Campers & Spiritual Matters
As children arrive at camp, they bring with them the entire package of their physical, mental, social and spiritual backgrounds. Each camper comes as an individual child with special needs and each has accomplished various growth tasks in each area of human development. The camp staff needs to be keenly aware of, and sensitive to, where each individual camper is in the growth process in order to enable the staff to encourage continue development.
In order to assess the spiritual decisions made by campers at summer camp (the focus of the follow-up program) it will be important to consider the various capabilities of religious understanding and the growth standard for each age of camper that attends camp. As mentioned above, each camper should be and deserves to be considered individually. There are, however, certain characteristics that are generally agreed upon to accompany the spiritual growth and understanding of children at various ages.
AGES 7 - 9
- Largely self-centred.
- Interest in others in mostly superficial and transitory.
- Friendships form and dissolve rapidly.
- Very interested in pleasing adults and often motivated by this desire to please.
- Moral reasoning is rather limited.
- Think of god in rather human terms - will describe Him as a person.
- Rules are very important to them.
- Pray in terms of particular activity.
- Believe God can do anything.
- Believe that unanswered prayers mean he has been "bad".
- Think of religion in very concrete terms.
AGES 9 - 12
- Beginning to value approval of own age group.
- Can understand doctrine and know what sin and salvation are.
- Does not grasp symbolism well and they are just beginning to think abstractly.
- Have trouble thinking of God as a Spirit.
- Memorize well - can be helped with a strong foundation of Bible facts.
- Want an obvious purpose in what they do.
- Not emotional in regard to religion.
- Beginning to think of God in more than superhuman terms.
- Are beginning to look at God both theologically and scientifically.
- Beginning to understand meaning of commitment.
- Beginning to internalize prayer.
- Capable of having "quite time".
- Acquiring a religious vocabulary.
- Not interested in principles but in fact.
- Have questions, but will still quite readily accept adult answers on religious matters - beginning to form own ideas.
- Peak age for commitments in SDA church.
AGES 12 - 14
- Acute hero worshipers.
- Increased ability to articulate faith and to discuss.
- Can deal with questions honestly and scripturally.
- Prayers tend to be more personal and self-directed.
- Beginning to develop and understand inner moral control. Unbalanced in emotion; do not appeal to emotion but to needs.
- Connect church fellowship with spiritual life.
- Think of God in supernatural terms.
- Can begin strong habits of Bible study.
- Basic beliefs of childhood may begin to break down as he learns to analyse.
- Want to do things and be involved.
- Can not think abstractly and spiritualize ideas and understand symbols.
AGES 14 - 16
- Some confusion of aims and values.
- Want satisfying answers to their religious questions.
- Seeking to make religion their own.
- Need to experience the reality of God.
- Formulating their own moral code of conduct.
- Require a very personal style of ministry.
- Discovering spiritual gifts.
- Have a strong desire to be committed to something.
- Accept Christ as a matter of faith.
- Sharper discernment of right and wrong.
- Crave guidance outside the home.
- May be indifferent to spiritual things - this may have nothing to do with religion itself - is often the result of rejection of authority, etc.
- Most influenced by leader example.
- Value serious discussion with peers and leaders.
- Religion is very personal.
The implications for the camp and the follow-up program of the above summary are immense. The entire integration of the spiritual aspect of camping into the total camp program must be planned with the needs of the various age groups of the campers in attendance in mind.
Counsellors and other staff, including the camp pastor, should be sensitive to these general characteristics when inviting campers to make spiritual commitments each week. When an 8 year old makes a decision to commit his life to Christ during a Friday night campfire, it may be different in motive and the concept of commitment than when a 14 year old makes the same decision. While it is important to understand the capability of the camper to understand what commitment is, it doesn’t necessarily change the realness of that decision to the camper, nor does it change the fact that a commitment is possible at every age.
It is possible that a young child’s commitment may be based on a personal loyalty and desire to please the Counsellor and it may be possible that the group-oriented teen camper may make a decision due to the fact that others in the peer group are making decisions, it can, however, still be a valid and meaningful decision as long as the camper realizes what they are deciding for. They must be aware of what is expected of them after making that decision and what the camp will do.
