Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Prayer Stations

Prayer is something that is easily overlooked when teaching children because they have such a short attention span.  It's not that we do not teach them to pray, but we often do not give them the credit they deserve in their ability to really understand what prayer is.  When given the opportunity, children can often pray very touching and heartfelt prayers.  And they come to the Father without any pretense.  They are simply willing to talk to God...which is, of course, exactly what prayer is.  But, sometimes we all need help focusing our mind and prayer stations are a great way to do just that.

I absolutely love doing prayer stations with children.  The first time I did them, I wondered if they would be able to stay quiet and focused, but they did then and they have ever since at every church I've ever done them at.  There is something about doing stations like these that seems to calm the hearts of all the children and they really enjoy them.

If you've never done prayer stations, let me tell you that they don't have to be elaborate to be effective.  They do take time to prepare though, so give yourself the time necessary to put them together.  When I am looking for new ideas for prayer stations, I generally go to Pinterest.  If you type "prayer stations for kids" in the search bar, you will get tons of ideas.  I am including some pictures of some of the prayer stations I have done at my current church.  Most of these ideas I got from Pinterest.  I'm sorry I don't remember all the sites that Pinterest took me to, but many of my ideas come from Flame: Creative Kid's Ministry and then just made them fit my own group of kids. There is a brief explanation of each station with the pictures, but more detailed explanations are available if you contact me through this blog.
At this station they were to write out on several Popsicle sticks things they were thankful for.  Then they made a poster picture out of the Popsicle sticks.

This station talked about the importance of being forgiven and gave the children the opportunity to ask for forgiveness.

Here the children were to draw a picture of what they wanted to do when they grew up.

This station gave the children the opportunity to discuss the problem of hunger in the world and what they could do to help.

This station focused on praying for healing of the sick and injured.

Here the children built a "house" and gave thanks for their own homes.

I love this station.  The children sit in front of a mirror filled with affirmations as if God were speaking to them. It reminds them that they are indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made." (Psalm 139)

This one gives the children the opportunity to think about what is most important to them...and decide if they would be willing to give that thing up, if God asked it of them.

If you have never done prayer stations with your children at church, I hope you will try them in the future.  They can be a powerful way to teach the children that prayer is so much more encompassing than the few minutes we pray in church.  It has power and God will indeed speak to us, if we let Him. 

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