Every night when I was small, one of my parents would come to my bedside and “say my prayers”. I always wanted to say the best night prayer possible. One prayer in particular (below) is the most famous night prayer, said by kids and adults all over the world.
Between the time that I was growing and present day, it seems that speaking of death every night with a child has grown out of fashion, and thus the prayer is not as popular.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take…
Bless Daddy. Bless Mommy. Bless Sister…
A number of other bedtime prayers have become popular, which is likely good. In this article I will share some reasons to pray with your children as they go to bed and offer some powerful prayers at bedtime.
Prayers At Night (Why, Methods, and Traditions)
Paul encourages Christians to pray without ceasing but for some reason the close of day seems to be when most of us do it. Why? Maybe because it’s quiet.
The day is over. It is a good time to reflect on the day and what happened. It’s also a perfect time to think about tomorrow. So praying at bedtime is just a nice thing to do.
Parents find that praying with their children at bedtime is also beneficial for discussing the day, for saying I’m sorry if needed, for encouragement, and just a sweet way to end the day (read my article on how to teach the trinity to children).
When parents pray with their children, they are setting an example and creating a habit (learn the Salvation Prayer for Kids).
God will hear us no matter how we pray, so the prayer position isn’t that important. However, I find that kneeling puts us in the right frame of mind; that is bowing before the Lord with our mind and our body.
I remember walking by my father’s room and seeing him in prayer on his knees next to his bed. For a child that is reassuring. I would always kneel next to my children’s beds when praying with them. It put me close to them and close to God.
By kneeling we put ourselves in a humble position when talking to Him.
Guidance On Night Prayers – Is There a Bible Verse?
I have never seen a Bible verse that specifically says to pray at night but there are a few that speak of prayer. The Psalmist refers a number of times to praying all night and at the night watch.
When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches,
My eyes anticipate the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word.
O Lord, I remember Your name in the night,
And keep Your law.
Night time is the time we wind down, think about the day and have a quiet moment before sleeping. Distractions are gone, or should be, and it’s just you and God. In Scripture, evening prayers seem to be as popular as they are today.
Night Prayer Points – Long or Short, Scripted or Original
There is no right or wrong way to pray but if you are speaking with a child it doesn’t hurt to think of the time as an opportunity to guide them into good practice. Jesus gave us the perfect outline for praying when he taught the Lord’s Prayer (teach a child to pray using the 5 Finger Prayer Method).
Beginning first with adoration of the Father.
- Our Father who art in heaven holy be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done here as it is in heaven.
This would be the moment to honor Him as the Creator, for his goodness and all the blessings of the day, acknowledging his presence and guidance in everything we experience.
- Give us this day our daily bread.
Thank Him for what we have and ask Him to provide for our needs.
- Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Discuss what we may have done wrong during the day and then ask forgiveness and ask for help in forgiving those who may have hurt us.
- Lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil
Help us to make good choices and do what you want us to do and keep us away from evil things and people.
- For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.
End the prayer by acknowledging his power and glory, asking that his will be done.
Another point to remember is that children respond well to poetry so selecting a nice evening prayer/poem when they are very young is a good way to start the habit of night prayers. I’m sure many of you remember the children’s poems you grew up with. Prayers, like poems, can leave a lasting memory as well.
10 Best Night Prayer Examples For All Ages
1. Night Prayer – General
Heavenly Father, You are to be praised above all. You are my creator and sustainer and I bless you for it. As I pray tonight help me remember that you have ordered my days. You protect and defend me.
Thank You for providing all I need and then blessing me with many of my wants. You fill my life with blessings running over.
I may have offended/hurt/been selfish toward someone today. Please forgive me and give me the bravery to go to them to ask forgiveness. Thank you for forgiving me when I have sinned.
Lord, I see temptation all around me. Please give me the wisdom to steer clear of things I know that I shouldn’t do. Help me to find friends that encourage me in the right direction. I know that
Satan is eager to keep me from you. Help me recognize his methods and walk away from his lies.
You are all powerful God, you know the end from the beginning and I ask that you’re will be done in my life.
In Jesus name I pray… Amen
2. Night Prayer for Kids
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. Amen.
Father, We Thank Thee
By Rebecca Weston (1890)
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.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
Also known as “Black Paternoster,” this nursery rhyme dates back to medieval times. It was published by an Anglican priest, Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), in 1891 as part of a collection of folk songs titled “Songs of the West.”
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Four corners to my bed,
Four angels round my head;
One to watch and one to pray,
And two to bear my soul away.
3. Night Prayer for Adults
Dear Heavenly Father, You are to be honored above all. You are the Creator of heaven and earth. Thank you for all that you provide for me. You know everything that happened today.
