I put together a special prayer service designed to help our church pray specifically for our pastor search committee. These ideas can easily be modified to help you pray for any big decision. Of course they can just as easily be made to be generic and about praying for guidance in your life.
I have included all of the text from that service after the jump.
One of the things that I like to do when using stations with a large group (when I have so many people that everyone can’t be at the stations at the same time) is to have something that they do while they are still sitting down. This also gives an opportunity for people to pray who aren’t comfortable getting up and going to a prayer station. Below is the text from the booklet I passed out as people entered.
Tonight we are going to earnestly seek the will of God. Begin by clearing your mind of distractions and opening yourself to the presence of God in this place. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths.
Breathe in God’s love. Breathe out anxiety. Breathe in God’s presence. Breathe out tension. Breathe in God’s acceptance. Breathe out fear.
In our culture of rapid pace and constant deadlines it is hard to sit quietly at the feet of God. We have been programmed by our culture to act, not sit still. But it is in the stillness that God speaks to our heart.
Close your eyes and name your distractions. Imagine you are packing each distraction in a box and putting it on a shelf. Don’t worry, they will still be there when we finish. If you need to, create a “to do” list in the margin of things that you will worry about later.
Take some time to place your focus on God. Sing a chorus to yourself, or meditate on an aspect of God’s goodness. Seek after God and His stillness.
When your heart is still, look at the prayer options that you find in this booklet. This is your time to seek God’s face. Remember all of these things are simply guides. God is who we are seeking. We want to know His truth. Turn your eyes to Him.
Whatever you do during this time the most important thing is to pray. You can pray right where you are sitting; kneel at the altar; find a partner to join you; or use one of the activities you will find here. However you do it, PRAY!
The Prayer Stations
If this is your first experience with this type of prayer experience don’t worry you can’t mess things up. At each of the 6 stations placed around the room you will find a sheet of directions that will tell you everything that you need to know. Take a pen and a Bible with you as you go. You may spend as much time as you need at any of them.
As you know we will be selecting a Pastor Search Committee tomorrow. Pray that we will listen to God and put His people on this committee. Pray that God will give that committee wisdom and discernment. Pray that they will follow God and seek His will first and foremost. Pray also that our church will come together in unity behind this committee.
Take a hymnal from the pew rack in front of you and use it as a guide for your own personal praise time. You can simply flip pages at random or choose your favorites. When you select a hymn, read through the words and think about how those words apply to your life. Come up with your own “thank you’s” to God based on the songs.
For instance in the song is “Victory in Jesus” you might say, “Lord thank you for how you have given me victory over my fears. I am now able to stand up for truth.” or something like that.
Don’t be afraid to be creative. If you are inspired by a song write another lyric for it that is personal for you, or draw a picture about how that song touches you on the inside. You may want to sing the song quietly to yourself. This is your time of personal worship between you and God. Forget about everything else but you and your creator.
Close your eyes and attempt to complete the maze below. Remember you must stay in the lines.
It’s impossible; isn’t it? If you cant see the lines then how are you supposed to know where to go next. The same is true with life. We often try to run through life making choices and decisions and wondering why things aren’t working out the way we had hoped. Part of the problem is that we don’t go to God and ask Him for directions. God is the only one who can see the lines in this maze of life. Why then do we try to make decisions without seeking His guidance?
Spend a few moments praying about the direction of our church. We cannot make this decision on our own and hope to succeed. We cannot see what is around the next corner, but God can. Earnestly seek him and ask him for our next step of faith.
Read through the following scripture on God’s guidance write down what you feel God saying to you after you read each one.
Here are the 6 stations that we used. The italic text is to help you with the setup. The plain text is the text we used on the instruction sheet.
Setup: Place a flowering plant in the center of the table. Place chairs around the table. Put blank paper (I prefer half sheets) and art supplies on the table along with a few copies of these instructions. Remember if you use colored pencils to also put a pencil sharpener.
Genesis 1:1-5 (NIV)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
When we are trying to find our path it is important to remember who the God of the universe really is. He isn’t just powerful and mighty, he is also creator. He made all that we see and know. Why shouldn’t we trust him with our lives?
Nature’s amazing goodness reminds us of God’s power and his faithfulness to his children. Take a few moments and draw a picture representing something in nature. Then write about how that piece of God’s creation reminds you that God will guide you.
>>Shaped to Serve<<
Setup: A puzzle broken into pieces and placed in a basket. You may also need to provide Bibles for people to take.
