Fruits of the Spirit Prayer Stations: Large Group Sunday School November 2019

GATHERING

These Prayer Stations were intended to help people celebrate All Saints Day by reflecting on the fruits of the Spirit. As people arrived, I greeted them and told them that the theme of the day was the Fruits of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23.  I sent them to the prayer stations in groups of four (youth and children) or alone (adults).  Prayer assistants were Confirmation students, and adults helped with the Joy and Kindness stations.

PRAYER STATIONS

Prayer Station #1: The fruit of the Spirit is LOVE

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of love.

Choose three paper hearts in different colors.

1.  On the first, write the name of someone who you love. Why do you love that person? What is your favorite thing about them? How do you show them that you love them? Take a few moments to tell God about this person in prayer, and add the heart to the bulletin board using the pins provided.

2.  On the second heart, write the name of someone who loves you. Why do you think they love you? How do they make you feel? How do you know that they love you? Take a few moments to tell God about this person in prayer, and add the heart to the bulletin board using the pins provided.

3. On the third heart, write the name of someone who you find hard to love. What is hard about this relationship? What do you hope for? What do you need help with? Take a few moments to tell God about this person in prayer, and add the heart to the bulletin board using the pins provided.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

ask the prayer assistant to pray for you and the spiritual fruit of love, using these or similar words:  Dear God, we love because you first loved us.  Fill us with your love, so that it can overflow from us to all those who are still in need of it.  Give us the spiritual fruit of love.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer Station #2: The fruit of the Spirit is JOY

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of joy.

Choose a paper tag, a pen, and a champagne flute.

  • Where in your life do you find joy?
  • What makes you joyful?
  • Who has modeled the spiritual fruit of joy to you?

Write down your answer to one or more of these questions, using extra tags if you need to. Attach the tag(s) to the stem of the glass and ask the prayer assistant to pour some bubbly juice into your glass. Tell God about what you wrote in prayer as you drink your juice.   

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

have a silent joy party as your Amen, let it be so.

Prayer Station #3: The fruit of the Spirit is PEACE

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of peace.

Choose a rice bottle.

  • Where in your life do you find peace?
  • What makes you peaceful?
  • Who has modeled the spiritual fruit of peace to you? 

As you slowly turn the rice bottle and watch and listen to it, be quiet and open yourself to receive God’s gift of peace. Continue to turn the bottle until you are ready to move on.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

ask the prayer assistant to pray for you and the spiritual fruit of peace, using these or similar words:  Dear God, you give us peace that passes all understanding.  Grant us peace, in our lives, in our homes, in our work, and in our rest.  Give us the spiritual fruit of your peace.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer Station #4: The fruit of the Spirit is PATIENCE

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of patience.

Choose a labyrinth to use in prayer.

  • Is patience easy or difficult for you? Why or why not?
  • Do you know people who are patient? What about them makes you think they are patient?
  • When is a time that you have needed some patience?

Praying labyrinths takes some patience. The idea of a labyrinth is to take a prayer journey with God, not worrying about how you are going to get to the middle, but instead savoring each step along the way and trusting that God will guide you.

As you pray through your labyrinth, take the time to go patiently, step by step, talking God whatever you need God to know today.  Journey into the center and back out to the entrance, if your patience allows!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

ring the singing bowl, patiently waiting until you can’t hear it anymore to move on.

Prayer Station #5: The fruit of the Spirit is KINDNESS

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of kindness.

Choose a rock and some paint markers.

  • As you reflect on your past week, who has shown kindness to you?
  • To whom have you shown kindness?
  • What acts of kindness have you witnessed?

As you tell God about these experiences in prayer, decorate a “random act of kindness” rock with an encouraging word, phrase, or picture.

Leave it at this station, and it will be hidden somewhere for someone else to find. Thank you for spreading kindness in the world!

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

wrap yourself in a prayer shawl and feel the kindness of the person who made it surround you like a hug from God.  Enjoy the hug for a few moments before you move on.

Prayer Station #6: The fruit of the Spirit is GENEROSITY

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of generosity.

Choose a Mission Possible Card.

(Learn more about Mission Possible Cards here: https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/mission-possible-cards/)

  • Being generous means giving freely and joyfully of your time, talent, and treasures.  When was a time when you were generous? 
  • When is a time when someone was generous to you? 
  • How can you work toward this spiritual fruit? 

As you talk to God about generosity, pray over the Mission Possible Card that you chose.  How is God calling you to reach out in generosity toward others?  Take this card with you as a reminder to be generous.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

take a coin or two from the basket and drop them in the jar.  As you listen to the sound of generosity, consider where God is leading you to spend your money on behalf of a world in need.  How can you act on this in the next week?

Prayer Station #7: The fruit of the Spirit is FAITHFULNESS

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of faithfulness.

Choose three post-it notes and a writing utensil.

  • When someone is faithful, they stick with you through thick and thin.  Who has stuck with you lately? 
  • Who have you been sticking with? 
  • How has God stuck with you? 
  • How have you stuck with God? 

