Updated: Feb 11
It's the start of the year and for many of us this can mean weeks of prayer and fasting, seeking God for the year ahead and seeking to be intentional with the way we do faith at home. We felt challenged this year to consider ways that we can encourage a love of prayer at home but in a way that is not too convoluted. Here are three ways to pray that we have used at home that have been based upon things that are lying around the house.
Our children loved this prayer idea and it is so simple! We put a collection of old cake candles into a lump of play-dough. Passing a safety gas lighter around we all took turns in praying light based prayers, lighting the candle along with our 'amen'. This was followed by taking in turns to blow out individual candles praying as we went. The children were so eager to pray and have continually asked to do the 'prayer game'. The children like preparing the room for candle prayers by turning all the lights off. The impact of the light in the dark and the image this provides of the power of prayer has been profound.
Washing Pile Prayers
As many of you will know we are now a family of seven. I don't know about you but there always seems to be a pile of washing on the go and needing to be put away. We really wanted to encourage our children to pray for the nations but were conscious that this can be tricky with the world being so big and our children's experience of it being so limited. We hit upon the idea of using the washing pile to provide a context for prayer. As a result we prayed for China, Pakistan, Poland, Sri Lanka, Portugal and India to name a few places. We prayed for those who made the clothes and where they live. We took to throwing and catching the item of clothing on the Amen. This was a great start to asking questions and discussing some of the prayer needs for the different parts of the world. We spoke about the Open Doors World Watch list which furthered some of our prayers for the countries we had identified through our washing. We have joked together that the next step may involve an amen whilst folding the clothes ;-).
Praying for the street
These wonderful chalkboard houses come from www.childinmind.uk. We lined them up to form both sides of the street and talked about the neighbours we know and those we don't. We took it in turns to pick up a house and pray for our neighbours and replaced the house on the street when we said our amen. Introducing the idea using the physical resource really helped open up the conversation about praying for our neighbours. Our next steps are to begin to use the street to hear God's voice and heart for those that God has placed around us. Using blocks that you have available to you or folding paper and cutting out a house chain, using the zig-zag to stand it up would work as well to create your own street to pray for.
All of these ideas are things that we hadn't done before and were inspired by items that were close to hand. What has been really releasing is that they haven't required a huge amount of planning but have led to some really provoking times of prayer. Our children are now regularly asking to pray using these activities which is really exciting.