Why I Don’t Like Bedtime Prayers

By Karen Isbell

BedtimePrayersBedtime with three kids 5 years old to 3 months old is controlled chaos. By the time I close the last bedroom door I feel like I’ve wrestled with monkeys and lost. I always envisioned bedtime being a sweet time of prayer and family devotion. Yet, more often than not, bedtime is a very unspiritual experience in our home.

I am not a night person. I know bedtime routines are important and a time when our kid’s hearts are open. But, after a full day, I can’t get the bedroom doors shut and my feet propped fast enough. So I wrestle with the tension of wanting an intentional rhythm of Bible and prayer time with our kids but bedtime not working best. I was ready to call it quits on the whole thing after several years of failed attempts at trying to make bedtime work.

Then I realized that bedtime wasn’t the only time we could gather together. (I’m a slow learner)

We like slow mornings in our house. I like to get up before everyone else and squeeze as much of the quiet out as I can before the chaos of the day ensues. We are all much nicer people after we have lingered a little longer in our mornings around here. I began to see that morning was the best time for our family to gather. My patience was more abundant and my thoughts more coherent.

So I took the pressure off bedtime and shifted our time to mornings, usually while we eat breakfast. We still have a bedtime routine that involves prayers, stories, and back-rubs, it just doesn’t require mom and dad to have deep theological thoughts. For us, there are fewer interruptions and distractions in the morning and the pace is slower.

As we start a new school year, I’m beginning to see that our rhythms are going to change as our girls grow. Our oldest started Kindergarten this year, making our mornings more rushed than they used to be. On mornings when we all need to sleep a little longer, carline has become a great time for us to pray and practice scripture. It’s easy for my to put our rhythms in a box, but I’m learning to hold them with open hands and embrace the rhythms of the season we are in.

If you’re like me, longing for that intentional time with your kids but struggling to find a time that works best, keep trying. It will always be worth it to find moments in our day when we can engage our children’s hearts and point them to Jesus. And don’t be afraid to quit on bedtime!

forty-eight topical prayers to teach your children to pray

The ROOTED intentional prayer card set will equip you to create an intentional rhythm of prayer with your child. Check it out here.

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