Bedtime prayers are an important but often lacking part of our evening routine. I want to leave my kids, each night, with a bigger view of God and a deeper sense of their at-home-ness in God, but that's a tall order at 8 pm on even the best of days. Throw in a headache, a sibling-on-sibling fight, or even the pressing need to get back downstairs ASAP to catch up on the latest Netflix binge, and the task becomes nearly impossible.
Here are three prayers I found from various prayer books around the world that I plan to print and post in our kids' rooms to use when bedtime stumps me (as well as one cut and pasted right out of the New Testament itself).
* * *
Lord it is night. The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God. It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; what has not been done has not been done. Let it be. The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you. The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us, and all who have no peace. The night heralds the dawn. Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, new possibilities. In your name we pray. Amen. (New Zealand Prayer Book)
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer)
To you before the close of day, Creator of all things, we pray that, in your saving constancy, our guard and keeper you would be. Save us from troubled, restless sleep; from all ill dreams your children keep. So calm our minds that fears may cease and rested bodies wake in peace. A healthy life we ask of you: the fire of love in us renew, and when the dawn new light will bring, your praise and glory we shall sing. Almighty Father, hear our cry through Jesus Christ, our Lord, most high, Whom with the Spirit we adore forever and for evermore. Amen. (Canadian Prayer Book)
How do you handle bedtime prayers? Let me know in the comments below!