Prayer Series

Our church has spent the entire month of January focusing on prayer. My lead pastor asked me to create a month-long midweek service focusing on prayer for our kids while the parents had their prayer service (approx. an hour and fifteen minutes). I decided to create a series that would get our kids excited about praying and equip them to continue growing in their prayer lives on their own.  I used this post I wrote about a year ago on Practical Prayer Prayer Ideas for Kids as an outline for creating my four week series, and all the pieces fell into place. It was definitely a God thing. The prayer series is based on The Lord’s Prayer, and each week I broke down part of the Lord’s Prayer into kid-friendly terms so they could use the prayer as a template for their prayer lives.

Week 1 – Celebrate God –  Prayer Series Week 1 (Full Service Schedule)

Week 2 – Just Ask Part 1: Needs Prayer Series Week 2 (Full Service Schedule)

Week 3 – Just Ask: Part 2: Forgiveness Prayer Series Week 3 (Full Service Schedule)

Week 4 – Just Ask: Part 3: Temptation Prayer Series Week 4 (Full Service Schedule)

Each week we had worship/prayer stations that would teach the kids four fun ways to pray about the topic of the week and a fun station with a yummy treat at the end of the night. We broke the kids up into three groups by age for our prayer stations: K-2nd, 3rd-4th, and 5th-6th. This worked well because we were able to teach the activities to the different groups at their age level.

1. Talk to God

Week 1: Slow Worship/Prayer Time – We lead the kids in some prayer options: Celebrate God, thank Him for all he has done for you, thank Him for the people he has put in your lives, thank Him for loving you, ask Him for his plan and purpose to be clear to you.

Week 2: Describe God Worksheet – give each kid a sheet of paper with each letter of the 20160114_024448966_iOSalphabet and have them try to come up with as many words as they can to describe God. ABC Game – Have kids get in a circle and pass a ball around. Every time the ball gets passed the group must come up with a word that describes God for the next letter of the alphabet. Keep playing until you get to the end of the alphabet. Play again if desired. Here is the worksheet we created for this activity: Describe God Activity Sheet. We added the left over sheets to our prayer journal station for the next two weeks as well.

20160128_164347830_iOSWeek 3: Traffic Light Craft – Pass out the Traffic light craft sheets to the kids. Talk with them about the fact that when we pray God always answers, but sometimes it’s not yes. Sometimes it’s no or wait. Walk the kids through which circle should be colored red, yellow or green. (No – Red, Wait- Yellow, Yes – Green). Have the kids color in the circles in the correct colors and cut out their circles and the God Always Answers Our Prayers Cutout). Give each kid a black sheet for them to clue their traffic light pieces onto. We will have an example of what the craft should look like at the end. You will need black cardstock or construction paper and this worksheet for this activity: Prayer Traffic Light Craft (1)

Week 4: Prayer Sticks – We will have a bucket/jar of popsicle sticks with different prayer topics20160127_225838535_iOS written on them. Have the kids take turns drawing out a prayer stick and praying for that topic with the group. The goal is to encourage kids to learn to pray out loud in a group. If a kid is struggling, feel free to help them and guide them in their prayer. We use jumbo popsicle sticks for the activity and put a label on them. For the K-2nd grade group, we wrote prayer topics on the sticks for them, but the other two groups wrote their own prayer topics on the prayer sticks.

2. Write it Out

20160114_024435266_iOSAll Weeks: We had the kids decorate and write in their own prayer journals. We provided them with construction paper (hole punched), journal page options (hole punched), markers, colored pencils, and lot of fun stickers. We put the journals together with brads so they could add onto their journals each week. On the last night we let them take their prayer journals home so they could continue to add to it. Tip: Some of the kids got bored of this by the last week. I would suggest introducing a new journal page each week rather than putting them all out every week. I think that would help with the kids who felt that had “finished” their journals already. However, this did open up a great conversation with the kids about how we can never pray enough. Our verse song, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, by JumpStart3 says, “Pray continually.” We provided one option of a journal page for our younger kids who can’t read or write very well. We encouraged them to draw pictures of their prayers instead. For the older kids, we provided all of these journal pages, and gave them the option to use one or all of them in their prayer journals. This was such a quick, easy, and almost free activity that we used each week.

