Handheld Prayers: Lent 2019

What does a jingle bell, click pen, stone, binder clip, paperclip, warm fuzzy, and quarter have to do with quiet prayer?  On Sundays in Lent, Quiet Lent Prayer Practices will return with all new Handheld Prayers.  Our Handheld prayer satchels will contain five small objects that fit in our hands and remind us in a small, everyday way of the many options we have when we open the conversation to God in prayer.

Here is a file containing the information card in each satchel: https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/handheld-prayers-explanation-card-2019.pdf

JINGLE BELL/CLICK PEN: Praise

I find it helpful to begin my prayers by remembering who God is and what God has done for me. Hold your jingle bell in the palm of your hand and let it jingle. If you don’t have a jingle bell handy, you can click the top of a click pen until it sounds like applause. As you do this, offer to God in prayer all of the ways that make God wonderful to you. You might choose to start with Psalm 139:14 “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Keep a jingle bell or click pen handy this week, and practice offering your praise to God in prayer.

STONE: Confession

One of the things that we can do when we pray is to get all the things that bother us off of our chest.  When we admit to the wrong things that we have done, it is called confession.  When I have done something wrong, it often feels like a rock is in the pit of my stomach.  If I try to ignore that feeling, it still bothers me, like the feeling of a pebble in my shoe. Hold your stone in the palm of your hand. As you do this, offer to God in prayer all those things that are weighing you down. You might choose to start with 1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Keep a stone handy this week, and practice offering your confession to God in prayer.

BINDER CLIP: Intercession

One of the most popular ways to pray is to pray for someone else who is in need.  This type of prayer is called intercession.  When we pray of others, we are asking God to hold them close, so this week’s Handheld Prayer object is a binder clip or paperclip.  Hold it in your hand and squeeze it open and shut as you tell God about all the people who you know need God to hold them close today.  You might choose to start or end with Romans 8:26 “The Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words.”  Keep your binder clip handy this week, and practice offering intercessions to God on behalf of others.

WARM FUZZY:  Petition

When we pray for ourselves, offering our deepest hopes and fears to God, it is called petition.  When I was a kid, we learned that offering someone a compliment was a “warm fuzzy,” while an insult was a “cold prickly.”  Because we are asking for the comfort which comes only from God, petition is a warm fuzzy.  Hold it in your hand and squeeze it as you tell God about what you need today.  You might choose to start or end with Psalm 86:7 “I call on you and you answer me.”  Keep your warm fuzzy handy this week, and practice telling God what you need.

COIN:  Thanksgiving

Another popular way to pray is to offer people, places, and things for which we are thankful to God in prayer.  But how do we get beyond the big, general categories and into everyday thankfulness?  For this type of prayer, you have a quarter.  It is not worth much, and gives us a good reminder that something does not have to be big or particularly precious in order to spark our thankfulness.  Hold it in your hand or transfer it from hand to hand as you tell God about the little things for which you are thankful.  You might choose to start or end with Psalm 107:1 “I give thanks to the Lord, for you are good; your steadfast love endures forever.”  Every time that you hold a coin in your hand this week, practice giving thanks to God for the little things.

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Handheld Prayers: Confession

What does a jingle bell, click pen, stone, binder clip, paperclip, warm fuzzy, and quarter have to do with quiet prayer?  On Sundays in Lent, Quiet Lent Prayer Practices will return with all new Handheld Prayers.  Our Handheld prayer satchels will contain five small objects that fit in our hands and remind us in a small, everyday way of the many options we have when we open the conversation to God in prayer.

Here is a file containing the information card in each satchel:  https://familygodtime.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/handheld-prayers-explanation-card-2019.pdf

STONE: Confession

One of the things that we can do when we pray is to get all the things that bother us off of our chest.  When we admit to the wrong things that we have done, it is called confession.  When I have done something wrong, it often feels like a rock is in the pit of my stomach.  If I try to ignore that feeling, it still bothers me, like the feeling of a pebble in my shoe. Hold your stone in the palm of your hand. As you do this, offer to God in prayer all those things that are weighing you down. You might choose to start with 1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Keep a stone handy this week, and practice offering your confession to God in prayer.

