Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Youth Ministry Ideas for Lent '10: #2 Prayer Stations

    Lent is the perfect season to invite youth into a special focus on prayer. The prayer station ideas below might introduce your teens to a new prayer practice that they can continue throughout the Lenten season.  Each is tied to a phrase from the Lord's Prayer. Several of these ideas were adapted from resources all over the internet so feel free to use them, tweak them, and share them.

    "Our Creator in Heaven..."  At this station, participants lit a candle as a prayer for those who are struggling in the journey of life right now -- those struggling with health, relationships, or decisions.

    "Hallowed be your name..."   Participants spent time listening to various styles of quiet or contemplative music on cd players while considering how beauty in music can remind us of God's goodness.

    "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done..."  Here worshipers contemplated God’s dream for how the world could be. Using the art supplies, each created an image or symbol of God’s dream of how the world would be if peace, love, and forgiveness were at the center of all life.

    "On Earth as it is in heaven..."  Participants watched a slide show of photographic images depicting the neighborhood around the church, including both the places in need and images of those who are working for healing in our city.  As they watched, they prayed for those who struggle in the inner city and sought guidance to be part of bringing wholeness to the neighborhood. 

    "Give us today our daily bread..." At this station, participants focused on bread as an example of God providing for our basic needs. They offered thanks for all that God provides and prayed for those who do not have enough. Each person was invited to eat from a loaf of bread as a reminder of all that God provides on the faith journey.

    "Forgive us our sins..."  Focusing on the sins we carry around (those things that disconnect us from the source of God's love), worshipers wrote words to represent their sins on a stone and dropped the stone in a bowl of water to symbolize asking God to help them carry the burden. Each person also took a stone with them as a reminder that God is present even when life's burdens weigh heavy on us.

    "As we forgive those who sin against us..." Here participants prayed about those with whom they needed to seek reconciliation -- those persons who they struggle to see as fellow beloved children of God. They wrote the names or initials of these persons on a paper doll cutout. They then walked across the room and layed these as prayers at the foot of a large wooden cross.

    "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..." Reflecting on Jesus' temptation in the desert, worshipers were asked to consider which aspects of the Christian life and the Way of Jesus they find it most difficult to follow. They then crafted "postcards to God" confessing the temptation to stray from the path of faith.  They laid these cards at the foot of the cross.

    "For the Kingdom, the glory, the power are yours..."  Reflecting on the truth that all we have comes from God, participants spent time in silence while using this breath prayer.

    "Now and forever..."  This prayer station focused on God's unending and boundless love. Worshipers focused their prayer thoughts on this truth while contemplating images of Celtic knots which are designed with one continuous (eternal) line. Some traced the design with their finger or colored in the design.  Lots of images of these knots can be found with a simple Google search.

    "Amen."  Worshipers used a text-based mandala (found on this page by scrolling down to the heading "More Ideas") to contemplate Paul’s challenge to “pray without ceasing.” As they meditated on this phrase, they considered how they might be more attentive to God’s presence during the Lenten journey ahead and offered a prayer of openness to God.


    exemplarym said...

    great stuff guys. keep the refreshing ideas and encouragement coming. I am 46 and been doing full time youth ministry for 22 years so "rethinking" has to always be at the forefront of what I do and who I am.
    Tom with

    noob blogger 101 said...

    great idea! I am a new youth leader at a small church and this idea is one that I think will be very beneficial!