This year, we are trying prayer stations in the Church Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings that worshipers are invited to explore before or after (or during, I suppose) church services.
Find Prayer Stations for Advent Week 1 HERE.
Here are the prayer stations we used today, December 8.
Station #1 Make and Take Ornaments
This idea came via Theresa Cho’s blog.
I used ornaments that I was able to buy at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. They are glass. I do know that there have been times I’ve been able to find plastic ornaments. Those are preferable.
In the art room, I found little gold and silver bells, tons of glitter in various colors, confetti, pom poms, small shells and buttons. Anything that will fit into the opening of the ornament will work.
Also needed are slips of paper. I used leftover strips from a Christmas colored chain we used a couple of weeks ago.
Ornaments are used to decorate a Christmas tree. Sometimes an ornament has special meaning or symbols to tell a story. Choose an ornament. Write or draw a Christmas wish that you have. Put it in the ornament. Fill the ornament with whatever additional decorations you’d like. Take it home and hang it on your tree.
As you hang it on your tree year after year, you can remember this Advent season.
Prayer: God of hope and peace, as we continue to prepare for Christmas, we are anxious and hopeful about what will be. Help us to wait and trust in you. Amen.
Station #2 Distraction Box
I found and adapted this idea from the aptly named site “Steal Our Stuff.”
Set Up: A box with a lid that can be taken off and put back on repeatedly. Markers and slips of paper.
Objective: Leave your distractions behind by writing them down, praying for God’s help and leaving them in the box.
2 In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3 Many peoples shall come and say,
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!
During this season, it can be hard to remember the reason we are celebrating. When you’re ready, make a list of the things that distract you from celebrating Jesus’ birth in ways that are simple, joyful, generous and reflective. Pray for God’s help and leave your list in the wrapped box. No names necessary, of course! This is between you and God.
Prayer: Lord, keep me from distractions and help me to celebrate your coming in ways that reflect your humility and kindness.
Station #3 Words About Peace
Objective: Place peaceful words, phrases, sentences on the metal surfaces.
PSALM 72:1-7, 18-19
1 Give the king your justice, O God,
and your righteousness to a king’s son.
2 May he judge your people with righteousness,
and your poor with justice.
3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people,
and the hills, in righteousness.
4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
give deliverance to the needy,
and crush the oppressor.
5 May he live while the sun endures,
and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.
6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
like showers that water the earth.
7 In his days may righteousness flourish
and peace abound, until the moon is no more.
18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
19 Blessed be his glorious name forever;
may his glory fill the whole earth. Amen and Amen.
Prayer: God of all who pray and long for peace in the world and in their own hearts, this Advent season, we need you. Amen.
Station #4 Read About The Season
(This is also adapted from an idea on Theresa Cho’s blog.)
Ahead of Time: Gather a variety of books about the Nativity Story.
Objective: look through and/or read the books provided and consider the story from various points of view.
There are many present in the story of Jesus’ birth in the Bible. The shepherds. The angels. The Magi. Mary and Joseph. The animals.
Take time to look through the books about the birth of Jesus, sharing and remembering the story of the birth of the one called Emmanuel.
Prayer: God, your story is amazing! Help us to learn it and to know you through it. Amen.