The 7 Best Action-Packed Biblical Stories For Bedtime

Bedtime can be a wonderful time for connecting, bonding, and building faith for Christian parents and their children. Sharing bedtime stories, no matter your child’s age, helps relational, cognitive, social, physical, and spiritual development. It also helps build imagination, vocabulary, problem-solving and empathy.

The non-profit Pajama Program writes this about the value of bedtime stories: “This one-on-one connection between human beings, supported by story, takes us back to the archetype of all education and relationships in which one generation passes on wisdom to the next.” Add Bible stories and the Holy Spirit to that formula, and wow! What a powerhouse we find in biblical bedtime stories!

If you are ready to add some Bible stories to bedtime but don’t know where to start, here are some favorites from Christian families and kids I know.

Balaam’s Donkey (Numbers 22:21-39)

Curses, sword-yielding angels and a talking donkey! What kid doesn’t love a talking donkey?

I had never heard of this story growing up, but when I first read it as an adult, I was instantly smitten. How could I have made it 20-something years without hearing about the real-life talking donkey? Why don’t we share this story with kids more?

Even though it sounds more like a fairy tale than a Bible story, this story can inspire awe at the power and creativity of God to speak through a donkey. It also displays the lengths God will go to bless and protect His people.

Be sure to use a funny voice for the donkey. Just because you are reading God’s Word doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it.

David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17)

This is a well-known Bible story, but it remains a favorite among many children. To keep it fresh, you could use a mix of translations or children’s storybook Bibles. Children love that a young man, not much older than they are, defeats the evil giant with just a rock and a slingshot.

Again, the wonder of a story that sounds like it could be a fairy tale provides opportunities to be curious about God and His power.

This story also lends itself well to acting it out and letting your child defeat the parent giant. This type of pretend play helps children to feel powerful and gives them a sense of control. Pair those confident feelings with a conversation about God equipping them, and you will have some purposeful play that will grow your child’s faith and identity.

Elisha and the Chariots of Fire – 2 Kings 6:8-23

This story has armies, horses, prayer, people going blind and people seeing the spiritual realm. Be sure to take this one slowly. A lot is going on, which makes it action-packed and beloved by many families.

There are a lot of exciting stories in the chapters before this Bible story of God rescuing Israel through his prophet Elisha that are worth spending time on, as well.

After reading and in the days that follow, together you can wonder how God is working for your family in ways that you cannot see.

Jesus Walking on Water – Matthew 14:22-33

Depending on your kiddos, you could play this story up as a little bit of a ghost story or scary story. Jesus comes walking on water to His disciples (wow!), but they haven’t ever seen a person walking on water, so they think Jesus is a ghost.

The story has lots of twists and turns, which will open opportunities for reflection in the days to come when bravery is needed.

Can you and your kids be courageous enough to step out of the boat?

Jesus Calms the Storm – Mark 4:35-41

This is a perfect bedtime Bible story because it is action-packed but leaves children with peace for a restful night of sleep.

In this boat story, Jesus and His disciples are caught in a storm. Jesus is sleeping, and his friends are scared. But Jesus comes to the rescue, calming the storm and His friends.

Despite the disciples knowing who Jesus is, they are still surprised to see the wind and waves listen to him. Your kids might be, too!

Invite your children into the emotions of the disciples. Did you know that when young kids pretend to have emotions, they really feel those emotions?

Use that to your advantage and walk with your children through the fear of the storm, the awe and wonder of the miracle, and the peace that comes from being with Jesus even in a storm.

Jesus Feeds the 5000 – John 6:1-15

This story can be found in all four of the Gospels, but I like the one in John because it includes the detail about a child offering his food for Jesus to use. This allows kids to see how they can serve God and bless others.

You can add a little fun culture lesson to help kids understand how people were counted in the Bible times and add to the wonder of the miracle because the 5,000 were just the men there, not the women and children.

Here’s a fun way to count, like in the times of Jesus.

Paul and Silas Singing in Prison – Acts 16:16-40

This story is filled with non-stop action. From a healing, Paul and Silas in jail, an earthquake and a whole family coming to Christ, it is packed with excitement.

In the days following reading the story, you could talk about your favorite hymns, how Paul and Silas could praise God from jail, why they didn’t run away when they were free from the shackles, and where God was during it all.

*Bonus story that couldn’t make it on the list: Jesus and the demoniac – Mark 5:1-20

A Final Reminder About Biblical Stories For Bedtime

I pray these stories will help you connect with your children and help your children connect with God through His Word.

Remember, God is always the hero of Bible stories. Yes, we can learn from the people God used throughout history, but they are all flawed, sinful people. As you read bedtime Bible stories or just go about your day, be looking for God and seeking to know Him more.

If your kids are bored or distracted during Bible stories, or maybe you aren’t quite sure how to bring the stories to life as you can with picture books, be encouraged. It doesn’t take a seminary or education degree to do it well.

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