Take a piece of the puzzle from the basket. Find a Bible and a quiet place to sit and look up 1 Corinthians 12:14-20.
Paul says that each of us as a member of the body have a unique function. You are being shaped and molded into just the right size and shape to fit into this body of believers. As we are praying for a new pastor we can’t forget to be praying that we will be the church that God wants us to be.
So are you willing to be shaped by God into your piece of our puzzle? We will never be all that we can be as a church if people refuse to let God mold and shape them. Will you let go of your small desires and dive into God’s great adventure for your life? The shaping process isn’t easy, but when we allow God to work with us he can create in us something beautiful.
Take your piece of the puzzle and
hold it in your hands. Pray about what your role is here at Calvary. Ask God to help you be molded by him. As God speaks to you be willing to jot down some ideas that he puts in your heart. Don’t simply hear the voice of the Lord, act on what He says.
>>All things New<<
Setup: Buy a model car kit and put it together. Don’t be super precise about it. Make sure you can see brush strokes in the paint and that there are glue fingerprints on the windows. Place that on the left side of the table. On the right side of the table place a store bought model car. Again this station uses a Bible and pens. If you haven’t provided them somewhere else you will need them here.
Pick up the hand made model on the right. Many times we try to fix our own lives we end up with something like this. It looks like a car, but just barely. We mess up our lives just trying to patch something together that looks like life from a distance, but when you get up close you can see that it just isn’t right. Then we go to God with our smudged messed up life and hope that he will help.
Many people never go to God because they are too afraid that he won’t help them. The cool thing is that not only does God help, but he gives us a whole new life. Check out the model on the left. That is what God is offering. Not a fixed up version of your old life, but a brand new one.
Find a Bible and read the following scriptures 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Revelations 21:5. In the space below write what you think those passages mean to you. What in your life are you trying to fix that God wants to make new? What are you trying to do on your own power that God wants you to give to him? Ask God to help you let go and give your concerns and your heart to Him.
Setup: OK, this one may cost you a bit, but it is cool. You will need enough small flashlights so that everyone in your group can take one. (I ordered ones that said Jesus is the light of the world from Oriental Trading Company). Make sure that they have batteries and place them in a container on the table along with the instruction sheets. Again, people will need Bibles.
As we seek God’s direction many times we want to have all of the answers laid out in front of us. God rarely works that way. Most of the time he reveals only the next step we are to take.
Choose a flashlight from the ones on the table. Take your Bible to a place where it is dark or in shadow (you may need to kneel down beneath a pew or lean over to find a shadow. Using the flashlight look up Psalm 119:105 and Psalm 43:3. Take a few moments and meditate on these verses. Then spend some time praying about God’s next step for our church. Pray about Alan Dodson and his family. Ask God where He is leading Calvary.
When you are finished keep the flashlight as a reminder that God lights our paths one step at a time.
Setup: Place a tree branch in a bucket or other container. Make sure the branch has plenty of branches. Place some sand in the container to keep the branch upright and then place some river rocks on top to make it look pretty. Cut out strips of red construction paper. Punch a hole in one end and run a small piece of ribbon through each hole. Place the strips of paper around the tree with the instructions and some permanent markers.
How has God come through for you in the past? Look back over you life and think of the times when God has been real to you. Think of the times when you were hurting and God brought you comfort. Think of the times when you had lost your way and God brought you guidance.
Now take one (or more) of the sheets of construction paper and write a short note of thanks to God for how He has come through for you in the past.
When you have finished, tie your thanks to the tree here. As everyone comes to pray we will have a visual representation of how God has come through for us in the past, and because He never changes we can know that He will come through for us again.
Setup: Purchase a small desktop waterfall from a department store (they are normally with the candles) be sure that it is one that you can hear the water falling. Place this in an out of the way place of you room so that it will be quiet enough to hear the water.
Read Psalm 42:1-5
Think about a time when you were really thirsty, not just a little parched, but feeling like you were going to pass out thirsty. When was the last time you were thirsty for God like that?
God is the living water. He is a spring of life welling up inside of you. Think of what a cool clean stream can do for you. It can quench your thirst, clean you, refresh you, transport you. Every time you reach in to touch it you are touching a new part of it; it is always renewing itself, always fresh and new and wild.
Take a few moments and kneel here to pray. Meditate on his goodness. Thank him for being your living water.