Prayer was the focus of our youth gathering this past Sunday night, utilizing in part the resources from the Way to Live website and the excellent curriculum "People of Prayer - An Evening of Creative Prayer for Young People" provided by Grahame at the Insight youth ministry blog. In addition, we challenged the youth to work in teams to take Jesus' model for prayer, the Lord's Prayer, and write their own version of the prayer in language that was meaningful to them. The evening culminated with a time of center-based worship in our chapel. Youth were invited to move about the chapel in silence, experiencing several different prayer stations (including several of the creative prayer ideas in our recent "Artful Prayers") post:
- Prayer Station 1: Friends and Family - Youth wrote prayers for the people in their lives and placed them in a cross taped to the floor (see above - one of the creative ideas from Insight!)
- Prayer Station 2: Creation - Youth sat in mini-garden in our chapel, listened to running water and offered prayers of thanks for the blessings of creation.
- Prayer Station 3: Anger - Youth read psalms that express anger and challenge to God (such as Psalm 88: 12-18) and then they were invited, graffiti-style on paper posted on a wall, to write their own prayers of anger for the injustice in the world.
- Prayer Station 4: You! - Youth used tinfoil to craft symbols of prayers related to their own personal needs.
- Prayer Station 5: Forgiveness -Youth were challenged to think back over the mistakes of the past week, to write a word or symbol in sand representing those failures, and then to pass their hand through the sand, obliterating those words or symbols as a sign of accepting God's forgiveness.