1 Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Luke 4.1)
Lent is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on one’s spiritual and faith journey. There are many themes you could focus on. This particular one focuses on the word “journey.”
Below are ideas for interactive prayer stations focusing on Lent. The interactive prayer stations are meant to be intergenerational. There are also stations designed for ages 2-4. (For more specific instructions on layout, purpose, design, and more ideas, you can view previous posts tagged under “Interactive Prayer Stations.”)
Interactive Prayer Station #1: I Shed Significance on My Journey
Materials: Long sticks, Sand, Tarp or Wading Pool (Create a large sand pit for people to draw and scratch.)
Journey to the center of your being.
Consider how significance becomes dominant in your life.
Draw an image in the sand for others’unwelcome expectations of you.
Pray for your load to be lightened.
Scratch out the image as a sign of you shedding those expectations.
Pray to be hungry for God’s life in youonyour journey.
Invite God to move with you along your journey.
Interactive Prayer Station #2: I Abandon Success on My Journey
Materials: Paper, Pens, Bowl, Candle
Let your mind settle into the present.
Reflect on where success becomes supreme in your life.
Name those needs/desires for success which may overpower your life.
Pray for these to be abandoned.
Tear up this paper to be like dust and let them die,
so you may live, hungry for God’s success onyour journey.
Invite God to hold you along your journey.
Interactive Prayer Station #3: I Reject Stress on My Journey
Materials: Tongue Depressers/Craft Sticks/Coffee Stirrers, Sharpies, Basket
Allow your body to relax.
Contemplate how many stresses undermine your sense of peace.
Write words describing your existing stress on the sticks.
Pray for the hold of each stress to be broken.
Break the sticks, as a sign of breaking their hold on you,
so you may be hungry for God’s promise onyour journey.
Invite God to carry you the length of your journey.
Interactive Prayer Stations for Toddlers:
Activity one: Ash Wednesday. Lent. Maundy Thursday. Good Friday. Palm Sunday. Easter. Look through the books and hear the story from Lent to Easter.
Materials: a variety of children’s books on Lenten and Holy Week themes.
Activity two: Lent reminds us that Jesus prayed in the wilderness and was tempted for 40 days. During Lent, we spend time praying or giving up something like a type of food or watching TV. Grab a bag Jelly Beans and follow the Jelly Bean Prayer during Lent.
Materials: Sandwich Bags, Jelly Beans divided, Jelly Bean Prayer
The Jellybean Prayer
On Ash Wednesday, set out a glass jar for each child with a copy of the jellybean prayer taped to it. Each day, have them choose a jellybean to earn for their Easter basket. According to the color of the jellybean have them fulfill the appropriate task.
On Easter morning, all that should be left in their jar are white jellybeans, which represent Christ’s grace. Christ’s grace cannot be earned but is given freely.
Red is for the blood Christ. Choose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean.
Green is for the palm’s cool shade. Do a good deed that day to earn a green jellybean.
Yellow is for God’s light so bright. Share God’s light by being kind to others to earn a yellow jellybean.
Orange is for prayers at twilight. Say a bedtime prayer or read a nighttime bible story to earn an orange jellybean.
Black is for sweet rest at night. Go to bed well without fuss to earn a black jellybean.
Purple is for Jesus’ days of sorrow. Apologize to anyone you may have hurt with words or actions to earn a purple jellybean.
Pink is for each new tomorrow. Forgive someone who apologized to you for hurtful behavior to earn a pink jellybean.
Blue is for the joy of knowing Jesus. Sing a favorite bible song to earn a blue jellybean.
White is for the Grace of Christ. White jellybeans cannot be earned.
Activity three: (Have a board with the following definitions for parents to use with their toddlers for the matching board.)
Ash Wednesday: first day of Lent. We place ashes on our foreheads as a sign of repentance.
Lent: 40 days Jesus spent in wilderness. We pray, fast, & give up something as a sign of temptation.
Palm Sunday: triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. We wave palm leaves to celebrate.
Maundy Thursday: Jesus’ last supper with disciples. We share in the Lord’s Supper.
Good Friday: the day Christ died. We remember the last days of Christ.
Easter: the day Christ resurrected. We celebrate in worship, song, & festivities.
Materials: Matching Board