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Organising a Prayer Event

A well organised prayer event can make it easy for participants to be involved by exploring and experimenting with different ways of expression in prayer. Guidelines for one such event are given below – an ‘Action Stations’ prayer event. “Action” = doing a range of different things in prayer. “Stations” = a number of different ‘stations’ around the room, each with its own theme. People pray at one station then move from station to station. Such an event can fit a wide range of ages and Christian experience, including children and adults together.

1 Planning and Preparation

  • To host the event, a large room or hall is needed. An important preparation is to clear the hall of distractions – remove anything that can be removed which is not part of the prayer event, and cover over anything else, e.g. noticeboards covered in notices. (Make sure you replace everything afterwards!) This means that the only things catching people’s attention are things that the prayer event is focusing on.
  • Set out the hall with as many different ‘stations’ as fit the venue and the number of people who will be attending.
  • Have welcomers available to introduce people on how to be involved from the time they come in.
  • The idea of the programme is that participants go to one station, spend some time there, pray, then move on to another station where there is a different subject and a different way of praying. During the event people may visit all the stations, or particular ones that relate to them. The programme can either be left for people to move round at their own pace, or there can be set times, e.g. ten minutes for people to be at one station, then some indication can be given that it is time to move on (if this is being done it is good to give a two minute warning for people to complete what they are doing).
  • As part of the programme, it is possible to use the space between moving from station to station for drawing everyone’s attention together for a song, testimony, or prayer all together.
  • The stations can be unmanned – with clear large instructions of what to do, or manned by people who can introduce the subject and the suggested way of praying , for example a station about schools could be hosted by a school teacher and pupil.
  • The ‘action stations’ could be set out for a variety of themes, such as homes, workplaces, schools and colleges, hospitals, transport, churches, institutions, shopping centres, courts and prisons. Alternatively they could be set out in a widening area – me, my home and family, my church, my school or workplace, my neighbourhood, my town, my region, my nation.

2 Prayer Activities for ‘Action Stations’

  • There are many props and themes that could be used at the stations, and many different ways of praying.
  • Maps – can be used to focus on different areas for a variety of purposes. On a local street map, mark on the subjects for prayer, e.g. where people live, where they work, schools, church buildings. Regional – highlight the different towns with information attached for prayer. National – mark on where people know others who live there. As with all the visual things: the bigger, the better – the enlarging facility on a copier can be very useful! One idea is to draw a grid on the map and people can pray for the places in one square then mark it with a cross, so that through the event, lots of different places will be prayed for. A big enough map could be put on the floor for people to stand on a particular area as they pray for it.
  • Newspapers – have copies of local, regional or national newspapers to look at and discover prayer topics. People could cut out articles and stick them up. Some questions could help to focus people in their praying on a given subject, e.g. Can you find some good news? What can you find about ‘children’? What can you find that upsets you? What groups of people are advertising their meetings?
  • A cross – put up a big cross using two planks of wood tied together, making sure it is secure. This could be used for a place for people to kneel for quiet prayer, a place to write things that are wrong and place them at the foot of the cross (into a wastepaper bin), and a place to write the names of people being prayed for on self adhesive post-it notes and stick them on the cross.
  • Questions and multiple choice answers – on a particular subject to see what people know and to help them know more.
  • Brochures and leaflets – obtain these from Christian or community organisations that you want to pray for. Have them available for people to look at, to choose from and pray for.
  • Personal area/ Bible meditation – place this station in a quieter part of the hall, perhaps with an instrumental worship CD playing. Have Bibles there and a suggested reading or readings, perhaps a psalm. This gives time for people to listen and receive, a rest from the work of praying that they are doing at the other stations. Provide paper and pens to record thoughts.
  • Art/ graffiti wall or floor mat – a big area for people to paint, draw or write on. This could be things received in their Bible meditation time, things that people are praying for, or things from the Bible. Provide plenty of large marker pens or paints with a good variety of colours.
  • Planting seeds – as a prayer of something we want to see grow. Plant seeds in to trays of compost. Things could be written on a lolly stick and placed in next to the seed. At the end of the event, someone could water the seeds and ask the Holy Spirit to ‘water’ all the prayer seeds that have been sown. Trays should then be given to someone who is likely to be able to take care of their growth (!) in the hope they can be brought out as a reminder at a later date.
  • Bible verses to pray – find Bible verses that can be used as prayers which are relevant to the subjects of the event. Write or print them in large lettering for people to read as prayers.
  • Stones and water – have a pile of stones (mini-mountain) representing things that should be shifted, perhaps with a list of suggestions next to it. Each person chooses something to pray for, removes a stone and places it in a bowl of water as a picture of cleansing.
  • Treasure hunt – have things or places to pray for written on separate pieces of card. Each person chooses a card, without previously seeing what it says, and then prays for the subject on it. If it is a place name, it could be found and marked on a map. Information about subjects could be on a board, in newspapers, or in leaflets for the person to find.
  • Praying for different churches – choose a picture to represent different churches, such as bricks of a building, branches of a tree, flowers in a garden, stars in the sky. People make a paper or card shape to add to the big picture and write the name of a church on it. See how many different denominations and groupings of churches can be prayed for.
  • Praying for workplaces – ask people to write on a piece of paper where they work, and put these together on a board, wall or floor area.
  • Thank you book – a ‘thank you notebook’ could be left on a table for people to record items of thanksgiving.
  • Stepping stones – some things can be put ‘in between’ stations, e.g. “stepping stones” – card shapes taped to the floor with a word on each, such as faith, love, hope, perseverance, forgiveness, grace, peace. People could be encouraged to stand on a stone to be committed to what is on the stone as they pray.

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