Kinetic Sand Prayer Station

Kinetic Sand Prayer Station

At our Winter Overnight a couple of days ago we did a time where we set up prayer stations. One of those stations you will find below. It used sand as a way to help students realize they were making impressions on the people around them. I didn’t want to make a mess with real sand so I got some kinetic sand. Let me tell you this stuff is amazing! Check out my video below. It is now my favorite desk toy.

So something a little sillier. Here is the text of the prayer station. I set up two bowls of kinetic sand for them to make impressions in.

Read Acts 1:8

Right before He went back to live in Heaven, Jesus commanded his followers to take His truth around the world. Your life is affecting the lives of those around you. As you move through your days and weeks you are leaving marks that others can see. You are impacting the people around you for eternity, but are you impacting them for good or for evil? Are you pointing them toward God or away from Him?

Spend a moment making impressions in the sand. As you press the sand notice how you leave your fingerprints. In the same way as you move through your life you are leaving your prints on the people around you. As you make impressions in the sand ask God to mold your life into one that points people towards Him.

To continue this act of commitment, choose one of your classes at school. On the back of this sheet write the names of all the people in that class. As you write their names pray for each person. Pray that God will help them see the truth about who He is and that He will use you to make an impact in their lives.

Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Last night we concluded our short series on being “ONE” with a prayer for the persecuted church. Of course it followed the age old maxim of youth ministry. If you plan a high impact evangelistic type lesson that needs lots of people to be fun and effective only 10 church kids will show up. Last night when I was looking for an intimate time with a few Christians students, and we had 2 new kids show up one who had never been to ANY church before. What a crazy first lesson on the gospel. “Follow God and you will suffer! You wanna sign up now?”

But I digress. The big teaching point for me was when I was walking around to groups and I heard my church kids saying they didn’t want to pray out loud. They were reading a story about a Somali girl who was tied to a tree for days because she wouldn’t stop being a Christian and they didn’t want to pray out loud in front of 3 other people. I really did a good job keeping my cool because I almost canceled church and sent them all out of the room right then and there. But instead I tried to point out to calmly point out to them the gross selfishness of such a refusal to pray. Honestly I think some of it got through.

If you would like to read about the event, see the stories, and some advice for doing it yourself check out the rest of this article after the jump.

I pulled 4 stories from Voice of the Martyrs and added some things to pray about at the end. I went to http://www.prisoneralert.com/ and chose one one of the profiles there so that the students could write a letter to someone who was in jail for the gospel. We also wrote letters to the teenage boy that our church is sponsoring in Africa. The final station was to pray over the shoes that a team from our church will be taking to Guatemala.

 

I have enclosed the stories that we used (and a PDF of the sheets I passed out) below, but unless you are doing this very close to the time it is posted I would suggest going to the sites and finding current stories. It is one thing to hear about a student who suffered for Christ back in 2001, it is something altogether different to learn about someone who is suffering right now.

I actually lucked into a great set up. I divided us into 6 groups, but I forgot that I had added the shoes so we actually had 7 stations. I assigned every group to a station with one left over. This worked great because the letter writing stations took longer than the prayer stations so it didn’t work to have everyone rotate at the same time. As groups would finish praying or writing letters I would make point them toward whichever station was open. It was a simple solution, and worked out well.

PDF of the Prayer Stations

Letter Writing Station: 
PRISONER NAME: Pastor Wang Xiaoguang
LOCATION: China
ARRESTED: November 2009
REVISED: June 28, 2010
On Nov. 25, 2009, Pastor Wang Xiaoguang and four other Linfen-Fushan church leaders from Shanxi Province were sentenced to criminal detention for two to seven years, according to China Aid Association. The five church leaders were accused of “gathering
people to disturb the public order,” because they organized a prayer rally on Sept. 14, the day after 400 military police raided the church’s grounds. During the raid, more than 30 believers were seriously wounded and 17 buildings were destroyed.
The note cards provided contain an encouraging note in Chinese for Pastor Wang Xiaoguang. You will also see the translation. Please take a card and write a short note of encouragement. Feel free to include a Bible verse. Before you begin check out the instructions below.
Please note:
When writing a letter, never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with ‘foreign organizations’ and receive harsher sentences. Also, please do not state anything negative about their government.
Prisoner Alerts website confused me at first so I wrote up some instructions for my students.
  • Go to http://www.prisoneralert.com/
  • Scroll down and choose one of the recently profiled prisoners
  • If you would like you can also click the country links to see additional prisoners around the world.
  • Click the name of one of the prisoners
  • Read the information about their country and situation.
  • When you are ready to write a letter check out the “what you can do section on the right”
  • Click the “write and encouraging letter” option
  • In the box that appears click the “create letter” button
  • Follow instructions to craft a default letter than can be written in their language.
  • Print out the letter (careful to avoid printing the web address too)
  • Address the letter and go to the post office for help with international postage rates.