3. Sing a Song

All Weeks: We sang two worship songs with the kids and we had a theme verse song for the month, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 by JumpStart3. You need to check out JumpStart3 for really cool verse songs that your kids will love singing!

4. Pray Scripture

Week 1: We basically did old fashioned sword drills around a table, and they loved it! Tip: Have quite a few Bibles available and a list of verses for the kids to look up. The verses we used were: Psalm 100:1-5, 1 Chronicles 23:30, Psalm 30:12, 1 Corinthians 15:57, Colossians 4:2, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Make it a game and see who can find the verse the fastest, have them read it out loud (or help them if they are too young). Side note, by the second week, about 75% of the kids were bringing their Bibles with them.

Weeks 2 and 3: Scripture Sheets – Break kids up into groups of 2 or 3, each group must have a20160114_024330760_iOS Bible and a Scripture work sheet with verses and blanks for them to write them in when they find them. Have quite a few Bibles available and make it a game. The first team to work together to find all the verses and write them into their worksheet wins, give all the kids in the winning group a small prize. The kids loved this activity so much that we used it two weeks in a row, tweaking the verses to fit the topic of the week. Here is an example of the sheet we made.

20160128_025019343_iOSWeek 4: Scripture Door Hanger Craft – Give each kid a door hanger and encourage them to pick out a Scripture verse they want to pray in the morning, and a scripture they want to pray at night. Tell them to glue one to each side of the door hanger so they will be reminded to pray their Scripture verses. Encourage them to decorate their door hanger anyway they like and write their name on it. Here is the door hanger template you can print on cardstock and the Scripture verses we used. You can also buy the craft foam door hangers at some Dollar Tree stores and Walmarts.

Bonus Fun Station:

Week 1: Cupcakes – I have such a fun story to share with you about this one. The plan was to have the kids frost and sprinkle their cupcakes at the end of the service. However, time was not our friend, and we ended up with not enough time to frost the cupcakes. On the fly, we told the kids that the cupcake was plain to remind us of what our lives would look like without Jesus in them, plain and boring. They bought it! Plus, we got them to teach the idea to their parents, and the parents loved it to. Double win!

Week 2: Cupcakes again, but decorated this time – Since we had already bought all the frosting and sprinkles for the previous week, we decided to allow the kids to actually frost and sprinkle them this week. We continued the lesson and reminded them of last week’s plain cupcakes, and talked about how when we have Jesus in our lives it’s like when a cupcake gets the frosting and sprinkles!

Week 3: Traffic Light Snacktivity – We talked with the kids about how God always answers our prayers, but sometimes the answer is yes, wait, or no. We let them decorate graham crackers with frosting and red, yellow, and green M&Ms to make traffic lights.

Week 4: Chocolate Chip Cookies – Since I used the “trash” cookies (as one of the kids put it), in my lesson, I thought it would be nice to give them the good version of the cookies at the end of the service. By the way, to make the “trash” cookies just substitute salt for the white sugar amount in a chocolate chip cookie recipe and smash the cookies down a bit before putting them in the oven. They don’t spread or brown as much as normal chocolate chip cookies, but they still look and smell good. I totally never expected the kids to want to give their parents the “trash” cookies to trick them, but I used it as a teaching moment. I told them if they tried to trick their parents with the “trash” cookies that they had to teach their parents the lesson about temptation. It was awesome.

Check out the full service schedules above for lesson outlines and even more details on this series. All of our activity sheets were made in Canva.

I want our kids to understand that praying is about more than just kneeling down and saying a quick prayer. It can be fun, interesting, and totally out of the box. It’s hard for kids to sit and pray for an hour, but if we give them different methods to help them, it is possible. This prayer series could be used on Sunday mornings, Wednesday night, or for a special prayer focus anytime.

What are some creative ideas/activities you have used to teach your kids how to love praying?