31 January

Welcome to Sunday School on the 31st January,

For the next couple of weeks we are going to be focusing on prayer. This week the Archbishops of Canterbury and York invited the Nation to join them in daily prayer, from 1st February, at 6pm with a focus on the many people who have lost their lives to Covid and their families and loved ones. This invite prompted me to think about how we could encourage children to include prayer more in their day.

I thought we would start this week with a focus on ‘Thank you’ prayers. It is very easy at the moment to see things that are not going right and things that make us feel sad. If we look around there are many positive things that we can be thankful for.

I have included some ideas that you might like to use over the next week.

1. Create a Prayer Book / Journal:
If you have a spare note book you could decorate the front cover and use it to write prayers in. You could also use some plain paper to make a book by folding some paper in half or maybe make a zig zag book. In your prayerbook you could either write prayers or write down things you would like to pray for. The prayer book can then be the focus of prayer time together.

2. Thankful Walk
On a walk look around to see things that make you thankful and happy. There are bulbs starting to come through the ground (can you spot any snow drops), the sun might be shining, it might be snowing, are there puddles to jump in or are the puddles frozen so you can crack the ice. Try and remember these things when you get home. You could write or draw a picture of them in your prayer book and say thank you to God for them in your prayers.

3. Praise God Box
You might like to make a ‘Praise God Box’. In the box collect natural objects (wood, shells, stones, leaves, pine cones). Children to hold the objects and reflect on the wonder of creation and praise God for he is wonderful.
It would be an idea to read the story of creation from the Bible or watch it, link below.

For Older Children:

4. Lego Prayer
You will need some Lego or Duplo blocks (or similar). Have a pile of blocks. Use the blocks to build a tower or if you have a Lego board you could make a cross shape. Each time you add a block say thank you for someone or something.

5. Playdough Thank You
If you have playdough at home children could make a model of what they would like to be thankful for and then use this in their prayers.

6. Jigsaw Prayers
Draw around a jigsaw piece / or draw your own. Continue to draw pieces linked together. On the pieces write the names of people we share our lives with and pray for those people.

7. Prayer People
A different way to pray for people close to us is to make a string of paper people, write the names of people close to us on the people and pray for those people. (How to make the people https://www.edenprojectcommunities.com/make-it-happen/how-to-make-paper-people-chains )

8. Thank You Placemats
There is a template attached for a placemat which could be used as a prompt for prayers at meal times.

9. Finger Labyrinths
Older children might like to make a finger labyrinth. There are some suggestions of different ways to make one at the following link.
Or children could draw their own line on some paper to follow. The labyrinth is used during prayer, to follow the line, or it can be used to reflect on a passage from the Bible. Children could think about the passage as they follow the route of the Labyrinth. Older children could think about which passage from the Bible gives them hope and makes them thankful and use this to reflect on.

Reflective Colouring
Children might like to colour a picture and reflect on a Bible verse. There is one picture attached with a verse and a plain cross that children could think of their own verse to reflect on.

I hope you are able to find an activity to help you pray this week.