 

Prayer Station 1:

 

 

SOMALIA: CONVERT ABUSED BY FAMILY

Voice of the Martyrs—June 2010

A 17-year-old girl in the Gedo Region of Somalia was severely beaten by her family recently after they discovered she had converted to Christianity, according to Compass Direct News. Nurta Mohamed Farah, 17, was later taken to a doctor, who prescribed medication for a “mental illness.” When she refused to abandon her Christian faith, her family forced her to take the medication.

Nurta’s family has read Islamic scripture to her twice a week since May 10, when they learned of her conversion. Somalis traditionally believe that the Quran cures the sick — especially the mentally ill.

Nurta has been shackled to a tree during the day and held in a small, dark room at night, according to Compass. “There is little the community can do about her condition, which is very bad,” a Christian source told Compass. “I have advised our community leader to keep monitoring her condition but not to meddle for their own safety. … We need prayers and human advocacy for such inhuman acts, and for freedom of religion for the Somali people.”

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray that Nurta will be encouraged and emboldened as she suffers for her faith. Pray that her steadfast commitment to Christ will soften the hearts of her parents so that they, too, will come to know him. Pray that God will grant wisdom and guidance to the Christian community in Somalia as they share the gospel with their neighbors.

Prayer Guide:

 

  • Pray for Nurta as she suffers

  • Pray for Nurta’s family that they can see her witness and accept Christ as well

  • Pray for those people who hear her story and will be influenced by her courage. 

  • Pray for other Somali Christians as they face similar persecutions

  • Pray for the Christians in Somalia. Ask God to give them wisdom and courage as they share the gospel with their neighbors. 

 

Prayer Station 2

 

AFGHANISTAN:

Christian Aid Groups Suspended

Voice of the Martyrs June 18, 2010

On May 31, the Afghanistan government suspended two Christian relief organizations over suspicions that they converted Afghans to Christianity. Proselytizing and converting from Islam to Christianity are crimes in Afghanistan. According to a New York Times report, an Afghan television station, Noorin TV, mentioned the two Christian organizations in a report that showed Westerners baptizing Afghans, and Afghans praying at private prayer meetings. However, Noorin TV later confirmed that it had no evidence linking the organizations to the baptisms or prayer meetings. 

Mohammed Sediq Amarkhiel, a spokesman for the government agency that regulates aid groups in Afghanistan, told The New York Times that there was no evidence against the Christian aid groups. He said the groups were suspended because television reports “raised suspicions” and “made people very emotional and angry.” Amarkhiel said the government will further investigate the groups’ activities. “If they are really involved in proselytizing Afghan people for Christianity, then definitely these people will be introduced to the judicial authorities,” Amarkhiel said. 

The report by Noorin TV led to a protest by Kabul University students and has also fueled anti-Christian sentiment within the Afghan government. According to the Associated Press (AP), the deputy secretary of the Afghan Parliament has called for the execution of Afghan Christians. The AP report quotes the deputy secretary as saying, “Those Afghans that appeared on this video film should be executed in public. The house should order the attorney general and the National Department of Security to arrest these Afghans and execute them.” 

Pray for believers as they share the gospel in this very difficult region. Pray that their testimony will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ. 

Prayer Guide:

 

  • Pray for protection from the government for these Afghan converts
  • Pray for the Afghan Christians. Ask God to give them wisdom and boldness as they share their faith. 
  • Pray for the relief groups that are working in Afghanistan. Ask God to give them opportunities to share Christ in that hostile environment. 
  • Pray for the Muslim leaders of Afghanistan. Ask God to change their heart and open their ears to the gospel. 

 

Prayer Station 3

 

Pakistan: Extra work for Jesus

Voice of the Martyrs

Twelve-year-old Sajid makes bricks in Pakistan. He and his mother, Miriam; brother, Aaron; and sister, Naomi, are the only Christians working at a brick factory. Their boss and the other workers are Muslims. Sajid’s father died when Sajid was 10.

