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Children’s Prayer Times

Here are some activities that can be used to engage children in effective prayer.

1 Bring it to Jesus

  • Sit the children round a table with paper on the table big enough to cover the whole table. Have coloured fibre tip pens available.
  • Ask the children about things they can think of that were brought to Jesus, and write or put pictures of these things in the middle of the table. Ideas could include: loaves and fishes, perfumed oil, paralysed man, gold/frankincense/myrrh, sick people, little children, family needs, Simon Peter, praise and worship.
  • Next ask the children what they want to bring to Jesus, and let them write or draw those things at their part of the table. You can have conversation together about the different things that are being written and drawn, and at some stage, children can stand up and walk round the table to see what others have done.
  • Explain to the children that Jesus too sees what we have written and drawn, and hears our conversation, so what has been done is already prayer. If children want to, they could then put some prayers into spoken words.
  • This activity can be targeted at a particular focus – e.g. in praying for the town, area, or country. So the children could be asked the question, “What things about [your area] do you want to bring to Jesus?”

2 Here for Jesus

  • This activity is to help the children to think about the place that the church they are part of has in the purposes of Jesus, and to pray about that.
  • Have six large sheets of paper placed around the room where they can be written on.
  • On each sheet write a title:
    • (church name) in (church name)
    • (church name) in (village, town or part of city name)
    • (church name) in (area or city)
    • (church name) in (region)
    • (church name) in (country, e.g. Scotland)
    • (church name) in (continent, e.g. Europe)
    • (church name) in the world
  • Let the children walk round and write down on the sheets what they think their church should be doing in that area. So the first one is “What do you think people in our church should be doing for one another?” Then, “What do you think our church should be doing in our town?” You can also think of what is already being done, e.g. people in their work in the town, students in Christian Unions in another place in the country, missionaries sent from the church.
  • You can then as a group look at each sheet, and give opportunity for children to pray in words about the things that have been written. It would be good too to share with the adults in the church what has been prayed about.

3 Prayer Walk

  • Jesus said to watch and pray – and this activity involves looking and noticing things that we can then pray about.
  • Explain to the children that you are going to take them for a walk in the area near where you are meeting so that they can discover things in the community to pray about. This is probably best done in groups of about four, so that there can be conversation along the way.
  • The idea is to go for a walk – allowing the children to decide where they want to go, and to see what catches their attention as they look around, and listen. They may notice particular objects, places, people, conditions or feelings.
  • Before you go, have a short prayer time asking the Holy Spirit to show you things that will help you to pray for the community.
  • Make sure you have planned proper supervision for the safety of the group. Guard against children straying on to roads.
  • Talk along the way about what is being noticed. Encourage children that it does not have to be something ‘special’ or extraordinary that catches their attention. Something very small or insignificant could be very important when it comes to praying.
  • On returning from the walk, give the children paper and pens to write or draw what caught their attention. Make a note of where each group decided to go. This could be marked on a street map.
  • Have a look at all the information and encourage the children to see what there is that they could pray about, and look for links between things that different children or different groups may have noticed, and things or people that the Holy Spirit may be highlighting.

4 Prayer Diary

  • Let the children share ideas of people and things that the members of the group could pray for during the week. When you have the list, divide them into one or more things to pray for each day of the week.
  • The children can then make a prayer diary listing the things to pray for, and then use this group prayer diary every day.
  • When the group meets again, you can talk over the things that have been prayed for, and take appropriate action, e.g. thanksgiving, more prayer.
  • The diary could be updated with fresh topics, as appropriate.

5 Prayer at Work

  • This activity can help children to understand that much of the church’s ministry takes place by people doing the jobs that God has called them to in their daily work.
  • Find a time, or make a time, when the children can be together with the adults of the church to ask them where they work and what job they do.
  • Use a map, or pictures to illustrate all the different places and jobs.
  • Let the children pray for these people and their work in the community.
  • Ask some of the adults to come to your group and answer the children’s questions about their work, and about what they would like prayer for. The children can pray with them while they are there.

6 Your Choice

  • Decide on the range of items or area you want to focus on in a group prayer time.
  • Get together appropriate pictures of different aspects or items for prayer from magazines, newspapers, photographs, the internet, tourist offices (may be good for pictures of the area or country). Put the pictures in the middle of the group, and let the children look at them and choose something to pray for.
  • Prayer could be spoken prayer, written prayer (sticking the picture to a piece of paper and then writing a prayer), or action prayer e.g. holding them up together as a sign of bringing them to Jesus, putting them all together on a big sheet of paper with an appropriate verse on it.

7 Prayer Notebook

  • Write down in a notebook what the group mentions in prayer. Look at it when the group meets and see where there have been known answers, see where situations have changed, and see where it would be good to keep on praying.

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