Children often have fears when they get ready for bed. The scary thoughts don’t really start at bedtime. They are usually there during the daytime, but doing the day there are often enough distractions to not be focused on being afraid. However, at night, when things are calm and the distractions are gone, the scary thoughts return.
It is important to grasp for yourself and for your children the reality of fear and the objects of fear. Your children’s fears are not abstract, but real. David addresses the reality of this in Psalm 23 when he says:
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Whether it is a dark sky, a dark road or a dark night God is always close beside you and close beside your children. When talking with your children at night, ask God to remind them that he is always there, even when they are afraid. Just like David, they can know that God is there. And if God is there the dark valleys can be faced and overcome. Here is a prayer taken from Psalm 3 that you can teach to your children because God is always everywhere.
Dear God, As I go to sleep tonight, please help me to remember that you are with me and that you have built a shield around me. Even though I can’t see the shield I know it is there because you say it is.
You are the one who encourages me and you help me to have confidence in you even when I am afraid. I know I can cry out to you anytime, day or night and you hear me. That is so cool, thank you!
This night I can lay down to sleep in safety. You are there when I go to sleep and when I wake up. Thank you for being a good and faithful God!
In Jesus’ name, Amen