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

Take Home Prayer Activity: Coin Prayers

Its often really useful to have a prayer activity to send home with children so that they can spend time during the week connecting with God.  This is an easy activity to put together and send out and works really well if prayed with someone else, taking it in turns to toss the coin.  It might help to practice the activity with the children before they take it home, so that they can get right on with praying!

You will need: Enough real or plastic coins for each child, a print out of the prayer activity for each child (click here to print out a sheet with the activity x6 per page).

Psalm 23: Cups Running Over Craft

This craft was incredibly popular at our most recent Messy Church and is a great way to help children tithing about the image in Psalm 23 of God’s provision and an overflowing cup.

You will need: Clear plastic cups, white vinegar, food colouring, bicarbonate of soda

img_3019 Put some vinegar in a cup (about 1/3 full) and add some food colouring to it.  Add a heaped teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to the vinegar and watch the liquid bubble up and then overflow.

Talk: Ask children- where do you need help most in your life? Who helps you and gives you the things you need? Who makes you feel special and like you belong? How do they do that? Have you ever asked God to hep you with things you need?

Pray: Ask children to think of an area of their life where they would like God to help them. Pray as you add the bicarbonate of soda that he will bless that area!

Posada: a fun way to reach the community during Advent!

This year will be the second year we send out a Posada from church into the villages where our churches are based.

If you’ve never heard of a Posada, it’s a South American tradition where Mary and Joseph take a journey through the community every Advent (mirroring the real life journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem) and people sign up to host them for a day and a night before passing them on to the next hosts.  It’s a great way of getting people from both inside and outside of church involved in the Nativity story over Advent and will open up many conversations with people who are puzzled about why two dolls are joining in events!

Last year Mary and Joseph had some amazing adventures: They went to a Derby County football match (their host that day had knitted them some scarves!), played in the sandpit at the local primary school, went to some cafes, rehearsed with the worship group, went to a few parties, spent time on the beach and went up in a cherry picker with a local handyman.  Each host took some photos and we uploaded them to our Posada Facebook page so everyone could see what they were doing.

Mary and Joseph finished their journey at the crib service on Christmas Eve and, next morning, they were displayed in church  complete with a baby Jesus!

Have a look at our Facebook page to see what they are up to this year and why not have a go yourself!