You know my strengths and my weaknesses. Please give me strength to do my job and honor my responsibilities in a way that pleases you. I want to be the person you want me to be.
As I go to sleep tonight, give me your peace and then to be strong tomorrow to do my best.
I am struggling with certain temptations that I know are sinful. You understand what I am going through. I know that I need to be in the Word more. Keep the temptations from me and give me strength.
4. Night Prayer for Help (Request) …how to ask for help
God, you are all powerful. You are wise and act above all that we can ask or imagine. I come to you humbly tonight in deepest need.
Thank you for all you have done for me and still do everyday. I am asking you tonight for help because I have exhausted all human possibilities.
I know I should have come to you first but as usual I tried to take care of things myself. Now I am lost and have no idea what comes next. Please be gracious to me and help.
I am sorry for not seeking you first. Forgive me. I know you already know the end of this and I should not worry but allow your will to be done.
So please take this defeated attitude I have and give me peace that passes all understanding. I want to lean on you and trust you.
Thank you for hearing my prayer.
Your will be done.
5. Night Prayer (Lord’s Prayer from “The Message” by Peterson)
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.
6. Night Prayer Hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer” (Author Unknown)
Sweet hour of prayer, Sweet hour of prayer,
Thy wings shall my petition bear To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless; And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His word, and trust His grace, I’ll cast on Him my ev’ry care.
And wait for Thee, sweet hour of prayer.
Sweet hour of prayer, Sweet hour of prayer,
May I Thy consolation share, ‘Til from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight. This robe of flesh I’ll drop and rise
To seize the everlasting prize, And shout while passing through the air,
Farewell, farewell sweet hour of prayer.
7. Night Prayer for Couples
We honor you above all. You know our steps. You have made us one.
You have provided for us and you know what we still need. We ask for your blessings on us and our home. Give us wisdom to know our wants from our needs. Thank you for blessing us with so many extras.
Forgive us when we hurt each other and remind us to not let the sun go down on our anger. Keep pride away so that we always apologize when we need to.
Lord, you know the temptations that we have as a married couple. Help us to stay true to our promise to each other and to you. Keep us from situations that aren’t healthy and to actively seek to improve our relationship all the time.
Your will be done in our lives because yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen
8. Night Prayer for Families
We come to you as a family. You are Holy God. You are the one who created us and placed our lives together. You knew each of us before we were born and knew that we were born in sin. Thank you for blessing our family in every way and forgiving us to make us your own.
You give us our daily bread and more. Much more. You know what we need before we know ourselves. Thank you for all we have.
As we go to bed tonight, we want to ask forgiveness for any wrong we’ve done today. Also help us to be gracious and forgiving to those who may have wronged us.
As a family we know of our faults and of those things which tempt us. Be with us as we make choices each day and let each of us help and encourage the other.
Let your kingdom rule in our home and the power to do right for your glory forever and ever.
In Jesus name
9. Night Prayer Using Scripture
When using God’s own words, a night prayer can be powerful. Some of the best scriptural prayers are in Psalms. This is one that I really enjoy.
Lord, teach me the way of your statutes,
And I will keep them to the end.
Grant me insight that I may keep your law,
And observe it wholeheartedly.
Guide me in the path of your commands,
For in them is my delight.
Bend my heart to your decrees,
And not to wrongful gain.
Turn my eyes from gazing on vanities;
In your way, give me life.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
That you may be revered.
Turn away the taunts I dread,
For your decrees are good.
See, I long for your precepts;
Give me life by your righteousness.
10. Night Prayer To Thank God
Occasionally it’s good to simply give thanks. He blesses us so much we absolutely cannot give God enough praise and thanks.
As you lay in bed or kneel beside it, just think of everything that went right during the day and thank God for it. Thank him for good relationships, friends, home, food, laughter, love, nature….
I am sure the list would be endless.
Ending the day with a grateful heart has to be the best prayer ever.
Is There A Right Or Wrong Way To Pray
No! Prayer is a conversation with God. That’s it. Some of us need a bit of guidance getting started but in the end He just asks for our time and attention.
Although he is the Creator God, Jesus made it clear God desires our hearts. The best way to show your love is to give time and attention.
We do that through prayer and the reading of God’s word.
This article has been about praying at night and showing different types of prayers you might find yourself using. Praying at bedtime is probably the most common time to pray for most people.
It is quiet, dark and peaceful.
It’s a good time to focus on the day with no distractions.
It’s not the only time to pray of course but it is a good time. It is especially good for parents and children together.
So if you don’t already, you might think about making a habit of bedtime prayers. Praying by using God’s own words in the Bible is also a wonderful way to draw closer to Him.
Whatever you plan to do, enjoy your time in prayer.