Bedtime Prayers for Children

7 Prayers for Kids to Say Before Bed

Bedtime prayers goodnight prayers
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Saying bedtime prayers with your children is a great way to develop a habit of prayer early in your kids' lives. As you pray together, you can explain to them what each prayer means and how they can talk to God and depend on him for everything in life.

These simple prayers for kids to say at night contain rhyme and cadence to help small children enjoy learning to pray before bed. Begin building an important foundation for the future as you lead your little ones in these bedtime prayers.

7 Bedtimes Prayers for Kids

The Bible gives this instruction to parents in Proverbs 22:6: "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." Teaching your kids to pray before bedtime is an excellent way to direct them onto the right path and help them develop a lifelong relationship with God.

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.

Traditional Children's Bedtime Prayer

This well-known prayer for kids comes in many variations. Here are three of the most beloved renditions:

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.

Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
May the angels watch me through the night,
And keep me in their blessed sight. Amen.

Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should live another day
I pray the Lord to guide my way. Amen.

Child's Evening Prayer

Author Unknown

I hear no voice, I feel no touch,
I see no glory bright;
But yet I know that God is near,
In darkness as in light.

He watches ever by my side,
And hears my whispered prayer:
The Father for His little child
Both night and day doth care.

Heavenly Father

By Kim Lugo

This original bedtime prayer for kids was written by a grandmother for her granddaughter. Parents can pray this blessing over their children before they fall asleep.

Heavenly Father, up above
Please bless this child that I love.
Let her sleep all through the night
And may her dreams be pure delight.
When she wakes, be by her side
So she can feel your love inside.
As she grows, please don't let go
So she will know you hold her soul.  
Amen.

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.

God My Friend

By Michael J. Edger III MS

Note from the author: “I wrote this prayer for my 14-month-old son, Cameron.

We say it for bed, and it puts him to sleep peacefully every time. I would like to share it with other Christian parents to enjoy with their children.”

God, my friend, it is time for bed.
Time to rest my sleepy head.
I pray to you before I do.
Please guide me down the path that's true.

God, my friend, please bless my mother,
All your children--sisters, brothers.
Oh! And then there's daddy, too--
He says I am his gift from you.

God, my friend, it is time to sleep.
I thank you for a soul unique,
And thank you for another day,
To run and jump and laugh and play!

God, my friend, it is time to go,
But before I do I hope you know,
I am thankful for my blessing, too,
And God, my friend, I love you.

Bedtime Prayer

By Jill Eisnaugle

This original Christian goodnight prayer gives thanks to God for the blessing of today and the hope for tomorrow.

Now, I lay me down to rest
I thank the Lord; my life is blessed
I have my family and my home
And freedom, should I choose to roam.

My days are filled with skies of blue
My nights are filled with sweet dreams, too
I’ve no reason to beg or plead
I have been given all I need.

Beneath the subtle moonlit glow
I thank the Lord, so He will know
How grateful I am for my life
In times of glory and of strife.

The times of glory give me hope
The times of strife teach me to cope
Thus, I am much stronger in turn
Yet grounded, still, with much to learn.

Now, I lay me down to rest
I thank the Lord; I’ve passed the test
Of yet another day on earth
Grateful for its abundant worth.

This day has been a special dream
From morning ‘til the last moonbeam
Yet, should the coming dawn bring sorrow
I’ll rise, thankful I’ve reached tomorrow.

--© 2008 Jill Eisnaugle’s Poetry Collection (Jill is the author of Coastal Whispers and Under Amber Skies. To read more of her work, visit: http://www.authorsden.com/jillaeisnaugle.)