Children’s Devotion Time November 2018: PRAYER

Large Group Gathering Prayer:

(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus,
we thank you
for this time
to learn more about how to talk to you.
Help us to learn and grow together.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  James 5:13-20

Read the story out loud for the group, and answer the question together.  We are using the Whirl Story Bible for our story time.

Partner Time:  Prayer

Working together in child/adult or youth/adult partners, complete the level-appropriate leaflet on prayer:

CDT Prayer leaflet child November 2018

CDT Prayer leaflet youth November 2018

Activity:  Prayer Dough Mat

I was inspired by this article by Flame:  Creative Children’s Ministry to create a Prayer Dough Mat just for CDT:  http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/search/label/Play%20Dough%20Mats

Prayer Dough Mat 2018

Get your own here:  Prayer Dough Mat Children 18

I printed them on cardstock and laminated them so that they could be used multiple times.  We used Play Doh that I had on hand, though you could certainly make your own.  This recipe looked especially good:  https://theimaginationtree.com/best-ever-no-cook-play-dough-recipe/

Large Group Closing Prayer:

(Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus,
we thank you
for this time
to talk to you
and to listen to you.
In your name we pray, Amen.

Family God Time: School Supply Blessing

It is back to school time in our parish, so I thought it would be a good idea to ask God’s blessing on our children as they begin the school year.  In church this week, they will participate in a backpack blessing.  You can find it on Daily Devos here:  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/daily-devos-back-to-school-blessing/

Back Pack Blessing

What follows is the take-home part of the devotion for the week.

First, gather your school supplies.  Have your children help you to remove packaging, add name inscriptions, and pack their back pack.  Wonder with them what each supply might be used for.  We used the following prayers as we went to bless each set of supplies before it went into their back packs:

SCHOOL SUPPLY BLESSING

O God, please bless my crayons, colored pencils, and markers.  As I add color to my work, help me to know that the gift of creativity comes from you.   God of mercy, hold me in love.

O God, please bless my pencils and pens.  As I write numbers and letters, words and sentences, help me to know that the gift of knowledge comes from you.  God of mercy, hold me in love.

O God, please bless my erasers.  When I make a mistake and have to start again, remind me of your unending offer of forgiveness to all who belong to you.  God of mercy, hold me in love.

O God, please bless my paper and notebooks.  Help me to remember those who do not have paper for their own, and to treat what I have as a precious gift from you.  God of mercy, hold me in love.

O God, please bless my binders and folders.  As these tools seek to hold the work I do, hold me in your love.  God of mercy, hold me in love.

O God, please bless my backpack.  As I carry it to and from school, and from classroom to classroom, help me to remember that there is nothing that I have that you can’t carry.  God of mercy, hold me in love.

(add your own specific blessings here)

O God, please bless my year as a student.  Bless my classmates, teachers, aides, and all who help me to learn and grow.  Give me a spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and might, of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, a spirit of joy in your presence, both now and forever.  Amen.

COLORING PROJECT

If you want to have a little project to do with your children as well, you can get a really cute coloring graphic here:  https://store.illustratedchildrensministry.com/products/gods-got-your-back-backpack-tags?variant=8219534065762

I am planning to take the back and white back pack tag and blow it up to 8.5 x 11 size.  The graphic doesn’t pixallate at this size, and we will hang the completed masterpieces in our front window to welcome our bus drivers back to school, as well.

I know this time of year can be stressful for families; I hope that this simple devotion can help to make it a holy time as well!

© 2018 Rev. Breen Marie Sipes at Family God Time.  https://familygodtime.wordpress.com This resource is made available for free; please give credit where credit is due.