Aim: To explore different ways of praying. Introduction: Do you ever find it difficult to know what to say? Ever lost without words? In any relationship it can be difficult to communicate what you feet and what you want to say. This is the same in our relationship with God. These activities look at ways that can help the children in your group begin to pray and get to know God better. It’s something that we should be doing together with
the children every week, but sometimes it’s hard to think of ways that we can do it that don’t get stale. Try using some a variety of these activities on a regular basis. These activities focus on using prayer in praise, thanks, worship, and petition (asking God to do something). Key Bible Verses: Psalm 141:2: Matthew 6:5-15: Luke 11:1-12; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack S-2-1
• 1 part washing up liquid / 150ml
• 4 parts glycerine or light corn syrup / 2 Tsp sugar
• 10 parts water! 350ml
• Measuring jug
• Garden wire
• Coloured wool
• Colouring pens/pencils
• Large paper plate
• Small paper plate
• Paper bowl
• Black pom-pom
• Large stick on eyes
• Black marker pen
• Prayer Bear template
• DVD player
• Where’s God when I’m S-Scared? (VeggieTales DVD)
Activity 1 - What is Prayer
Aim: To use bubbles to demonstrate that when we pray we are sending a message to God.
Make some of the bubble mixture beforehand, as it will work better if it is left overnight.
• This activity uses bubbles to demonstrate communicating with God in heaven. Ask the group if anyone has ever prayed for anything and where they did it? Explain that we can talk to God at any time, and it is a bit like blowing bubbles. Ask if anyone likes blowing bubbles. Read Psalm 141:2 you may like to substitute the word incense to bubbles. Say that just as we love bubbles, God loves it when we send prayers up to him. He enjoys it when we talk to him, just like we enjoy blowing bubbles.
Making the Bubble Solution
• Step 1: Pour the water into a measuring jug.
• Step 2: Add 2 teaspoons of sugar, and mix until the water is dissolved.
• Step 3: Add the washing up liquid.
• Step 4: Mix together creating the minimum amount of froth. Remove any froth created.
• Step 5: Pour into bottles using a funnel. Tilt slightly to avoid frothing. The liquid is useable straightaway, but works better if you leave the liquid overnight.
Making a Wand
There are several ways that you can go about for making a wand to blow your bubbles:
• Hand wand - dip your hands in the bubble solution and press your thumb and index finger together to make a circle- Blow gently through the circle and you will get bubbles. It takes a little practice.
• Garden wire — loop some garden wire into the shape of a bubble wand. Make sure that you include a handle.
Now you can begin to blow some bubbles. You could have contests for the largest bubble, the number of bubbles, the bubble that doesn’t pop for the longest time, or the bubble that floats the highest.
Gather the group in a circle and give the group an opportunity to pray for different things. They may be prayers of praise, forgiveness, or asking God to do something. After each person has said a prayer, allow them to blow a bubble.
If you prepare the bubble solution in advance give opportunity for the children to create their own and take it home.
Extension Tasks/ Adaptations:
Making a Bubble Wall
• Make enough bubble mixture to cover the floor of a paddling pool.
• Place a hula hoop in the mixture and cover,
• Slowly raise the hoop and you will create a wall of bubbles,,
• Now ask for a brave volunteer to take off their shoes and step into the swimming pool and into the centre of the hula hoop. Give them some goggles or sunglasses.
• Now, very slowly, and with a steady hand, pull the hula hoop straight up to the top of your volunteer’s head to place them inside a human-sized bubble.
• Pop the balloon and release them.
Activity 2 - Prayer Activities
Aim: To prompt children to pray about what is on their heart
Balloon Burst — inflate the balloons before the activity begins.
Ask the children if they ever struggle to know what to pray for or how to do it. Tell them that in Philippians 4:6 we are told to ask God for what we need with a thankful heart This is a great place to start Pray by saying thanks and asking God for what we need. Simple really! The following activities provide great ideas to put this into practice:
Sit the children in a circle and start by praying for something beginning with the letter ‘A’, then ask each child, in turn, to pray for something beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. This can be used for prayers of thanks or prayers for others.
It I Were
Get the children to draw something that they would really like to be. On the back of the piece of paper assist the children to write a short prayer using the following formula, “If I were a _______________ I’d thank God for _____________________ but I want to thank God for my.
e.g. if I were a ladybird, I’d thank God for my spots; but I want to thank God for my parents.”
