“I’m scared.” “Of what?” “I don’t know.” The exasperation is beginning to be heard in your voice, as much as you are trying not to allow it, and you begin to repeat the phrases you said last night, and the night before, and the night before that. Somehow checking for monsters under the bed and confirming the blinds are closed isn’t working for Susie. She needs more. She needs to know that she can sleep soundly in the comfort of God’s safety. How can you help her to know this? Check out the following four ideas.
Remind your child of the promise that Jesus says he will never leave us or forsake us.
Just because Mommy or Daddy isn’t in the room, your child is not alone. Help your child remember that God is always with us and has promised he will always be with us. He will never ever break that promise. So even if we feel alone or lonely, we are never truly alone.
“Be strong and brave. Don’t be frightened. The Lord your God will go with you. He will not leave you or forget you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Talk about the fact that God controls the universe. Use the stars as a reference point and help your child look to the heavens. Are the stars out every night? Yes. Even when it is cloudy? Yes, they are still there. We may not be able to see them because of the clouds or rain, but they are still there. God put the stars in place at the beginning of time and he still holds them in place today. “If he can control the stars for thousands of years, Mommy/Daddy is confident that he is in total control of every detail of our lives.”
“Look up to the skies. Who created all these stars? He leads out all the army of heaven one by one. He calls the stars by name. He is very strong and full of power. So not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26
Discuss the fact that God has given us angel helpers whose primary jobs are to watch over us and protect us. What a gift we have in the angels of heaven who guard us—heart, soul, mind, and body! Our heavenly Father loves us so much that he sends extra protection for us, whether we are awake or asleep. Whether we are thinking or dreaming. Read a Bible story that includes a story of angel protection; one of my personal favorites is when Elisha and his servant are trying to make their way home and the battlefield in front of them is full of men who long to destroy them. Elisha’s servant is worried and feeling afraid, but Elisha explains “Those with us are more than them.” Elisha prays and asks God to allow the servant to see all that is happening. Miraculously, the servant’s eyes are opened to the heavenly host of angel armies surrounding them!
“He has put his angels in charge of you. They will watch over you wherever you go.” Psalm 91:11
Pray more specifically for your child’s emotional needs. Encourage your child to talk about how they feel, in order to pray more specifically. Are they fearful? Are they lonely? Are they feeling overwhelmed from the day’s events? Use this simple prayer as a guide. “Jesus, my child is feeling alone and afraid. Please give her peace in her heart over fear. Thank you for always being with us. Thank you for loving us and providing angels to protect us. Please help us to rest well and know that you are always in control. Amen.”
“Give all your worries to him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
My prayer is that one of these ideas will help you know how to respond to that last cry for help when sleep isn’t coming as it should.
Which of these ideas do you think would help your child?
For a sweet bedtime story that reminds kids they will sleep sound in Jesus, read your little ones, Night Night Train. Join these adorable puppies in pajamas as they say night, night to the train, to their mommy and daddy, and to God. Your little ones will rest their sleepy heads knowing that the God who made them loves them and keeps them safe all night long.