Use this prayer activity to encourage your students to help your students be more deliberate about their prayer time. The basic idea is that students will come up with a position for praying and have a reason why they chose such a position. Then to add a communal element to this prayer experience students will go and share their position with other students and eventually pray with the positions that they learned. The instructions are set up to be read out to your group. The parts in italics are notes for you.
Say: Here is what I want you to do. Choose a position with your body that represents some aspect of your relationship with God. It can be anything from bowing in reverence to opening your arms wide to receive his blessing, to laying down and relaxing in his comfort. There are only 3 rules.
- Whatever you do must be big enough to notice. You can’t simply stand there with your hands in your pockets. Your position must be noticeable.
- You must have a reason for the position that you choose
- Look around the room and try to find a position that no one else is doing.
As we begin I am going to play some music softly. Spend a moment praying and thinking about this exercise. In just a moment I will ask you to move into your position. Everyone must participate in this exercise. No one is going to judge you or laugh at you. No one is going to single you out. Just follow what God is saying to you and let that guide you as you move.
(Play music softly for a moment)
Move into position and begin to pray let how you are positioned guide your prayer.
(Here you may want to give them some ideas, especially if you have a larger group it can be hard to find something that others aren’t doing: Arms out wide, hands cupped like a bowl, hands raised in praise, face down before the Lord etc.
(Play music again for a moment)
Now, very quietly I want you to move and find a partner. If you can’t find a partner then we can have 1 group of 3.
(give them time to find a partner before giving the next instructions)
Very quietly I want you to share they position you chose with your partner and share the reason why you chose that position.
(Give them a few moments to share their position before giving the next instructions)
Now what I want you to do is move into the position that you just learned from your partner. Us this position to guide your prayer time.
(play some more music and have another minute or so of prayer
Now I want you to find a different partner and go through the same process. Sharing your original position and reason with your new partner.
(give them some time to do this.)
Now find a place that you can be separated from everyone else in the room. Spend some time praying through each position you have learned. Start with this third position and pray there for a while and then move through the other two positions. Repeat this process until we close our prayer time.
(play music for a while and then close by softly singing a song)
How it went for us:
I was really shocked at how well the students responded to this worship time. I love any type of worship that involves moving the whole body. After we finished singing I had a little debrief time i asked students to describe their positions. They had some good ideas. What intrigued me about our group was that no one was standing. I wish I could say that it was because they were too self-conscious to stand before the Lord, but it was probably more that they were too self-conscious to stand when everyone else was on the floor. To close the debrief time I said, “In this exercise we made our praise visible to those around us. As Christians our worship should be visible to the people that we come in contact with. Our praise shouldn’t be something we hold to ourselves it should overflow into our daily lives where others can see.