and close relationships are cultivated. Equally, it develops a closer relationship with our heavenly Father; “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
Praying regularly as a family reminds us that God protects and rescues His children from fear and doubt. In turn He grants us “peace that surpasses all understanding and He guards our hearts and minds” (Philippians 4:7). Families who pray regularly with their children, allows them to voice their opinions to both their earthly parents as well as their heavenly Father.