Sajid’s family works six days a week. The boss pays them only $4.15 for every 1,000 bricks they make. Then he takes almost half of the money away from them for “expenses and debts.”

Sajid went to school for four years before his father died. Then he had to go to work to help his family. He is the only member of his family who can read. At church, he reads the Bible to the congregation. He loves to worship God, and he hopes to be a pastor someday.

But Sajid does not always get to go to church. His boss, Mr. Ali, wants Sajid and his family to become Muslims. He promises them money if they will stop being Christians. Whenever they refuse to become Muslims, he gives them extra work and even makes them work on Sunday.

Miriam tells her children, “See, we are like the Israelites in the Bible. They were forced to make bricks for Pharaoh. Some day our Moses will come to free us, too. We must wait for Jesus Christ to come. Then we will be able to praise him forever.”

Once when Mr. Ali asked the family to become Muslims for money, Miriam answered, “How can we sell our faith? Our Moses will come. We love Jesus. We are willing to do whatever extra work we must do. Jesus died for our sins. So I do not see why we can’t do a little extra work for him.”

Mr. Ali did not like Miriam’s answer. In anger, he slapped Sajid.

On some Sundays, Sajid’s family is able to go to church in secret. They go without food to save money for their bus fare to the church. 

Thank God for Christians like Sajid and his family who love and praise God even when they suffer. Ask God to keep them strong in their faith. 

Prayer Guide:

 

  • Pray for Sajis, Miriam, Aaron and Naomi
  • Pray for other Pakistan Christians that they will be encouraged. 
  • Pray for protection from the authorities for those who are trying to reach the people of Pakistan with the gospel. 

 

Discussion Station:

 

Pakistan: A Teenage Evangelist

Voice of the Martyrs

Sidra is a teenager in Pakistan. She lives with her father, Ilyas Masih, and her mother, Najma Bibi. She has an older brother, four younger brothers, and a little sister. Only two Christian families live in her village, and there is no church building. Sidra has Muslim classmates, Muslim teachers, and Muslim neighbors.

Sidra loves Jesus, and she wanted to learn more about God’s word. So she signed up for a Bible class. The class was a home study class. She received lessons in the mail, and she sent assignments back to the school’s office.

Special Packages

Three Muslim children named Shazia, Sadia, and Muhammad lived next door to Sidra’s family. The neighbor children noticed that the postman brought Sidra a package every two weeks. “What is in the packages?” they asked Sidra.

Sidra told them that she learned more about her Christian faith from the lessons that came in the packages. “We want to learn about Christianity, too!” said Shazia, Sadia, and Muhammad. “Can we receive the lessons?”

Sidra’s father is a garbage collector, and her family is not rich. But she wanted to help her neighbors learn about Jesus. So she paid the $2.50 membership fee for them, and she signed them up for the lessons.

Arrested

The village postman noticed that Muslim children got Bible lessons in the mail. He told the school principal. The principal went to Sidra’s house and talked to her father. “You and your daughter have been attracting Muslims to Christianity,” the principal said. “I will teach you a lesson for this!”

The principal told a news reporter and the police about the Bible lessons. The police came to Sidra’s house and arrested her father. Thankfully, family members were able to see that the police freed him the next day.

Discuss the Following Questions

Sidra was guilty of “attracting Muslims to Christianity.” To attract someone means to invite them or draw them closer to something. How might someone in your country attract others to Christianity? If you were accused of attracting someone to Christianity, would you be “guilty”? How can Sidra’s story inspire you this week? What are ways that you can help attract others to Jesus? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Worship Stations

Love Worship Stations

Each of these stations were designed to be used by individual worshipers in a self-guided worship activity. These stations were written to accompany the LOVE worship outline, but they can be used on their own as well.

How it Works

  • Create a space for each station. The station will dictate what sort of space is required, but normally a table containing the instructions and materials will be sufficient.
  • Spread the stations out around your room so that participants will be able to move freely between them.
  • Include space around your room for participants to simply sit and worship too
  • Spend some time designing your stations with material, candles, and other elements that seem appropriate.
  • Print the instructions for each station and place them where they can be seen easily.
  • Place the materials on each station. (If something is going to be used and placed back you may need only a few of them, if something will be used and taken you will need as many as you have participants)
  • Play some soft music while people are engaged with the stations to cut down on distractions and help keep people focused.