Children are capable of expressing commitment and love for God. They express this within their capacity to understand and to decide. We cannot expect them to express themselves or articulate their faith and beliefs in adult terms. However, the decisions made at camp can be complete for the camper at that time and it is essential for the camp staff, through a strong follow-up program, to let the camper know that they recognize the importance of the spiritual decisions that the camper made while at camp and that they are committed to seeing the camper grow toward spiritual maturity.
Why Are Devotions Important
When a student is studying a subject, does he/she not have to attend class, do his homework, and read his/her textbook out of school and in his/her own time in order to do well in that class? If he/she doesn’t do all three, he/she may have a difficult time with getting a good grade in the class.
You may do some of the key principles for being a Christian, go to church and pray, but without being in God’s Word, you will not mature and grow in knowledge. You must do all three to be a complete and God-blessed Christian.
In the same way, you cannot attend church and do devotions, and then hope to be blessed by God. Yes, you are doing 2 of the 3 key ideas of being a Christian, but you are not communicating with God. Ultimately, you cannot be a mature Christian unless you have all of these concepts.
5 Biblical Dynamics Of Spiritual Growth
- Ephesians 4:15 “We will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
People should grow in their personal day-to-day relationship with Jesus. We are to nurture our commitment to God and not the church or youth group.
“In all things” means that all that we do, say, feel, think needs to grow spiritually. Physical, mental, social and spiritual.
- Ephesians 4:12 “To prepare God’s people for works of service.”
Means a growing sense of being called to service.
- Ephesians 4:14 “We will no longer be infants.”
Our spirituality should develop from an infant through to an adult.
Our faith becomes more mature as life goes on.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Love must be evident in our spirituality otherwise it is useless.
- Ephesians 4:16 “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
We must work in harmony together and build each other up for the kingdom of God.
How To Talk About Spiritual Things
Moving a conversation around to spiritual things can be the most difficult part of witnessing. We can talk freely with our friends about many subjects, but we are at a loss when we want to bridge the gap between everyday life and the Lord. Turning a conversation around to spiritual things is not a gift. It can be learned if you are concerned enough about the salvation of your unsaved friend to practice thinking through your own everyday situations and plan ahead what you would like to say in each situation
The process for spiritual conversation:
Ask the Lord to guide your thoughts and comments as you approach a person. Ask Him to work in your friend. It is God who does the work. You just have to begin the process.
2 Surface talk
This level of conversation is the perfect starting place for an evangelistic conversation.
Talk about the weather, the slow service in the shop, the sports, etc. Mention something that opens your life up just a little. Then, casually ask the acquaintance about that same area of his or her life. Example: I’ve lived here for [it doesn’t matter how long], and I think that the weather is [it doesn’t matter what you think about the weather]. Have you lived here long? Be sure that you really listen to what the person has to say.
3 Personal talk
You will never run out of things to talk about: ask questions about the person’s birthplace, hometown family, education, work, vacations, retirement, interests and hobbies. Once a subject has been mentioned, ask a question about it. Attempt to establish some common interests with the person. Be a good listener and use their name in the conversation. Check their body language to see if the person is comfortable
with the direction of the conversation.
4 Religious talk
The first levels of conversation are pre-evangelism. They build rapport. Don’t assume
that a stranger or acquaintance doesn’t want to talk about religious things. Even atheists like talking about their views of God and most people appreciate having someone ask them about themselves and listening to their ideas or their problems in life. Talk about religion, churches, or church activities. A listening ear may be the very thing that causes a person to seek God. Example: On Saturday mornings we usually go to church and then go hiking. Do you attend church?
If the friend is not interested at this time, retreat to step three. Don’t push the gospel on anyone. Don’t feel guilty or become discouraged and quit witnessing altogether.
Leave the results to God.
5 Spiritual talk
Ask yourself; does this person’s actions and attitudes indicate that he or she wants to talk about spiritual things? If you sense openness after the religious talk, you can do several things:
- Invite him or her to visit your church. Be sure to meet at the door and sit together.
- Talk about what Christ has done for you. Keep your story simple or just share a few
- Ask the person two questions: What happens after this life is all over? What hope do you have?
- Share the gospel with him or her. Keep the message as simple as possible.
- Give him or her a religious book that has a message of hope and get together in a few weeks to discuss it.
- If the friend is not seeking at this time, retreat to step four.
