Friday, January 27, 2017

Bedtime Prayers: A Resource for Tired People



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).  


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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)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)


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How do you handle bedtime prayers?  Let me know in the comments below!  

2 comments:

  1. Oh, the Ephesians verses are powerful. When we pray for our grandkids, it is usually to ask for God's protection and presence and that their dreams would be free from the enemy's hand. There are 5 grandkids--'bedtime' takes like an hour, throw in a story and I'm exhausted if we're helping on that particular night.
    But you know what I mean, huh?

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  2. What a great idea, Kelly--to be prepared for those evenings when there's just no energy left. I remember well the same battle within myself when my kids were small. Too often I gave in to my exhaustion. I particularly like the New Zealand prayer that focuses on forgiveness (even for ourselves), faith, peace, and a positive outlook for tomorrow.

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