Write the names of those who have been faithful to you and those to whom you have been faithful on two of your Post-it notes, and stick them on the bulletin board.  On the other two, write your name and your favorite name for God.  Stick them to the board as well.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

ask the prayer assistant to pray for you and the spiritual fruit of faithfulness, using these or similar words:  Dear God, you stick with us, no matter what.  Great is thy faithfulness.  Stir up faithfulness in us, toward you, toward one another, and toward all those who need someone to stick with them.  Give us the spiritual fruit of faithfulness.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen. 

Prayer Station #8: The fruit of the Spirit is GENTLENESS

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of gentleness.

Choose a feather from the basket.

  • What does it mean to be gentle? 
  • Who has been gentle with you lately? 
  • With whom have you been gentle? 
  • How is God gentle with us? 

As you talk to God about your experiences with gentleness, gently shift your feather from one hand to the other.  Notice how gentle you have to be to do this; working fast or strong makes the feather float away!  Practice this spiritual fruit of gentleness until you feel done.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

gently return your feather to the basket, maybe trying to release it from up high and watching it float down to rest.  Take this sight with you to the next station.

Prayer Station #9: The fruit of the Spirit is SELF-CONTROL

At this prayer station, you are invited to reflect on the spiritual fruit of self-control.

Choose a pencil from the box.

  • When we have this spiritual fruit, we are able to control how we react, even with tough choices.  When was a time that you had self-control? 
  • When you didn’t? 
  • When was a time when someone else modeled self-control for you? 
  • What do you think self-control has to do with God? 

As you talk to God about self-control in prayer, balance a pencil horizontally across the tip of one of your fingers.  Once you have that under control, you might try to slowly walk from one place to another, focusing on the spiritual gift of self-control.  When you are done talking to God about this, return your pencil to the box.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE THIS STATION,

grab an “I Did It!” sticker.  You can put it on your clothes, your prayer journal, or in another prominent place to remind you of the spiritual gift of self-control.

SENDING

Coloring Sheet:  I provided a coloring sheet on the Fruits of the Spirit for those who were done early.  I really like the one by Flame Creative Children’s Ministry that I found here:  http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/2014/08/fruit-of-spirit-reflective-colouring.html

It is my experience that children would go quickly through the stations, spend some time coloring, and then go back and spend more time at a few of their favorite stations.  I encourage them to try everything at least once.

Fruits of the Spirit Prayer Journal:  I provided a prayer journal as a take-home piece for this Sunday.  You can find the file here: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/fruits-of-the-spirit-prayer-journal-19.pdf 

Children’s Devotion Time October 2017: Wicked Tenants and Fruits of the Spirit

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One of the churches in our parish has begun having inter-generational Sunday School once per month.  We call it “Children’s Devotion Time” or “CDT.”  Each child in the class has an older adult who serves as an individual mentor during devotion time.  It includes an opening prayer, a large group Bible Story, an age-appropriate leaflet about the day that they work on in child/adult pairs, a closing prayer, and a simple craft.  It is based on Family God Time, but done at church and for a larger group.  Join us in this new faith formation experiment!

You can learn more about just how we have set this up here: Children’s Devotion Time Instructions

Large Group Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we are thankful for this time to learn more about being a part of your vineyard and learning to bear fruit.  Help us to learn and grow together.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Large Group Bible Story:  Matthew 21:33-46
Read the Parable of the Wicked Tenants in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+21%3A33-46&version=ERV

We used the Whirl Story Bible for our resource.  It was the story called “Whose Vineyard is it?”  You can purchase your own copy here:  https://www.augsburgfortress.org/store/product/19372/Whirl-Story-Bible-Lectionary-Edition

Work in Pairs:
Each child/adult pair has a four-page leaflet to work on which is developmentally appropriate for the child.  They work through the leaflet together, taking as much time as they need.  I get these resources from sundaysandseasons.com, which is a paid subscription lectionary resource that my parish subscribes to.  You could also work through a children’s bulletin for the week from your church.

This month, I developed the resource for the center of the bulletin.  You can find this resource here:  Fruits of the Spirit leaflet 10 8 17

Large Group Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you give us everything we need.  Help us to remember that it all belongs to you.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Activity:  Fruits of the Spirit Fruit Salad
Ingredients:
1 banana, sliced
strawberries, fresh or frozen
1 can fruit cocktail (with pineapple, cherries, peaches, pears)
1 apple, cut in small chunks
1 small bunch of grapes
juice of ½ lemon
¼ seasonal melon, cut in chunks (we will use cantaloupe)

Taking the ingredients one by one, let the children assist you in mixing them up in a large bowl.  Remind them what each fruit means as you put it in.  Serve in small bowls with forks.

© 2017 by Pastor Breen Marie Sipes, Tri-Saints Lutheran Parish, Byron and Hardy, Nebraska.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com Please give credit where credit is due!