Mothering Sunday Button Thank You Prayers

Next Sunday is the day when we celebrate Mothering Sunday. It was traditionally a day in the middle of Lent when people who worked were able to have time off to visit their mothers and their ‘mother’ church, where they might have been baptised. One of the most popular readings to use on this day is John 19: 25- 27, when Jesus creates a new community of support for his grieving mother when he connects her with the disciple John, who takes her into his home as his mother. Just as John becomes a support for Mary and vice versa, in life it’s not necessarily just our mothers who give us ‘motherly’ or parental care. There are so many people, especially in church families, who form a community around us to help support us and give us strength. To help celebrate and give thanks for mothers and other caring figures in our lives, here are some prayers using an item you can easily find at home. Find a button and hold on to it when you pray.

Buttons hold things together

Who do you look to to help you when things are busy and stressful? Who can help you to figure out what to do when you are confused about how to keep going? Who helps when it feels as if your world is falling apart? Think of them and say thank you to God for them.

Buttons are strong

Think about the times when you have felt sad, upset or afraid. Who has helped you to be strong. Who is the strongest person you know? Thank God for those people.

Buttons come in different shapes and sizes

Those who care for us and keep us safe might be mothers, but they also might be other people in our lives. Try and count in your head how many different people have helped you during the past week. Thank God for each one of them.

When buttons are missing we notice and things don’t hold together as well as they did before

Some of the caring figures in our lives may have died and we miss the fact that they are no longer here. Take a moment to remember them and the love they shared with you. Thank God for them.

Prayers for peace

Here is a very visual and watchable way to help children to pray for peace and the bringing together of communities. You can also use things you are very likely to have a home, which is always a welcome bonus!

You will need: Kitchen roll, water, 2 cups, food colouring

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Take 2 cups and fill them about 2/3 full with water. Into each cup, mix a different food colouring so that each cup’s water is a different colour. Try to get as strong a colour as possible.

Cut a strip of kitchen roll as long as a sheet of the roll and about 5cm wide.

Talk about divisions in communities we know or live in. What causes such divisions? Who or what helps to heal divisions and bring people together. Think about one of the names for Jesus which is ‘Prince of Peace.’ What does that mean? How can we help to bring about peace?

Think of a situation where there is division e.g. in a war. Put the paper towel as a bridge between the two cups, with each end of the towel in on of the cups. Pray that God will help to heal the divisions and bring people together in peace, as you watch the coloured water ‘climb’ up the towel, meet in the middle of the towel and combine to form a new colour (e.g. red in one cup and yellow in the other will lead to an eventual combination of orange in the middle). Try different colours for different situations and watch your peace prayers bring about new colours!

Rainbow Prayers

Rainbows have been such an important symbol during the Coronavirus crisis of how we are coming together as a community and supporting each other. Here is a prayer activity that children can easily do with their families at home.

You will need: items in the different colours of the rainbow- red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo and violet. You might want to make it a challenge to find one or two items of each colour inside or outside the house or you might use a product that has lots of the same things in all colours e.g. Lego

Ue the items to pray:

  • Choose a colour, hold that colour item and thank God for as many things as you can think of that are that colour too.
  • pray for people that each colour reminds you of
  • Allocate types of prayer to different colours- choose a colour and pray that prayer e.g.

red- people who are ill

orange- people who need to be brave

yellow-thanks for things that make us happy

green- the environment

blue- people who are sad

indigo- people who take care of us

violet- questions you would like to ask God

  • draw rainbows and ask God to bless people in your community. Give the pictures to neighbours or hang then in your windows

Light Peg Prayers

This is a really simple but effective idea to help children to think and pray about Jesus bringing light and hope into situations.

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You will need: A String of peg lights (or fairy lights with paper clips to fasten prayers to the string), paper, pens, photos of people, photos of places from magazines or the internet.

Ask children who they know who they would like to pray for, or which places they think need help and hope at the moment. They can write or draw them on paper or use photos. Turn on the light string and peg the photos and pieces of paper to the string. Pray that these people and places will have the light of Jesus in their lives and will know that he loves them.

Glow Stick Light Prayers

As we approach winter and nights are drawing in, here is a simple prayer activity to help children to think about praying for light in darkness.

You will need: A bag or dark coloured pillow case, glow sticks, small pieces of paper, pens

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Talk to the children about light and darkness and about how light always chases darkness away. Remind them about Jesus saying he is the light of the world so we can bring the dark, sad, challenging and difficult things of the world to him and ask him to help.

Get children to think of people and places that are going through hard times and write or draw them on pieces of paper. Put them into the dark bag/ pillowcase. Pray that Jesus will bring his light to these people and situations. Break some glow sticks and put them inside the bag with the prayers. Look into the bag to see how the glow sticks are lighting up the darkness. Give each child a glow stick to take away to remind them of Jesus’ ability to chase away the darkness.