When studying prayer, it is easy to rely on lots of words. The Pray.!? unit is full of games, videos, interactive ideas and music to engage people of all abilities in exploring prayer. Here are a few ways to supplement the session activities with some hands-on projects:
In the first session of Pray.!?, your group takes a close look at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer.
Make a Father’s Day card to God. We pray to God, “our Father in heaven” and we can write our prayer to Him in the form of a Father’s Day card, celebrating our relationship with Him as his child. We can celebrate Him as the perfect Father. June is a great time to pray and discuss with your group what Father’s Day and relationships with earthly fathers mean to each of you.
Pray.!? Session 2 considers our prayers from God’s perspective. To extend the learning and activity already used in the session, your group might enjoy creating their own puzzle pictures. Here are some options:
- Have group members bring or select a photo or picture. On the back of it, draw some lines that mark how you’ll cut up the picture. By cutting it up, you’ve created a customized puzzle to enjoy putting together again to see the whole picture.
- Have the group email you photos, and you have those photos made into puzzles (using Walgreens Photo, Shutterfly, Snapfish or another photo printing service). Give each group member their picture, but in pieces, for them to put together. (This may be a good activity to do in pairs, or with some support for persons who may struggle to do the puzzle on their own).
- Purchase blank puzzles, such as from Oriental Trading Company, and your group can draw or color pictures onto them. Enjoy taking the puzzles apart and putting them together again, seeing the pictures your group members have created!
In the third session of the Pray,!? unit the study focuses on some different body positions for prayer. Play the “Positions, Please” game with your group as directed. A few notes and additions to consider:
- For some group members, it may be easier to engage if you print off some pictures of people in the positions mentioned in the game rather than having them try to physically position themselves. They can point to, pick out or call out the picture that matches the description in the game. If you’d like a page of such pictures we found using Google image search, email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy!
- Your group may also enjoy creating a sculpture of a prayer-position (this WikiHow can show you a simple way to sculpt a person). You could use play-doh or air-drying clay, or even oven-drying Sculpey. Your group may also enjoy drawing the position on a page of shrinky-dink(#6 plastic), then watching it shrink and become hard and thick as it bakes in a toaster-oven. (If you put a hole punch in it before baking, it can become a great keychain!)
In session 4, the final activity is to create a seesaw to reflect upon how our feelings may see-saw, and our prayers can reflect that.
- To make a seesaw you can use a straw and a popsicle stick, a paper towel roll with a ruler, or something else. Here’s an extra thought and challenge: if the fulcrum point of the seesaw was not just a point, or something round, but was a cross: the seesaw would not ever go down very far on either side because the arms of the cross would stop it.
Like the people of Judah in Ezra chapters 1 and 3, highlighted in Pray,!?session 5, your group can create a space especially for thanking God. Here are a few ideas:
- Each group member can decorate their own “thankful journal” where they can write down or draw their prayers of thanks.
- Create a thankful jar or box to contain notes or drawings of thanks.
- Create a “privacy screen” so that you have a personal space in which to stop and give thanks.
- Decorate a hat that will be worn when you are praying thanks to God.
- Create a thankful booth (like a photo booth you might put up for a special event), or a tackboard or other space on a wall, or decorate a table or chair that will be in your worship/gathering space where people can go to offer their prayers of thanks.