Bedtime prayer can be a meaningful way to spend time with God every evening, talking over your day, sharing your concerns with Him, and thanking Him for His love and care. But why should we take time to pray before bed each night?
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Wavebreakmedia
Time to Reflect
Praying as you fall asleep gives you the chance to look back over the day and thank God for His help and His blessings. We often miss the hand of God in our lives as we run from one activity to another. We lose sight of the good gifts our heavenly Father is giving us (James 1:17) and focus instead on our troubles and worries.
Scripture tells us to “fix our eyes on Jesus” so that we do not “grow weary and lose heart (Hebrews 12:2-3). Whether life feels overwhelming or dull, a time of prayer at the end of each day can help you refocus on God’s goodness and reflect on your priorities and purpose (Matthew 28:19-20).
Reconnect with God
Relationships flourish when they are nurtured. Spending time talking with God before bed is a way of loving Him and deepening your relationship with Him.
The evening is a lonely part of the day for many people. Choosing to pray before bed each night means that you can look forward to enjoying time with One whose love for you is deep (Ephesians 3:18-19) and constant (Romans 8:37-39).
Best Way to Fall Asleep
Redeem the time you lie in bed waiting for sleep to come. If your mind is a blank, worries and temptations will creep in to fill it. Pain that was background noise during your busy day can blare like a siren when you are lying in the quiet and the dark. Reaching for your phone to distract you will only keep you awake. Rehashing conversations and running the numbers will only feed your anxiety.
Instead, release your worries and the pressures of the day by taking them to the One who has the power to help you and give you peace. Calm and relaxed, you will likely drift off to sleep long before you have prayed for each of your family members and friends, and that is perfectly okay.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Motortion
1. A Prayer for Good Rest (Psalm 4)
God loves to lavish gifts on His children, and He tells us to ask Him for what we need (Matthew 7:7-11). If you are having trouble falling asleep, ask God to help you get the rest your body needs. Trust Him to care for your needs in His perfect timing.
Father, please give me relief from these sleepless nights. I am so tired. In your mercy, please give me the gift of restful sleep. You have filled my heart with joy, more joy than all the riches in the world could bring. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You are with me, and I am safe in Your love.
I pray in Jesus’ name,
2. A Prayer After a Hard Day (Psalm 31)
Jesus invites us to lay down our burdens. In Matthew 11:28, He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Whether a great loss has left you reeling, or many smaller griefs have you feeling beaten down, take them to Jesus. Let Him carry your burdens so you can rest and heal.
I take refuge in You, Lord. I rejoice in Your love, for you see all my troubles and know exactly how I feel. Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am weak and distressed. I feel surrounded and overwhelmed and alone, but I trust in You. You are my God, and You are good. Shelter me in Your presence and be my rock of refuge.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Chinnapong
3. A Prayer for Forgiveness (Psalm 51)
Jesus died to take our shame and punishment and rose from the dead to give us new life. John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” God has promised to forgive anything and everything you have done if you ask in Jesus’ name, understanding that only His sacrifice could cleanse you from your sin.
Once Jesus has made you new, you belong to the family of God. But you are still human and will still sin. Confessing your sins to God every day is a way of drawing close to Him. Just as you would apologize if you hurt a close friend, tell God you are sorry to have sinned against Him. Be specific in naming what you did or thought or said that was wrong and experience the forgiveness that is Yours in Christ.
God, have mercy on me. I am sorry I sinned against you and did what is evil in Your sight. In Your unfailing love and great compassion, please wash away my sin. I know that you are the only One who can save me from my guilt and make me clean. Create in me a pure heart and a steadfast spirit. Restore to me the joy of your salvation.
I ask this in Jesus’ name,
4. A Prayer of Thanksgiving (Psalm 65)
God calls us to a life of gratitude. “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Even when nothing seems to be going right, thanking God for His love and tender care can bring comfort and strength.
Thank you, Lord, for hearing my prayers. When I was overwhelmed by sins, you forgave me. You have blessed me and brought me near to You. You have filled my life with good things and given me hope and joy. You created this magnificent world and sustain it by Your power. Thank you for providing all that I need.
In Jesus’ name,
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/pcess609
5. A Prayer to Quiet Anxious Thoughts (Psalm 71)
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When anxiety has a chokehold on your heart and mind, run to Jesus.
Rescue me, Lord, and deliver me. You are my fortress, my strong refuge, to which I can always go. You are my hope and my confidence. Be near to me and come quickly to help me. Comfort me once again. I praise You for Your faithfulness, God. You have redeemed me, and I will always have hope.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
6. A Prayer for Loved Ones (Psalm 112)
We want the best for our family and friends, and it is natural to worry about those we love. But anxiety won’t help them, and we have a direct line to Someone who can change their lives. Take your concerns to Jesus, who loves them even more than You do.
Bless ________, Lord, with joy and peace. Teach them to love Your Word and find delight in serving You. Guide them and give them the strength and courage to live a life of generosity and justice and compassion. Make their heart steadfast and secure, free of fear and trusting only in You. I pray for ______ in the name of Jesus, that they would see their need of You and know Your love for them.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fizkes
7. A Prayer to Pray with Children Before Bed (Psalm 118)
Teach your children to pray as they lie in bed waiting to fall asleep. Help them develop a habit of praying at bedtime.
- Ask them if they know what prayer is (talking with God).
- Model prayer for them and join them in their bedtime prayers.
- Find out what they want to pray about and rejoice with them when God answers their prayers.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me. When I am scared, please help me remember that You are with me. Teach me to trust You and to ask you for help when things are hard. You are my God, and You are good.
I pray in Jesus’ name,
With All Your Heart
Prayer is not a recitation of a magic formula. Prayer is communication with the One True God, who is majestic in power and full of love for you. When you pray with a humble, genuine heart, you can be sure that He is right there with you and will respond with mercy and grace.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/tatyana_tomsickova
Jeannie Myers is a freelance writer enjoying the beauty of creation in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. God has blessed her with five beautiful children here on earth and two in heaven. Jeannie loves reading, camping, singing, and playing board games with her kids. Jesus has carried her through some difficult waters, and her heart's desire is for the hurting to know His love and mercy.