God created us for rest. He designed mechanisms into our bodies and minds to ease us into the evening and toward restorative sleep. He masterfully engineered hormones like melatonin and cortisol to work together in helping us to accept His invitation to circadian rest. Yet sleep does not always come naturally, and our children are not exempt from fitful rest.
As we tuck our children in, so many distractions might be at play, trying to rob them of God’s peace. Their minds are kept alert by regrets or concerns over the day spent, worries about tomorrow, or questions about the future. We can help our children accept God’s invitation to rest as we pray Scripture over them each evening.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4
Pray with your child: Dear God, Your peace is perfect. It’s better than we can ever imagine! Your peace is powerful enough to capture all my thoughts and direct them into Your goodness and beauty. I cannot get peace like this from anywhere or anyone else — it only comes from You. Help me not to let my thoughts wander into fear or confusion but to think about Your peace and how it is perfect, powerful, and near. Amen.
“I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me.” Psalm 3:5
Pray with your child: Dear God, I know I can close my eyes because You never close Yours. When I am afraid, I can always call Your name and ask You to remind me You are near. You are always watching over me, and You see everything! You are the very best guard, and You are standing watch over my life. I can be brave and set every fear aside because You are with me right now and always.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself…” Mathew 6:34
Pray with your child: Dear God, it’s hard to understand, but You are already in tomorrow. Time does not hold You in like it does me. And so, I can trust that You know what I will face tomorrow, and You are already taking care of the details and providing all I will need. I know that You take care of what You have made. Even now, I can think about everything in nature, like the flowers in a field or birds soaring through the air, and how You watch over them. I am Your child, and You care even more for me! Help me to sleep peacefully, knowing that You are, right now, taking care of tomorrow.