Pray Without Ceasing: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to remember to take the time to pray.  Help our time together to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Verses:  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NRSV)
Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Questions to Ponder:

  1. What is tough about these verses for you? What do you have trouble understanding?
  2. What do you like about these verses? What is your favorite part, and why?
  3. What is a story you can remember as you think about these verses? It might be about a time when you were thankful, or wanted to do something all the time, for example.
  4. What is God up to in these verses? What is God calling you to do or to be because of these verses?

This Family God Time idea came about because my girls received Prayer Boxes from their godmother for Christmas.  They look like this:

IMG_20180123_100302567

She purchased them pre-made in a gift shop, but I am sure that you could easily make your own from an Altoids tin or a travel soap container and some stickers.

Since receiving these boxes, our girls have come up to us at all times of the day, on all days of the week, to ask us to write down a prayer that they would like to put in their box (two of our girls can’t yet read, and the oldest likes to make sure that her spelling is correct).  Because they are embodying this idea to “pray without ceasing,” I thought that it would be a good snow day activity to make some really special cards to put in their prayer boxes.

Song:  Pray About Everything
This is the song that we listened to as we made our cards.  I like this version because the actions are clear without being too much.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Prayer Cards
I am calling this a snow day activity because it involves more than one step with drying time in between.  You can choose to spread it out over the course of a day, or, as in the case of my family, do one step per day until they are complete.  If you want to go the quick route, you can simply color the background with markers, crayons, or colored pencils and then add inspirational stickers right away.  Here’s how we did it:

Materials Needed:
Water color paper, cut into small pieces that will fit, unfolded, into your prayer box.
Water color pencils
Thin paintbrushes and small dishes of water
Bible Journaling stamps (we used “Pray without ceasing” to fit our theme)
Black ink

Instructions:

  1. Use the water color pencils to color in the background of each piece of paper.  We used mostly stripes, with some on an angle.  IMG_20180123_100343891
  1. Turn the backgrounds into water color backgrounds using the small brushes and dishes of water.  Start with the lightest colors and move towards the darkest colors, washing out your brush in the water in between colors.  Allow to dry completely.  IMG_20180126_084222948.jpg
  1. Stamp the Bible Journaling saying over the top of the background using black, or another dark or complementary color of ink. Allow to dry completely.  IMG_20180124_104706040
  1. Place in your prayer boxes. The next time that you want to “pray without ceasing,” write your prayer on the back of these pretty cards!

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are always ready to listen to us, and that we are able to pray without ceasing.  Help us to rejoice in this gift of prayer always.  In your name we pray, Amen.