It is an incredible experience to watch a child’s imagination grow. And yet, sometimes this part of childhood can bring with it frightening and anxiety-ridden nightmares. Sometimes these paralyzing experiences come completely unexpected, without warning or reason. Many times they materialize from gaps in a child’s understanding of the world around them. However and whenever they come, it is painfully difficult as a parent, grandparent, or caretaker to watch a child suffering from nightmares or night terrors.
It’s easy to feel helpless — but we are not. Through His Word, God has equipped us to pray over our children and empower them with truth that casts light on any dark corners in their minds or imaginations. Here are three Scriptures to read, three songs to listen to, and three prayers for when your child or grandchild is battling nightmares.
Read: 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Pray for a sound mind: Dear God, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and confused by things we do not understand. Sometimes there are spaces in our thoughts that we don’t know how to fill, and our minds can play tricks on us. Give us a sound mind, one able to separate what is real from what is made up. Things can feel and look and seem so real — help us to focus on what we know without a doubt is real: Your love, Your protection, and Your power.
Read: Psalm 91:1-2, and verse 5: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him…Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.”
Pray for protection and a feeling of safety: Dear God, You are stronger than every fear. You overcame them all when You died on the cross for us. And when You defeated those fears, you set up for us a safe place within Your love. You watch us all night long, never looking away. You never fall asleep, You never grow weary of guarding us and keeping us safe. When fears come in the night, flood any dark spaces with Your light and truth. When we wake afraid, may a prayer of trust in You be the first thing on our lips. You are our refuge and safe place.
Read: Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”
Pray for peace: Dear God, You promise us peace and rest. Sometimes living in Your promises takes practice, and right now we have the opportunity to practice calling on Your peace. When we are afraid, remind us of these three words: “Peace, be still.” There is great power wrapped up in those words.