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We all have nightmares sometimes. I don't have them often, but when I do they're pretty bad.

We Armenians usually recite a specific prayer before we go to bed. Translated, it looks something like this:

My dear Lord, dear benefactor,
Protect us tonight.
Give my father and mother long life,
and pleasant, happy days.
Let Your Holy Angel,
remain at our side,
protect us from troubles,
and wake us happy and joyous.

We learned this prayer as children and have been using it for as long as I can remember, but it obviously serves a very general purpose and doesn't address dreams specifically.

Is there a way to prevent, or at least resist, nightmares through prayer? More specifically, how would I phrase this prayer?

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closed as off-topic by Affable Geek, fredsbend, curiousdannii, bruised reed, El'endia Starman Jan 5 '15 at 20:16

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

There isn't a formula for prayer. Christianity does not teach that using certain words is important but rather the attitude of heart is.

If I were you I would simply pray what is on your heart (e.g. "please make the nightmares stop") and also ask God to show you why it is happening. For example, you might be involved in something occult (late night horror films) or you might be stressed at work.

If it persists, find someone at your local church who can pray it through with you and offer counselling.

God wants you to sleep well! He "grants sleep to those He loves" (Psalm 127:2).

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Our 4 year old son has nightmares often (or at least used to). I like to make sure to specifically mention any evil which may be involved in case there is an attack from Satan causing the nightmares. When we pray over him at bed time we ask God to protect our whole family and house. Then we specifically ask for protection for him and from nightmares. It has worked well enough that he won't let us put him to bed without praying with him.

It's not much different from what you pray, but I find that having a personal, mostly spontaneous prayer helps to ensure you are praying from your heart and believe what you are praying. I don't think prayer can be very effective without your faith that God will respond.

Here's a sample prayer:

Mighty Lord God, we thank you for being our powerful God and for being with us tonight. Please protect our family tonight and keep us safe. Please be with [son's name] through the night and protect. Protect him from any evil and keep the nightmares away. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen

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From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!

Traditional Scottish prayer.

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