Writing Your Personal Testimony
One of the privileges and responsibilities of Christians is to share with others our faith in Christ. Although many methods and plans can be used to communicate our faith, none is more effective than sharing how the love, grace, and mercy of Christ has changed our lives.
People to whom we witness may evade issues, attempt to discredit biblical and historical facts, or blame their condition on others. But it’s hard to discount the authentic testimony of a believer whose life has been transformed.
That’s the reason for this lesson. Completing the worksheet will better equip you to give a logical and organised presentation of who Jesus Christ is and what He has done in your life.
PAUL’S ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS BEFORE HIS CONVERSION
Read Acts 26:1-23
- Lived as a Pharisee – v5 (see also Galatians 1:13-14)
- Imprisoned many saints – v10
- Condoned the deaths of many saints – v10
- Persecuted Christians – v11
CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING PAUL’S CONVERSION
Read 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15
- Where was he going?
- What time was it?
- What did he see?
- Who was with him?
- What did he hear?
CHANGES IN PAUL’S ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS AFTER HIS CONVERSION
Read 1 John 1:5-9; 2:3-6
What evidence of Paul’s repentance and conversion can be found in the following verses?
- Acts 26:19
- Acts 26:20
- Acts 26:21
- Acts 26:22-23
• Year in school (or age)
ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS BEFORE I BECAME A CHRISTIAN
if appropriate, include family or church background. Avoid naming religious denominations, since this may alienate some of your listeners.
CIRCUMTANCES SURROUNDING MY CONVERSION
Consider time, date, place, people, motivation, etc. This is a natural place to summarise the gospel: the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
CHANGES IN MY ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS SINCE MY CONVERSION
Stories Of The Old Testament
The Creation and First Sin - Genesis 2:4; 3:24
The First Murder - Genesis 4:1-15
The Flood - Genesis 6:1; 9:17
The Tower of Babe - Genesis 11:1-9
The Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah & of Lot’s Wife - Genesis 19:1-28
Abraham’s offering of Isaac - Genesis 22:1-19
The Story of Jacob - Genesis 25:19; 35:29
The Story of Joseph - Genesis 37-50
Moses: In Egypt - Exodus 1-14
With the Israelites in the Wilderness - Exodus 15:22-30; 26-31; 18-34; Exodus 35; Numbers 20:1; 21:16
Farewell & Death of Moses - Deuteronomy 31-34
Balaam and His Ass - Numbers 22-24
Rahab, Red Cord & Flax - Joshua 2
Joshua, Military Strategist - Joshua 3; 6; 8
The Defeat of Sisera Joshua 4:4-24
Gideon, Conqueror of the Philistines Judges 6:11; 8:32
The Parable of Jotham Judges 9:7-21
The Daughter of Jephthah Judges 11:1-11; 29-40
The Story of Samson Judges 13:24; 16:31
The Story of Ruth Ruth 1-4
The Story of Samuel I Samuel 1-3; 7-10; 12; 15; 16:23
Saul, the First King of the Hebrews I Samuel 8-11; 13; 15
David, the Shepherd King I Samuel 16-27; 29-30:25; II Samuel 9; 11; 12; 15:1-18;18; I Kings 1:1-31; 2:1-12
King Solomon I Kings 2-11
Elijah, the Great Prophet I Kings 17 - 19; II Kings 1-2:15
Elisha, His Successor II Kings 2:1-25; 4:3-37; 6; 13:14-21
Naboth’s Vineyard I Kings 21
Jehu’s Triumph over Jezabel. II Kings 9
Naaman, the Leper II Kings 5
Nehemiah Nehemiah 1; 2; 4
The Heroism of Esther Esther 1:10; 7:10
Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego Daniel 3
Belshazzar’s Feast & the Writing on the Wall Daniel 5
Daniel in the Lion’s Den Daniel 6
Jonah, the Reluctant Missionary Jonah 1-4
Stories Of The New Testament
John the Baptist:
His Ministry Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-20
His Execution by Herod Mark 6:14-29
The Life of Jesus:
The Birth of Jesus Matthew 1:18; 2:15; Luke 1:5; 2:40
Young Jesus Luke 2:41-52
The Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:21-22
The Temptation of Jesus Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13
The "Sermon on the Mount" Matthew 5-7; Luke 6:20-49
The Miracles of Jesus:
The Healing of the Leper Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-15
The Centurion’s Servant Matthew 8:5-13
The Healing of Peter’s Wife’s Mother Matthew 8:14-15
The Calming of the Tempest Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41; Luke 8:22-25
The Demoniacs of Gadara Matthew 8:28-34
The Man with the Palsy Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-20; Luke 5:17-26
The Daughter of Jairus & the Woman with an Issue Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56
The Two Blind Men Matthew 9:27-31
The Man with the Dumb Spirit Matthew 9:32-34
