Originally, we found that the children were very intimidated by praying aloud and often did not know what to say, so we started experimenting with less verbal ways of praying. It really opened up a new world to us!
Our first and most vital component is the Prayer Board. Seeing prayers answered every week really kick started the process!
Another weekly staple is the graffiti board and even the under 5s find it easy to draw their thanks to God
We also have found great value in having the healing board available every week. We had a period without it but have now had to reintroduce it by popular demand!
As well as these basic stations we have a reflection area and 3 or so more prayer stations taken from our repertoire. These stations will change every term, but the four basics remain the same.
When the children arrive in the room, they spend about 10 minutes exploring whichever stations take their fancy. Then we all join together and the first question we ask is "who has had an answered prayer this week?" It's great to see God at work! If anyone has been in the reflection area we ask them to share anything they think God has been saying to them. Next we share prayer requests and one person (normally an adult, though some of the children are starting to volunteer) briefly prays for these things before we then split into our groups to start the teaching. Through developing this routine, children have really started to engage with prayer and to take ownership of the stations. They are also much more aware of God at work in their lives and when we have to discuss the question of "how do we know God loves us?" we only need to point at the answered prayers on the prayer board!