Love Letter to God

  • Stationary (we used card stock cut in half and the folded like a card)
  • Pens

Instructions:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. 1 John 4:16a (NIV)

There is nothing quite as amazing as a love letter from someone we love. We read each word carefully searching for hidden meaning. We scrutinize and memorize as we rejoice in every sentence every syllable. In many ways the Bible is God’s love letter to us. It is a record of His work in the world and it is His way of reminding us of His love for us that He proved on the cross.

Take some time and come up with your own love letter to God. Write an original work of art that expresses your love to God. It can be a poem or a paragraph or whatever you feel like saying.
Remember that love is more than just a feeling it also involves your actions.

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6 (NIV)

Love Art

  • art supplies
  • paper (we used one big communal piece of paper, that way at the end we had a mural of the love of God)

Instructions:

Read the verses below, then without using a heart as a symbol draw a picture of love

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. [35] By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35 (NIV)

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13 (NIV)

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Loved

  • build a large free standing cross (ours was made out of 4x4s)
  • Paint the cross black
  • Use red paint pens to write the bad list on one side of the cross (fill the cross with words even if you need to repeat a few)
  • Use white paint pens to write the good list on the other side of the cross (fill the cross with words even if you need to repeat a few)
  • Set the cross somewhere that worshipers have access to both sides
  • Bad Word List: Unloved, Unloveable, Unworthy, Ugly, Worthless, Useless, Forgettable, No good, Used, Overlooked, Ignored, Hated, Outcast, Stupid, Guilty, Forgotten, Alone
  • Good Word List: Loved, Chosen, Worthy, Beautiful, Valuable, Useful, Important, Holy, Noticed, Loved, Liked, Invited, Picked, Forgiven, Remembered, Family, Child of God, Saint, Changed, Reborn, Renewed, Restored, Loved, Loved, Loved, Respected, Welcome, Transformed

Instructions:

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 (NIV)

It is the cross where God proved his love for us. But many times it is hard for us to feel very loved. The words of our own mind and the words of others are more real to us than the words of God.

Look at the front side of the cross (the side with the red words). Read the words that are written there. As you come to a word that you feel is true about your life, or that others have called you or have made you feel then place you hand on that word.

The beauty of the cross is that none of those words are true about you. God loves you and proved that love in the cross. This means that you are important to God.

Move to the other side of the cross and read the words there that are true about you. Place your hand on any that are hard to believe and ask God to speak the truth of those words to your soul.

 

Healing Love

  • Heart shaped cutouts (you will need two for each worshiper)
  • Box for heart pieces

Instructions:

Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)

Take a heart from the stack on the table and find a place to be by yourself.
Think of the times in the past that you have been hurt. What pains are you still holding on to? What are you having trouble letting go? These pains may be things done to you by someone else or by your own mistakes. For each of these hurts tear a piece of your heart. Don’t hide the things that hurt you be honest with yourself as you tear your heart.

Now go back to the table and place the pieces of your heart in the box and get a new heart.

That new heart is the heart that God wants to give you. Real life hurt can’t be healed in one night, but all healing comes from God. It is God’s love for you that restores you and creates in you a new heart.

Take your new heart home as a reminder that God can heal you.

Love in Action

  • Index Cards
  • Pens
  • List of Actions (on back of instruction sheet)

Instructions:

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” John 14:21 (NIV)

Love isn’t just a feeling it is action. Love is a verb. Look at the list of actions on the back of this sheet. They are each actions that require you to get out of your comfort zone and reach out in love.

Spend some time in prayer asking God to show you how He is asking you to reach out in love.

Take one of the cards from the table and write down the love actions that God is calling you to do. Then take this card home and put in somewhere that you will see it everyday as a reminder of your commitment to love.

The Actions:

I will spend time with someone who needs a friend

I will spend time with someone in this youth group who I don’t know very well.

I will stop gossip when I hear it, and I will not pass it on to others.

When I see someone getting picked on I will step in and defend him/her

I will do something nice for my parents

I will share the truth about Jesus with my friends.

I will remember that my life is a picture of the gospel for others and I will live a life that points others to God.

I will choose to stay away from places and situations that can ruin my testimony to others

I will take an interest in how God’s love is being shared around the world.