Back to School Prayer Stations

Back to School Prayer Stations

This is a collection of seven prayer stations specifically designed for a back to school prayer service. Check out the general instructions below and if you have any questions let me know.

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.

Used

  • several pieces of clay
  • wipes or hand sanitizer
  • place to throw wipes away

Instructions:

Isaiah 64:8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

For some unknown reason God chooses to use us to accomplish his plans. More than that, he loves using us. The Bible calls God the potter and us the clay to be molded.

Take a piece of clay and kneed it in your fingers. As you do ask God to show you where he wants to use you. Ask him to mold you into a tool He can use to reach your friends.

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Light

  • tea lights
  • matches
  • a place to place burned matches
  • Bibles

Set up:

Place a number of tea lights on a table. A good number would be to double the number of people you think would be attending. Be sure that the lights are sitting on something that will be ok if it gets wax on it. Place matches and a place to put burned matches on the table along with the instructions. If students don’t normally have Bibles you may want to provide them as well.

Instructions:

Read Matthew 5:13-16 Many people live in darkness, but the Bible calls you to be the light of the world. Think for a moment about your friends who don’t know God. Pray for them, that God will open their eyes and hearts to His joy. Pray that he will use you to help them see His light. Then light a candle as a symbol of God bringing light to their lives.

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Worship

  • instructions sheet

Set up: Print the instructions on the front of your paper and the verses listed below on the back. (All verses come from the NIV)

Instructions:

Sometimes we don’t tell others about God because we have a very small idea of who God is. It is like we have God in a little box. That idea of God isn’t very inspiring to those around us and it isn’t true.

Using the verses on the back of this sheet, take a guided tour of the greatness of God. Read each verse slowly and let the majesty of God wash over you.

As you read imaging you are trying to cram more and more truth into your little God box. Imagine the box straining at the seams until finally, as you read the last verse, the box explodes and God is revealed in all His glory.

Verses:

Deut. 4:24 the Lord your God is a consuming fire

Deut. 4:31 the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

Deut. 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior

Job 36:22 “God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him?

Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

Psalm 47:7 For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.

2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

Zeph. 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

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Intercession

  • large pictures of the schools your students attend
  • small pieces of paper for journaling (we used letter paper cut into quarter sheets)
  • cork board
  • push pins
  • pens
  • Bible
  • Place the school pictures on the cork board so that students can pin their prayers on top of them.

Instructions:

Open your Bible and read Ephesians 6:18

It has been said that we don’t talk to our friends about God because we don’t talk to God about our friends. Too often we forget to pray for our friends and for our schools.

Find a place to be by yourself and use the paper provided to journal a prayer for your school and your friends. When you are finished come back and pin your prayer on top of your school.

As each worshiper prays you will see your school covered in prayers.

(If you don’t have a school or if your school isn’t pictured then you can still pray for your friends and place your prayer out to the side)

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Pray

  • pens

Instructions: 

Find a place to be alone. Think of at least 3 people in your life who need to know about the love of God. It could be a member of your family or your close friend. Write their names below.

Now kneel down and pray for each one of the names you have written. No gimmicks, no tricks, just take their name before the Lord. Pray passionately for them. Ask God to soften their hearts. Ask God to give you an opportunity to tell them about His love.

Whatever you do, however you do it, just pray.

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Prints

Moon Sand (available at a department store or toy store). You will need several containers.

Instructions:

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. 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 a class that you have during the day. On the back of this sheet write the names of all the people in that class. As you do 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.

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Why

  • large piece of paper on a focal wall
  • pens/markers
  • instructions posted where they were easy to read

Instructions: Read 1 Peter 3:15

If Christianity is so hard then why is it worth it? Why would anyone choose to follow God? Is it just so they can go to heaven?

On the wall write or draw reasons someone would want to follow God. You can write as many as you want.

Family Prayer Time Ideas

Family Prayer Time Ideas

Most Parents who are part of a church know that they should spend more time in prayer with their children. The problem is that these family devotion times can become very formulaic and can even get overlooked when our schedules become too full. Here are a few ideas to add some creativity to your family prayer times.

