Bedtime prayer has been a Christian tradition for centuries and many denominations still practice Evensong or Night Prayers as a way of closing out the day. The idea of pausing before we sleep is a beautiful way to acknowledge our dependence on God and His grace and presence with us throughout our days.
However, if you are anything like me, I’m exhausted by the time it comes for bedtime prayer. To help with this, having a series of written prayers can be immensely helpful. Our faith is a faith of family and community, and we get the benefit of prayers written through the ages to help us on our journeys.
Below is a selection of modern and ancient nighttime prayers that I hope will help you as you end your day. Also, as part of the Glorify App you can add your own prayers to use at bedtime.
Nighttime prayer for protection
Almighty God, you are radiant with light; cast your goodness to shine upon me. Most wonderful Lord, the creator of all things, hold your truth to shield me. Majestic King who reigns over all, slay with great love all the shadows around me. Prince of Peace, glorious and true, lift your arms of strength to cover me. All this night through. Amen
Nighttime prayer for peace
Father, you know my worries and care for my troubles. There I give these concerns to you. I lay these situations at your feet. The empty cross is a place of rest, where I can reflect upon your resurrection and the moment when love overcame. Thank you that your love in me can transform the landscape of my life. I walk with peace into the new day and put my hope in you. Nothing is outside of your redeeming love; might I rest now in the knowledge that you will light my path and guide my life. Amen.
Bedtime prayer for rest
Great Father, as I lay me down to sleep, relax my body’s tension; calm the restlessness of my mind and still the thoughts which worry and perplex me. Help me to rest myself and all my problems in your strong and loving arms. Let your Spirit speak to my mind and heart while I am asleep, so that, when I wake up in the morning, I may find that I have received in the nighttime, light for my way; strength for my tasks; peace for my worries; forgiveness for my sins. Grant me sleep tonight and tomorrow power to live.
Bedtime prayer for when you’re afraid
Holy Spirit, please encircle me, come hold me safe and secure. Wrap my mind up with your truth. Guide my thoughts and calm my fears. Steady my emotions, Lord, that you would guide my feelings and may I not be overcome by upset. Sustain my soul with a vision for the future, and hope for tomorrow. Amen.
Nighttime prayer to acknowledge dependence on God
Father, sleep is a reminder that I am totally and utterly dependent upon you. I don’t have infinite strength and I cannot keep working indefinitely, I need sleep to refresh me. Ultimately, I need you to revive me. The truth is, I am a dependent creature. I am dependent on you to give me life, breath, and strength. When I try to live on my own, it results in heartache. When I live in dependence on you, I receive grace and mercy.
So as I go to sleep, I want to proclaim my total dependence upon you. As I drift off to sleep, it’s a clear reminder that I am not in control. I need you to sustain me through the night, and I need you to sustain me through my life.
Please give me the grace of sleep. Give me the grace of strength. Allow me to wake refreshed in the morning. I depend on you, my good and gracious Father. I trust you to sustain me and to wake me with fresh energy in the morning.
Nighttime prayer of trust
Father, many things have happened today. Some good, some bad, some hard, some joyful. Before I go to sleep, I want to entrust all these things to you. There are many situations I can’t figure out and circumstances that are confusing. But, even though I don’t understand how all these things will work out, I know that you are good, and I know that you will do good for me.
As I go to sleep, I declare that I believe in you. I trust you with the big things and the little things, happy things and the hard things. I trust you to deliver me out of evil and to lead me into paths of righteousness. You are my hope. My help. The lifter of my head.
I may not know how all things will work out, but you do, and because you are good, I proclaim my trust in you.
Bedtime prayer of thanks
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of sleep and the opportunity for our bodies to be renewed and our souls to be refreshed during these quiet hours of the night, and as bedtime draws nearer, I want to thank you for the benefits of sleep you have given us and ask that you would bless me with rest tonight.
Thank you for today, and all the blessings and grace poured out on me and those that I love, and as I reflect on the different people I have met, I pray your love and peace would guard and guide each one.
As I settle down for the night, I ask and pray that I would soon fall asleep, but first, I want to hand all my cares and worries over to you, for you have promised to carry our burdens if we will simply lay them down at your feet.
I also want to lift up to you all those that mean so much to me, my family and friends, neighbors and other acquaintances, and ask your blessing on each one – and I ask that you would wake me in the morning refreshed and ready to do your will.
Bedtime prayer with children
Father, we thank you 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.
Celtic evening prayer
I place my soul and my body
In your safe refuge this night,
Father, Son and Spirit.
The three who defend my cause,
And never turn the back upon me.
Father, kind and just,
Son, who overcame death,
Holy Spirit of power,
Keep me this night from harm,
The Three who would justify me
Keep me this night and always.