Here are 10 popular bedtime prayers to teach your children. Don’t use these prayers just to give your children something to say before going to bed. Help your children learn what these prayers mean and why we pray. Obviously, we can pray any time of the day, but having a set time where we teach our children to pray may help instill in them a lifetime habit of talking with the Lord.
I have attributed some of these prayers to their authors. If you know who the original author of the other prayers are, please include their names in the comments below. Or, if you know which book they originally appeared in, leave us a comment.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Some people may find this prayer a little too heavy for little children, however it is probably one of the best-known prayers that children say at night.
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.
Now the Light has Gone Away
Now the light has gone away;
Savior, listen while I pray.
Asking Thee to watch and keep
And to send me quiet sleep.
Jesus, Savior, wash away
All that has been wrong to-day;
Help me every day to be
Good and gentle, more like Thee.
Let my near and dear ones be
Always near and dear to Thee.
O bring me and all I love
To Thy happy home above.
The Day is Done
The day is done;
O God the Son,
Look down upon
Thy little one!
O Light of Light,
Keep me this night,
And shed round me
Thy presence bright.
I need not fear
If Thou art near;
Thou art my Savior
Kind and dear.
Forgive, O Lord
Forgive, O Lord, for Thy dear Son
The ill that I this day have done.
That with the world, myself, and Thee
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.
Jesus, Tender Shepherd
Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me:
Bless Thy little child to-night;
Through the darkness be Thou near me,
Keep me safe till morning light.
All this day Thy hand has led me,
And I thank Thee for Thy care;
Thou hast warmed me, clothed me, fed me;
Listen to my evening prayer.
May my sins be all forgiven;
Bless the friends I love so well;
Take me, Lord, at last to heaven.
Happy there with Thee to dwell.
Our Father Who Art in Heaven
Our Father, Who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.
Lord, I have Passed Another Day
Lord, I have passed another day
And come to thank Thee for Thy care.
Forgive my faults in work or play
And listen to my evening prayer.
Thy favor gives me daily bread
And friends, who all my wants supply:
And safely now I rest my head,
Preserved and guarded by Thine eye.
Father, We Thank Thee
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.
Rebecca Weston – 1890
Away in a Manger
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes;
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there.
James Murry and John T. McFarland 1887
Abide With Me
Abide With Me is a song that was not written as a bedtime prayer, rather, as a farewell to this world. Henry F. Lyte was dying with tuberculosis in 1847. These beautiful words can be taught as a prayer full of great Bible teaching.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.
Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea,
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.
Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Henry F. Lyte 1847
Do you have a favorite Bedtime prayer? Share it in the comments!
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