The day was hard, long, and you’re finally at your bedside. What now? You need to make time to say at least one prayer, of course! God has watched you throughout the day, and given you blessings along the way. It’s time to not only thank him for his work in your life and the lives of those you love, but also to wind down from the stress of the day by grounding yourself in prayer.
Prayer can lead to a more restful and productive sleep. Sleep is important to mental, physical, and spiritual health. A lack of sleep can negatively impact energy, motivation, and drive. All of these contribute to a lifestyle that you might find to be devoid of substance, and you don’t want that! God has great plans for all of us—it’s time we listened to those plans.
Here are four prayers you can say before bed for a more restful sleep. Say these prayers during your nighttime routine and consider getting the family involved!
1. Give Thanks Before Sleep
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is not only a great way to bring yourself in line with everything great and wonderful in your life, but also to connect with God and let him know you appreciate his efforts. This prayer, penned by greeting card writer and blogger Rebecca Barlow Jordan, is perfect for those pre-bedtime rituals to give thanks. It reads:
“Dear God, we thank You tonight for the good day and for the special way You take care of us all the time. Thank You for the fun times outside and the quiet times inside, and for helping us learn new things every day.
Thank You for creating us special, exactly the way You wanted. Thank You for protecting us throughout the day. Forgive us for the wrong things we do. Thank You for loving us even when we disobey or try to do things our way. Help us to always choose your way, God, because it’s always best. We pray for all the people who don’t know You, and that they will come to understand your love for them, too.
Bless our family and thank You for good times together and apart. Bless our friends and those we love, including our grandparents, our aunts and uncles, and cousins. Thank You for our home and a place to sleep and good food to eat. Help us rest well, give us peaceful dreams, and send Your angels around our home to protect us throughout the night. Teach us to trust You and to love You more and more. You are good; You are great; and You are faithful, God. And we love You. Good night. In Jesus’s precious name, Amen.”
2. Now I Lay…
You probably recognize this prayer as one that is recited to and by children before bed, but don’t worry—it still has plenty of significance for adults, too. After all, you’re invoking the Lord himself to keep you safe while you sleep, and to deliver you unto his arms should danger befall you during your slumber.
“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray to God my soul to take.
If I should live for other days,
I pray the Lord to guide my ways.
Father, unto thee I pray,
Thou hast guarded me all day;
Safe I am while in thy sight,
Safely let me sleep tonight.
Bless my friends, the whole world bless;
Help me to learn helpfulness;
Keep me every in thy sight;
So to all, I say good night.”
3. Psalm 63:5-8
This prayer is simple, but begs much attention. Ready carefully through its words and recognize its significance in your life. It reads:
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
And my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
When I remember you upon my bed,
And meditate on you in the watches of the night;
For you have been my help,
And in the shadow of your wings, I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
Your right hand upholds me.”
…And meditate on you in the watches of the night. When you meditate on the Lord, your soul becomes full as with rich food, and the Lord’s right hand upholds you that you might meet the next day with strength and courage. This is a perfect short prayer for after a long day.
4. The Lord’s Prayer
Simple, easy to remember, yet powerful; this prayer will lift you into the graces of the Lord and make you feel whole and close to Him before you climb into bed to sleep. This is one of the most commonly-spoken prayers, but it’s not only delegated to nighttime rituals. This is a prayer you can say anywhere at any time.
“Our Father which 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 debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”