The Man with the Withered Hand Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11
The Demoniac Matthew 12:22-37; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 11:14-23
The Feeding of the Five Thousand Matthew 14:13-23; Mark 6:30-46; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15
The Woman of Canaan’s Daughter Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30
The Feeding of the Four Thousand Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9
The Boy Possessed of a Devil Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:37-43
Two Blind Men Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52; Luke 18:35-43
The Fig Tree Matthew 21:28-22, Mark 12-14
Another Demoniac Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:31-37
The Deaf & Dumb Man Mark 7:31-37
The Draught of Fishes Luke 5:1-11
The Widow’s Son Luke 7:11-17
The Woman with an Infirmity Luke 13:10-17
The Man with the Dropsy Luke 14:1-6
The Ten Lepers Cleansed Luke 17:11-19
The Ear of Malchus Luke 22:49-51
The Water of Canaan John 2:1-11
The Nobleman’s Son of Capernaum John 4:46-54
The Infirm Man at Bathseda John 5:1-9
The Raising of Lazarus John 11:1-46
The Draught of Fishes II John 21:1-14
The Parables of Jesus:
The Grain of Mustard Seed Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19
The Sower Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:1-15
The Tares Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
The Acts Of Prayer
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (requests)
Adoration (or worship)
(a foreign concept for most 21st Century Australians)
- It reminds us whom we are addressing, whose presence we have entered, whose attention we have gained.
- How often have our prays been reduced to a “wish list”? Beginning with “adoration” means we have to slow down and focus our attention on God.
- The experience of prayer is more that a bunch of requests.
- Have you ever prayed a prayer without asking for anything at all?
How to Adore (or worship) God
- List his attributes (all of them - or ones you’ve been aware of in the last few days)
When facing major decisions - concentrate on His guidance
When suffering from inadequacy or guilt - praise Him for his mercy.
When in need - worship him for His power and good gifts.
Listing God’s attributes reinforces our understanding of who He is.
- Read a Psalm to God
- Read Him a poem, letter or song you wrote Him
(A forgotten art)
- Don’t pile your wrongs into one general confession (that's a cop out)
- List them off. . . it becomes a whole new ball game then.
- Be honest with yourself. Instead of admitting you have been less than the ideal husband today - say: “I wilfully determined to be self-centred, uncaring and insensitive. . . I need your forgiveness for being selfish.”
- Remind yourself of verses like:
(Ps. 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.)
- We don’t take confession seriously enough. If we did our lives would be radically different. When you are totally honest with yourself something happens. After admitting to God everyday for a week that you are a liar, a greedy person, a manipulator (or whatever), you say to yourself: “I’m tired of admitting that, I’ve got to get that out of my life!”
Paul’s words start to become real to you: 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
(probably the most neglected area in personal prayer)
- 1 Thess. 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
- There is a difference in feeling grateful and expressing thanks.
It’s not enough just to feel grateful, we need to express it with thanks.
- Thank God for:
- Answered Prayers (yes and no ans)
- Spiritual Blessings
- Relational Blessings
- Material Blessings
(Too often we begin our prayers with requests)
- Request from God what you want. (Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Phil. 4:6).
- Are you’re requests legitimate? “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5.
- Plan to trust God, tell your wants/needs, also tell Him that if He has a better way you’ll accept it.
Here is a few ways to approach God:
- “God, this is my heart on the matter, and I’d really love you to do this.
But if you have other plans, far be it from me to get in the way.”
- List your requests in categories:
- Your own Ministry (opportunities to share God)
- People (friends, your bosses, the sick, unsaved etc)
- Family (marriage, relationships, children, family time, finances, holiday time, etc)
- Personal (your own character, ambitions, dreams, etc)
Acting On Answers To Prayer
Here are a few cautions:
- If a leading requires you to make a major, life-changing decision in a very short period of time, question it.