Prayer Flash Cards:

The idea

Create flash cards as visual reminders of who your family is praying for. Your small children can use those cards as a reference on who to pray for.

Before you start

  • Gather together pictures of family members, friends, and church leaders (especially your child’s Sunday school teacher)
  • Create a set of flash cards using the pictures.
  • If you glue the pictures onto construction paper or large index cards you can have room to write requests beneath the picture.

How it works

Use your deck of cards to guide your time of prayer. There are several ways that you can do this. The basic way to pray would be to turn over each card and then pray as a family for the person who is on the card. You can also pass out the cards face down to each person in your family and then take turns turning a card over and praying for the person on the card.

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Prayer Letters:

The idea

Write down a prayer that you have for someone else in your family and then let them read it.

Before you start

Gather pens and half sheets of paper (because whole sheets can be intimidating) for each person in your family.

How it works:

  • Sit everyone in your family in a circle.
  • Have each person write a prayer about the person sitting on their left. If you have never journaled a prayer before encourage your children to write down what they would say to God if they were praying for their person.
  • Play some soft music while people are writing their prayers.
  • After everyone has finished pass your prayer to who it was about.
  • Have the subject of the prayer read it aloud.

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Puzzle Prayers:

The idea:

God has given us each a special gift to use in the church. This prayer uses a puzzle to pray for the people who are in our church.

Before you start:

Find a wooden puzzle or other toy that requires the matching of shapes. (Like a toy with square, triangle, and star shaped holes)

How it works:

  • Put the puzzle together with your child.
  • As you do point out that God made everyone different and special.
  • Tell your child that the church has many different people with different talents all coming together to glorify God.
  • As you put in the pieces of the puzzle pray for our church and its leaders. Be sure to include your child’s Sunday school teacher in your prayers.
  • After you have prayed undo the puzzle and start putting them back in again. This time encourage your child to pray a prayer similar to the one that you prayed.

Family Prayer Activities

Family Prayer Activities

Life is stressful. Life with children is normally even more stressful. As parents we know that we should have spiritual conversations with our children, but often we find it hard to create those moments in the course of a normal day. Here are a few ideas for adding prayer to your time with your small children.

In Car Prayers

The Idea:

Families spend lots of time in the car so why not redeem some of that time as a time to pray prayers of praise.

Before You Start:

Before you crank the car inform your children that part of your trip will be a prayer of praise by saying the following silly rhyme.

We’re in the car for another ride
and we need something to pass the time.
So from now till then until we get there
we will pray the “see what God has made” prayer.

How it works:

  • Take turns saying things that you see that God has made. Once you say something you see the next person has to say a short prayer of thanks for that item and then gives the next item. This continues around the car (or back and forth between 2 people).
  • For older kids add an element of memory to the game by listing everything that is said each time. For instance if Sally says, I see Trees then Mom would say Thank you God for the trees. I see a dog. Sally would then have to say, “thank you God for trees and that dog.” and then would add something that she saw and it would continue from there.
  • If small children have a trouble differentiating between things that are man made and God made be sure to point out that everything is made by someone made by God so everything that you see can be used as a way to praise God.

Prayer Breaks

The idea

Being out in public with your children can sometimes be stressful. Beat the stress and add prayer to your day by taking short (1 minute) prayer breaks while you are out and about.

How it works

Once every hour stop everything you are doing and sit down to pray. Find you a bench or a place you can sit sort of out of the way. Sit down. Pull your children up into your lap or put your arms around them. Take a few deep breaths and then pray.

Pray for the people that you see around you. Pray that God will use you to be a light to them. Encourage your children to pray for the people that they see as well. When you are finished squeeze them all real tight and go on about your business. You will feel better and your children will see a visual demonstration of the importance of prayer.

Pick Up Prayers

The Idea:

This isn’t really an idea to pray with your children, but it is something that I have found helpful. The idea is to pray for your children as you are cleaning up after them.