Prepare large sheets of paper and coloured paints. Each person places a print on the paper, then encourage the group to pray for individuals and concerns as you move around the sheet After the paint is dry, you could place another layer of hand prints.
Pray a line of a prayer out loud. Pause and ask the children to repeat that phrase.
The letters of SPOON can be used as a framework for prayer:
S - saying sorry
P - praise
O - others
O - ourselves
N - needs
Give each child a spoon at the beginning of the activity and guide them through saying a SPOON prayer.
Cut three equal lengths of wool (30 cm) in three colours of the child’s choice. Explain that one colour represents God, one yourself and one other people. Knot them together at one end, and begin plaiting.
As you plait the wool use this as an opportunity to reflect on what the three different coloured pieces of string represent When the plait is complete tie another knot Using the excess string at both ends tie the band around the children’s wrists.
Place some prayer points or short simple prayers inside some balloons. Inflate the balloons and place them around a room. You may like to include some empty balloons. Invite the children to run around and stamp on the balloon and collect the notes. When all the balloons are burst ensure that the cards are fairly distributed, and invite the children to say short prayers, e.g. Dear God thank you for my family. Amen
If there is a part of the world that you would like your group to pray for, why not get out a map show where it is and explain the situation. Invite short prayers to be said by the children.
Extension Tasks/ Adaptations:
Sometimes it is really hard to know what to pray for. The Bible gives us the Lord’s Prayer for such situations which provides a great way to pray.
Our Father in Heaven
Your name is holy
Your Kingdom come
Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven
Give us today the food we need
Forgive us the wrong things that we have done as we forgive wrongs others have done to us
Do not lead us into temptation but keep us safe from evil
For Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, For ever and ever.
Write several phrases from the prayer above onto pieces of card and see if the children can place them in the right order. Use the version familiar to you.
Take each line of the prayer and focus on it for that week’s prayer time
Activity 3 - Prayer Bear
Aim: To encourage children to bring their concerns to God through prayer.
You may like to create the bear in advance or part of a longer activity with the group.
The Prayer Bear is a great way to engage children in the group. When it is made it can be stuck up on a wall, and children can post their prayer requests into its tummy. At the end of each evening you can pull them out and say a prayer for whatever is on the card.
Below are the instructions on how to make the Prayer Bear:
• Place a small paper plate on a work surface, and stick a paper bowl face down on top of it leaving at least 5cm of the plate still showing.
• Cut out the ears from the Prayer Bear template and stick under the small plate so that the majority of the ear is showing.
• Add the nose by getting a paper cup and cut down from the opening 2-3cm from the base of the cup. Cut around the circumference of the cup at this height, and then stick onto the middle of the underside of the bowl.
• Now move onto the Prayer Bear’s body. Cut out the arms and legs from the template. Stick the legs to a large paper plate that is face up, by sticking to the underside of the plate so that they are overlapping on the reverse of the body.
• Stick the arms by folding around the edge of the body and sticking to the underside.
• Cut a 2 cm wide slit in the top of the bear’s tummy that is long enough to post through prayer notes.
• Cut off one side and the top off a small tissue box.
• Stick the open side of the box to the back of the bear so that when prayer notes are posted through they will land in the box. It is important that the top of the box is open so that you can get the notes out again.
• Now stick the head and body sections so that they are slightly overlapping.
• Stick on the eyes, add a black pom pom on the cup for the nose.
• Paint the bear, and then add any details (e.g. mouth, toes, fingers etc.) using black paint or a marker pen.
Give the children opportunities to post their prayers into the prayer bear, and then use them as prompts to pray. Finish with this prayer.
We thank you God for the chance to meet,
To gather around and take a seat.
We prayed out loud from the Prayer Bear’s tum,
And now give thanks for the gift of your Son.
Help us know that you’re always there
Never too busy always time to spare,
And as we leave this 88 night
Help us always to keep you in sight.
Devise your own actions for the prayer
Activity 4 - Where's God When I'm S-Scared
Aim: To teach us how to handle fear.
Watch the DVD before the session and see if you want to show the whole thing orjust a clip.
• Ask the children if they ever get scared.
• Show them the ‘Where’s God when I’m Scared?” VeggieTales DVD.
• When it is finished tell them that when we are scared the best thing to do is to pray and God promises to always be with us.
• Pray that God will help us with our fear.
Finish by singing God is Bigger than the Bogeyman” along to the DVD.
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack S2-1