- If a leading requires you to go deeply into debt or place someone else in a position that is awkward, question it.
- If a leading requires you to shatter family relationships or important friendships, question it.
- If a leading creates unrest in the spirit of mature Christian friends or counsellors as you share it with them, question it.
The Mystery of Unanswered Prayer
- If the request is wrong, God says, ‘no’.
- If the timing is wrong, God says, ‘slow’
- If you are wrong, God says, ‘grow’
- If the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, ‘go’!
Take heart, even Jesus prayed to God for something that God refused... and just as well (While on the cross Jesus cried out, ‘take this cup from me?).
In the mean time, remember “PUSH”
Pray Until Something Happens.
More than anything, God seeks PASSIONATE believers.
The Prince of this world.
Remember that Satan is still the prince of this world, everything is not yet submitted to God. Satan causes much suffering and often seems to have the upper hand . . . his years though are counted and his end is sure.
What Prevents Prayer from being Powerful?
Ps.. 66:18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;
James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
1 Pet. 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Prov.. 21:13 If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.
1 John 5:14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us --whatever we ask --we know that we have what we asked of him.
John 16:24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Mark 11:23 "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Two Powerful Prayers in Scripture
Paul: Eph. 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge --that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Elijah: 1 Kings 18 36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."
PRAYER TIME ACTIVITIES
The following are resources you can use for prayer time with your cabin or team. If you need any supplies ask Alicia in the office. Let’s connect with God in prayer and make this camp a real spiritual time
Stones In The Sea Prayer
Things you need:
- A lake, river or ocean
- Tell Everyone to find an attractive stone, one they really like
- Let them hold it for a while. Tell them that this represents a favourite sin
- Spend some time individually, quietly talking to God about the challenge of letting go of your favourite sin
- As a group, throw your stones into the deep water where they can never be found
- Remember that God takes our sins and buries them in the deepest ocean, so that no one can ever find them again
- Spend some time praising God for taking away our sins
“As far as the east is from the west, so far he removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12
Psalm Shout Praise
Things you need:
A psalm of praise, such as Psalm 103 or Psalm 136
- Read the psalm, one phrase at a time
- After each phrase, pause and ask the campers about the meaning of the words & how it relates to them.
- After your short meditation, shout aloud, “Hallelujah!” or “Praise You, O Lord!”
- Then read the next phrase. Ask. And shout aloud your praise phrase again
“Shout for joy and gladness” Psalm 35:27
Things you need:
A pot of children’s bubble liquid (See Camp office for this)
- Think for a while about the times when you have made mistakes and sinned
- When you are ready, take the bubble pot. Pray quietly, telling God that you are giving Him your sinful parts, and after you have prayed.
- Blow a stream of bubbles
- The bubbles represent your letting go of your sins
- Just as the bubbles pop and disappear, God is taking care of your sins and making them disappear without a trace
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1
Things you need:
Plain Paper & Pencils/Pens
Purpose: Prayer to affirm group members
- Give everyone a sheet of paper
- Ask them to write their name on the top
- Pass their piece of paper to the person next to them. Start at the bottom of the page, write something about them you want to thank God for
- When your page gets back to you, unroll your page and read what has been written
- Get people to share what has been written as part of a prayer
“We always thank God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you” Colossians 1:3
Things you need:
Alphabet Praise Worksheet, a Pen, Creative Minds
- Find the alphabet praise worksheet in your document wallet
- Work together as a group to come up with as many words as you can that describe God using letters of the alphabet
- Only have one word per letter
- Write or pray a sentence that includes the word to describe God to give it more meaning, applying it to your own life and experience. For instance, “Father God, when I think about the size of the universe, I remember that you are awesome.” Or, “when you stopped our car from crashing into the bridge, you were our protector.”
“We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you… according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” 2 Thessalonians 1:12
Teaspoon (tsp) Cards
What you need:
Plain index cars, Pens, Three coloured cards with the words ‘Thank you’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’ on it.
This prayer is called the Teaspoon Prayer because it uses the letter TSP for the words Thankyou, Sorry and Please.