How it works:

As you are picking up your child’s toys or other things use that time to pray for him. Let that small act of service that you are doing be an offering to God and lift up your child to Him in prayer as you are cleaning.

(on a personal note: One of my son’s favorite toys is Legos, but since he is just 5 he doesn’t do a very good job of organizing them. Some of my biggest prayer times for that little boy come when I am getting those little pieces back into the right container.)

Playground Prayers

Playground Prayers

Most Christians parents know that they should spend time talking with their kids about God. But when you have small children sometimes just getting through the day without pulling your hair out is an accomplishment. So here are a couple of ideas that you can add to your next trip to the playground to help open up a spiritual conversation between you and your children.

 

The Idea

Use your time playing on the playground (or your backyard swing set) as a time for prayer.

Before you start

Tell your children that as you play today you are going to come up with new ways to pray. This would be a good time to explain that prayer doesn’t always mean that we have to bow our heads. It is important for children to learn that God is always with them and they can pray wherever they are.

How it Works

Swings:

  • As you get on the swings ask your child about what happens when they swing. Keep asking different questions until they say that the swings help them to get high up in the air. Point out that God lifts us up high sort of like a swing does. Say that as you swing you are going to come up with ways in your life that God has helped you or lifted you up.
  • Give your child a push and tell him/her to say something that he/she is thankful for each time that you push him/her. After your child runs out of things that they are thankful for add a few of your own to the list.
  • When you finish swinging pause for a short moment, bow your head, and pray. Thank God for all of the things that you listed while swinging.

Slide:

  • Say: Just like you slide down this slide some times in life there are things that drag us down. But even when things are going rough God is always with us waiting to catch us before we fall.
  • Stand at the end of the slide. As your child sits on the top ask him if he has anything that he would like for you to pray about. Let your child slide down then and catch him at the bottom. Hug him close and whisper in his ear. “God loves you and will always be there to catch you”. Repeat the processes for as long as you want to play.
  • Your child will quickly run out of things to pray about, but you probably have a list a mile long. Each time your child slides pray silently for one of the needs on your list.

Monkey Bars:

  • Ask your child what would happen if one of the rungs were missing. She may still be able to get across, but it would be more difficult. Then ask what would happen if more than one were missing. Eventually she would not be able to cross.
  • Point out that in our church there are many people doing many different jobs, and if any one of them left it would effect her. So as she crosses the bars encourage her to pray for her church and the leaders in it. Let one rug be the pastor, another her age group specific pastor and another to be her Sunday school teacher. Then ask her to think of other people in the church who have an impact on her. (You may be surprised at the answers).
  • As she crosses encourage her to pray for each person. While she is praying you can pray for her leaders too.

Drawing Prayer Confidence

Drawing Prayer Confidence

(Psalm 86)

God, the one true God, the creator of the universe and the sustainer of all things, wants to know us. He wants to interact with us. And we can go to him confidently in prayer not because of our merit, but because He has chosen to reach out to us. This art prayer activity is designed to help students see this truth.

I tend to like to pass out crayons rather than markers because they have less chance of making permanent messes, but pens and paper will work as well. When it comes to paper I normally use half sheets because it is a little less intimidating than a large blank page for those of us who can’t draw.

  • Pass out paper and drawing material to students
  • Instruct students to divide their paper into three sections
  • Have them draw in the first section a picture that describes who God is or some of the big things that he has done (his “works” as it were)
  • In the second section tell students to draw a picture representation of God’s desire to interact with people. (I know that is long, but what I said was that the Sistine chapel was a good example of that with God reaching out to touch Adam’s hand. Another good idea would be a cross which is the ultimate symbol of God proving that he wants to reach out to us)
  • In the final sections students should draw a picture that represents something God did directly for them. For instance God if God was there for you when your friends left you a picture of you alone but smiling might work.
  • After students are finished tell them that they have just drawn a picture of how we can pray confidently. God is powerful; we can see his power all around us. God is willing to interact with people, and God has also done great things for you. At times when we think that God isn’t responding it will help us to remember who God is and what he has done for us in the past.