One of the things I love about teaching children, is how they soak up information and are keen to try and put it into practice. Our children’s workshops are as much about dancing as they are about finding creative ways to pray and continue the prayers once home. A great way to do this is with prayer jars.
What you need –
Anything else you’d like to use to decorate
Once you have all the bits, cover your work area, put aprons or old t-shirts on the children if necessary and then let them loose! Whilst they are decorating talk to them about some of the things that they might pray about, things to be thankful for, what they are afraid of, friends or family that might be sick. Encourage them once home to write it down, or draw it on paper and put it into the jar – doesn’t need to be complicated, just a few words – it’s their act of praying and giving it to God. After a set amount of time (6 months to a year) they can then empty the jar and talk about all that God has done though their prayers.
Sometimes we need to know how much God carries us in his heart. This is a simple activity that you can do to help with reflection.
What you need:
Big heart drawn onto a piece of card
A mat or cloth to put on the floor in case of spillages
Different paints and brushes or sponges
Wet wipes to clean and a bin for dirties
Optional – felt hearts that people can take away with them, rope or something to mark out a big heart on the floor.
Invite participants to paint their hand and when they are ready print their hand inside God’s heart. There is the option if they wish to write their name in their hand in the heart, they could also choose to print a hand and write names of people who need to know they are in Gods heart too. Once they’ve done their hand print they can move into the heart drawn out on the floor and sit or stand inside Gods heart. When and if they feel ready they can then move and choose to dance right inside Gods heart.
The Lords Prayer is a set of common words used across the world to pray to God, learn more about him and grow in our faith. As I started to run more and more workshops I recognised that the prayer offered a great opportunity to draw the group together at the beginning and end of a session using movement.
Over a period of time I began to build a set of choreography that could be used along the side the words, which could act as an icebreaker at the beginning of workshops. Moving and saying Gods word together.
Since then, many people have asked if there was a copy of the movements so they could take it back to their church and their group to share. Since sharing is central to what I do, I finally got round to making an instructional video. Use the movements as a starting point and add your own flavour or feeling to what is already there. Each of us pray differently and each of us move differently, so the movements are not necessarily one size fits all. They are however accessible to all ages and abilities and can be adapted as necessary.
We’d love to hear if you do this in your group, and how you get on, so make sure you let us know!