A Note from Mary Margaret West: Yall are always asking for creative ideas, so here are some awesome ways to engage teen girls when it comes to praying. Prayer can easily feel become routine, and Kate’s prayer station ideas are anything but routine. We hope that these are fun ways to help girls grow in their prayer lives!
One of the most impactful activities I’ve done with students is to incorporate interactive prayer stations in events like worship nights, Disciple Now weekends, and mission trips. These prayer stations are themed areas of a room where students are prompted to pray over a specific topic. Often these stations include an interactive element which allows students to participate physically in prayer.
I love these prayer stations because they are so versatile! You can set up one big station with one theme during a worship night, or create an entire room filled with stations as an element in an event like D-Now. I also love them because they add visual, physical, and often audible elements to prayer!
Here are some station themes and activities I’ve done in the past. Take them and make them your own! Note: At each station, I set up a “scene” with visuals, Scripture, a challenge written out on poster board or something more creative, and most of them included an activity – something to write or do.
Mission Field of 8 – I borrowed 8 desks from a classroom (our church has a school attached), set them up like they were in a classroom, put a piece of paper on each desk. The paper in the middle I labeled “you,” and on the surrounding desks, I had students write the names of the students they sit near in class, praying for each student as they wrote their names down.
Standing against temptation/Standing against peer pressure – I purchased a bunch of mirrors from the dollar store and used dry erase markers to write different temptations/sin areas on each mirror. One of my leaders suggested we have the students break the mirrors…but that made me nervous with the whole piece of glass flying into someone’s eye thing, but it’s an option!
Revival in your school – I did a little research to figure out the names of the schools our students go to. There were 26…and even still, I missed some, so this may be a long project. I wrote the name of each school on a piece of cardboard and hung each of the pieces of cardboard on a wall. We had students write out a prayer on small squares of paper asking God to work in their school, and then pushpin their piece of paper/prayer onto their school’s sign.
Obsession/idols – We had 2 Peter 2:19 and Romans 6:16 written out with these questions which identify what your obsessions are: What do you spend the most time on? What do you worry or stress about the most? What do you talk about the most? What do you think about the most? (These are all questions from the book Obsessed by Hayley DiMarco.) I made a bunch of paper chains and hung them from the top of a long window ledge. We had students tear off a chain link, write their obsession on it and throw it away in a nearby trash can. (Audibly, the ripping of the chains was really cool to hear.)
Confession of sin – We had a big cross covered in white Christmas lights. Sounds weird, but it looked cool! We simply set it up in the corner of the room with a basket under it. We put out a big rug with pieces of paper and pens, and had students write down the sins they were confessing to the Lord and “throw them away” into the basket at the foot of the cross.
Laying down fears – We had a pile of small rocks (I bought them from the dollar store, though I’m not sure why I didn’t try to find them outside!). We had students pick up a rock, confess their fear to the Lord, and give it to Him. After they prayed over it, they dropped their rock into a basket. Audibly, this was so cool because everyone could hear the stones being dropped.
Committing to a daily time with the Lord – I set up a comfy chair, side table with a clock, lamp, and Bible. On the wall next to this little set up, I hung pages from an old calendar that I wrote “When” and “Where” and a challenge for students to decide then and there when and where they would spend time with God each day.
The Call to Follow Jesus – Based out of Matt 4:17-22 (the men immediately dropped what defined them [their nets] and followed Jesus), we had students write down the things that defined them and that they needed to surrender in order to obey God’s call on their life. We then had them clothespin those pieces of paper to a fishing net hanging on a wall.
God uses the broken – 2 Cor. 4:7-9. I broke up several clay pots and had students take a piece of the clay pot with them to remind them that God uses broken vessels so that He can receive the glory.
Surrendering Burdens – Matt. 11:28-30. I filled a backpack with rocks and had students take out a rock as they prayed about surrendering the burdens of family, school, and sin. They then dropped that rock at the foot of a cross.
Hopefully, these ideas have gotten your creative juices pumping!
Here are a few tips for including prayer stations in your event:
- Take a few minutes to explain the process to students helping them know where they are going and what they are about to do. Let them know that if they are uninterested in participating, they are welcome to sit quietly.
- If you have a large group, release students to the stations in smaller groups to avoid crowding.
- Have adult leaders available to help students who might be disruptive during this time (I’ve done these MANY times, and by a miracle of the Lord have never had a disruptive student. However, it’s always better to be prepared.)
- Have soft worship music playing while students participate in the stations.
- If you struggle to come up with creative themes or activities for each station, get your girls involved in brainstorming and set up.
Have you created prayer stations? If so, what themes and activities have you used?
Kate Downing is a Georgia peach by birth with a love for student and girls’ ministry. She has served on staff in student ministries all over the east coast and Texas, and now has the privilege of serving as the Girls Minister at The Church at BattleCreek in Tulsa, OK. Kate holds a Master’s of Religious Education degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. She has a heart for helping teenage girls come to know and build an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus Christ and equipping girls ministry leaders to do the same. She loves speaking, writing, college football, and wandering the aisles of Hobby Lobby.
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