- Put the coloured cards with the words Thank You, Sorry and Please on the table or floor
- Give each person 3 cards
- On the front of the T card, write a thank you sentence to God
- On the front of the S card, write a sentence saying sorry to God for something you are sorry for
- On the front of the P card, write a “Please God” prayer request
- Place all the cards face down under the first 3 coloured cards with T’s under the Thank you, S under the Sorry car and P under the Please card
- Shuffle each pile and give each person two cards from each category
- Take turns reading the T cards first, S cards second and P cards last as prayers
“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone” 1 Timothy 2:1
What you need:
A real tree outside
Use different parts of the tree to help you pray
- Roots: Help me to be rooted to you
- Trunk: Help me to grow strong and tall in Your love, always pointing toward heaven
- Branches: Help me to stay connected with you as I reach out to others
- Twigs: Please help me to be aware of the people on the edges of my life, who need to know your love and care
- Leaves: Please help me to bring comfort, healing and protection to those around me who are vulnerable
- Blossom: Help me to blossom in your love, bringing beauty, fragrance, and the promise of life into a cold and darkened world
- Fruit: May the fruit of Your Spirit be produced in my life, to be shared with others.
As a group, pray while focusing on one part of the tree at a time, perhaps even touching that part of the tree, and let the functions of the tree parts inspire your prayers.
“All the trees of the field will clap their hands” Isaiah 55:12
Acrostic Name Prayer
You will need:
Pens and Paper
- In an acrostic prayer the first letters of each sentence make a word or name
- Take a piece of paper and write the letters of your full name down the side of the paper
- Use each letter to help you write an acrostic prayer to God. For example:
J- Jehovah God, my Father, I come to worship you
O- Over and over I want to praise You for your Love
E- Even when I make mistakes and hurt you, you still love me
L- Lord, help me to share your amazing love with others
Choose one of the many names of God given in the Bible and use that as the acrostic name.
“I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High” Psalms 7:17
The Personalised Lord Prayer
You will need:
Pencils, Paper and Matthew 6:9-13
- Take each portion of the Lords Prayer and personalise it to your situation. Perhaps you could expand each phrase to make it apply to your life.
“My Daddy who lives in heaven, here I am, I am your Child. I just want to come and sit on your lap awhile and talk to you.
I want to praise you for everything that you are- Almighty, Creator, Savoir, King and Friend- all the different names you have that are special.
I long so much for you to come again and take me to be with you.
But while I’m here on earth, I want to be a channel of your love to those around me. Wouldn’t it be special if they could know your love as clearly as the angles in heaven know your love?
Thank you for all the gifts you shower on me each day. Today I need your help as I face a particular challenge…
Please forgive me for the way I have hurt you so badly, and those around me by…
Help me also to forgive those who have hurt me…
Please protect me when I am close to being tempted. Help me to be strong and make the right choices, and keep me safe in your arms today.
You are my King, ruler of my life.
You are my strength, making up for my weakness.
You are all glory. It’s wonderful to spend this time with you in your shining and glorious presence.
May your will be done in my life, through the grace of your son and my brother, Amen.”
Body Part Praise
You will need:
A body & a praising heart
Feet- Thank you, God for my feet. I praise you that I can stand and move around and explore the beautiful world you have created. Help me to use my feet to go where you want me to go. Help me to be the feet for those who find it difficult to walk
Knees- Thank you God for my knees. I praise you for the gift of prayer. Thank you that I can pray to you and worship you in prayer.
Hands- Thank you God for my hands. I praise you for the way they are made and all the wonderful things they can do. Help me to use my hands to show your love in the world.
Ears- Thank you God for my ears. I praise you for the many sounds that they can hear. Help me to listen to what you are saying to me.
Eyes- Thank you God for my eyes. I praise you for the incredible creation of my eyes/ I praise You for the beauty of the stars, the delicacy and variety of a million different flowers, and the comfort of seeing the familiar faces of those I love. Open my eyes to see people the way you see them, and to love them as you love them.
Mouth- Thank you God for my mouth. I praise you that I can speak and express myself. Help me to use my words to spread your love and encouragement in a hurting world.
Think about other parts of your body, praising and thanking God for them, and asking Him to help you to use that part to share his love with others.
“Now as always Christ will be exalted in my body” Philippians 1:20