I maintain the same routine every evening with my kids. They kiss their dad good-night, then brush their teeth, use the potty, and we all pile onto one bed to say a bedtime prayer. We recite the much loved “Now I lay me down to sleep…” with a few memorized lines added at the end thanking God for His blessings and asking Him to help us grow up big and strong. Then each child adds his or her own personal requests, and we close with “Amen.”
I borrow the prayer that my best friend’s mom recited with us every night I stayed at their house as a child. We didn’t do bedtime prayers at my house when I was growing up, but I loved praying with my friend’s family. As a teenager and into adulthood, I often took comfort in reciting the familiar childhood prayer on nights when I felt troubled.
We adhere unfailingly to the bedtime prayer routine in my house because I know it will be a source of comfort for my kids long after they have outgrown Mom’s constant supervision. When it’s late and we’re all tired, still we pray. When we’re sick and coughing in our pajamas, we pray. When someone is grumpy and just doesn’t want to, we all pray. I want to instill within my children that we talk to God daily because I know they will continue that habit as adults.
And they will be blessed for it, and able to bless others because of it.