We had such an encouraging session this morning at church with our 5-11s!
Over the past year and a half we have been using regular weekly prayer stations see our Sunday prayer routine and children's favourites, so the children are very used to using symbols and praying non verbally. This week we thought that we'd let the children have a go at making up their own stations that we could use in future weeks and we were amazed by what they came up with!! It was a bit of a gamble as we didn't have any idea of what would happen, but as usual, given the opportunity to express themselves and their ideas creatively, the children ran with it and bowled us over.
After studying the Lord's prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13), we discussed the various things that Jesus was teaching us to pray for. We then showed the children a variety of resources they could choose to use- preferably only one for each station! We had: bubbles, straws, dice, wooden people on lolly sticks, pegs, cups, marbles, coloured stones, foil, wool, duplo bricks, ping pong balls, stickers, paper clips, paper plates and paper. One of the leaders prayed that God would speak to the children about what they should do and then we all sat in silence for a few moments before starting to invent. It was fascinating to see how each child managed to choose an area for prayer and then think of something original that we, as leaders, might never have thought of! One or two of the younger children had some adult assistance to clarify their ideas, but the other children just got stuck in! Over the next week or so, I will post the prayer stations that they have invented and we will start to use them in batches over the coming weeks in our regular Sunday sessions. The children are really looking forward to it and so am I!!