3 Ways Prayer Can Help Your Kids Fall Asleep

1. Prayer teaches them to throw off all their worries

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I don’t know about you, but my little ones are worried about everything. They care very much about everything that happens in the course of a day: an unkind word, a mistake, a hard look. I noticed that when we started praying with them consistently before bed, many of those common childhood worries and fears subsided. Of course, they talk to their dad and me about the things that worry them – the things that make them anxious or upset, but when they started pouring their hearts out for the same things we noticed they fell asleep faster.

As an example, our four year old daughter is constantly asking God for protection from “bad guys”. Our six year old always prays that everyone in the world would be “nice”. Our daughter is bothered by bad guys she saw in cartoons while our son is bothered by kids he saw in school being rude to others. Just as adults have fears and worries, so do our children. To be able to voice these worries and concerns and throw them at whoever created them and wants good things for their lives is a blessing to them before they go to bed. In one study:

“Baylor University researchers found that people who pray to a loving and protective God are less likely to experience anxiety disorders – worry, anxiety, bias, social anxiety, and compulsive behavior – compared to people who pray but don’t expect not really to receive comfort or protection from God. “

Our children look to God for comfort and protection. You’re not cynical yet; they are not yet dulled by the things in the world around them. What a gift to teach them this now, before the worries of this life penetrate their souls. What a wonderful habit to get into before the difficulties and griefs become so much more important in your life. I think of Proverbs 22: 6, which says, “Raise a child in the way he is to go; even when he is old, he will not deviate from it.”

As their parents, it is my responsibility to teach them good hygiene in all areas: physical, mental, spiritual, etc. It is my calling as their mother to teach them healthy habits now so that they will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Of course, there is always the possibility that they will stop praying as adults, but there is also the possibility that they will stop brushing their teeth because of their own God-given free will. I really believe that prayer is a gift that God gives to each of us to calm our hearts and clear our minds: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God become.” – Philippians 4: 6

It is a gift to give this anxiety reducing tool to my children now and to already see it in their hearts and minds. They often breathe a sigh of relief when they say “Amen,” and it really is the cutest thing. It is truly a joy to see 1 Peter 5: 7 in action in our own home before bed: “Throw all your worries on him because he worries about you …” -1 Peter 5: 7

Baylor Study Reference

Photo credit: © GettyImages / Vasyl Dolmatov

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