Comfort in the Darkness

Helping children draw close to God through biblical stories of night-time and sleep

Rachel Turner

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Sleep, dreams and the night can be mysterious and sometimes troubling. Children can be afraid of the dark, have nightmares and night terrors, sleepwalk, or have insomnia. How do we deal with their concerns and fears and help them to draw close to God at night? This collection of Bible story retellings exploring God's character and promises will enable parents to help children grow in peace, confidence and understanding of who God is.

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Author info

Rachel Turner has been a full-time children's and families worker and the National Children's Work Coordinator for New Wine, and continues to consult, speak at conferences and run training days for parents, children and youth workers around the UK and Europe. She is the author of the Parenting Children for a Life of Faith series.


The Resource - September 2016

This book aims to help children draw close to God through biblical stories of night time and sleep.

What is not to love about this book?

A helpful introduction from Rachel sets the scene - encouraging us to make the book our own. This is not a "how to" manual of navigating the night time if our children struggle to sleep or are going through that traumatic stage of night terrors - rather, it gives tools for parents to engage, reflect and ask questions with their children - to journey with them through the night and, most importantly, for them to know that God is present there - just as much as in the day time.

16 stories from the Bible are skilfully retold with just the right amount of drama, suspense and awe - perfect for a shared story!

Parents can use the additional sections after each story to take things further . . . but, just simply sharing these stories and creating a rhythm and pattern of reading together creates a calming atmosphere - build a routine around story telling and sharing a night that becomes as familiar as brushing teeth and having a bath.

Get hold of this wonderful book and find comfort in the darkness - not just for your children, but maybe for you as parents too .

The Resource

Ali Campbell

godventure - November 2016

This is not a book on sleep training, but one which will create a positive relationship with God at night-time - for you and your children! Rachel vividly retells 16 Bible stories, each where someone, usually a child, experiences something of God at night-time. It's simple, it's clever and it's profound. I found my own perspective on night-time changing along with my children's, as they quoted to me things we had discovered of God at night-time. I particularly loved the story of Herman, based on Psalm 88, who discovers that God gives us songs in the night to draw close to Him. We had a fab time asking God to give us songs and singing them together. Great book for any parent - especially, but definitely not exclusively, any with children who struggle at night.

Victoria Beech

Baptist Times - 19 May 2017

A very useful aid for helping parents draw their children closer to God, and a must for the bedroom bookshelf

Every Saturday our six and seven year old granddaughters have a sleepover with us because they love to come to church on Sunday mornings.They like to sleep with the bedside light on low but neither of them have nocturnal problems.

They are a vivacious pair. The trouble with bedtime is switching off Peppa Pig, or getting them off their tab, and calming them down. When they are finally between the sheets, reading a bedtime story is a great relaxer.

These 16 Bible stories are all simply written in a manner that allows the reader to add timely pauses and thoughtful expression. They are all set in a night time context through which God's presence and purpose are revealed whether life is easy, perplexing or fraught with trouble and danger. In order to get the most out of the stories the 'Extras for Parents' should be read well before involving the children. A good friend of mine describes it as finding and providing emotional intelligence.

However this is neither a D.I.Y. Sunday School manual nor a lesson book. The Discussion Points are useful if it's appropriate to prolong bedtime a little, but should not be imposed if the conversation is going to erase sleepiness.

The prayers that come after each story, sensitively link the thoughts and feelings from the characters with how the children may have reacted and brings them into the love and care of the Lord. Their aim is to develop a sense of prayerfulness in the closeness of God as they snuggle down. It's a far cry from the old kneel by your bed and say your prayers routine. That may have been fine for God to bless mummy and daddy, the cat the dog and the goldfish, tell me about it, but it did hardly anything to develop prayerfulness.

The Frequently Asked Questions found at the end of the book are required reading prior to the book being used. They can be very useful in helping parents settle children's anxieties, understand the world around them and how best to relate to it. Comfort in the Darkness is a very useful aid for helping parents draw their children closer to God and a must for the bedroom bookshelf.

Reviewed by The Revd Dr Martin M'Caw

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857464231
  • Published: 23 September 2016
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 144
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