Creative Prayer

This site is for people who want prayer in Jesus' name, and for people who want to pray for others.



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This page contains:

  • Praying in Sand

  • Praying through Sketches

  • Plant a Tree / Bulb

  • Musical prayers

  • Praying with a Map or Globe

  • Nights of Prayer



Praying in Sand

Sand is a good visual and tactile aid to prayer (and it’s simply fun to play with!).  Here is an idea to help you deal with ‘burdens’ or guilty feelings for things you have done wrong.  Remember that God has promised to forgive you, but sometimes you can still ‘feel guilty’ for things that you did long ago, and find it hard to accept fully God’s forgiveness.  One aspect of God’s nature I find hard to understand is His promise that He will not remember our sins (Jeremiah 31:34).  I wonder how God could possibly have such a bad memory!  However, He wants to forgive us and wants for us to be reconciled to Him so much that He chooses to ‘forget’. 



One way to represent this truth, pray about it, and help you to be rid of your guilty feelings is to 1) write that concern in a tray of sand (to acknowledge it to yourself and confess it to God) and then 2) as you pray asking for forgiveness and for feelings of guilt to be removed, wipe away all the traces of your wrong action in the sand.  You could then read aloud this promise, ‘As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our sins from us’ (Psalm 103: 12).




Praying through Sketches
You might not think of yourself as an artist, but I challenge you to have a go as a prayer activity! I was never any good at art as a child, but when I tried sketching some of my feelings years later, I was quite surprised by what I produced on the paper. I now love drawing and find expressing thoughts and prayers through drawing therapeutic and has many positive outcomes.
1) There are no rules, so whatever I produce is more interesting than a blank piece of paper.
2) It’s a different way of getting things off my chest from talking.
3) I am quite often surprised that I managed to draw something, which actually looks reasonably good!



Here are some ideas for starters: Don’t aim too high at first!
-Why not have a go at a simple two-stage picture with the theme of present and future? Divide a piece of paper into two. On the left have a go at sketching how you feel now, and then on the right, sketch how you would like to feel in the future.
-You could start off simply using colours: maybe you feel tired and stressed at the moment – try scribbling with dark colours, and then on the right side, use colours, which represent calm – maybe pale yellows and blues?
-Alternatively try simple stick-man shapes. The example above is a sketch I did a few years ago at New Year. The left side shows me feeling like someone juggling too many balls, and so caught up in it that I couldn’t see out of the window to where my focus should have been. The right side shows me deciding to drop the balls and head towards the cross, where I would find Jesus able to help me deal with it all. It is no great work of art, but by doing it I discovered a few things about myself. So I put it on my notice board for the following year to remind myself to focus on God, especially when I got too busy or overwhelmed with responsibilities.
Another great source of inspiration for sketching is, of course, the Bible, particularly the poetic books like the Psalms, or books full of imagery like Revelation.



Plant a Tree / Bulb

Planting a tree can be a lovely reminder of someone who lives far away, or as a remembrance of someone who has died.  Choose a plant, with characteristics similar to those of your friend: e.g. a bold red rose for someone on the ‘frontline’ of their work, or a delicate pink flower for someone with a gentle nature etc.  Alternatively you could choose a plant, which flowered around the time of an anniversary of a special occasion of your own or a loved one, for example a baptism, or wedding day.  The flower will prompt you to pray.  



Musical prayers

Spread lots of bits of paper with things to pray for / give thanks for on the floor (e.g. shout a name for God three times, thank God for your best mate, sing one chorus of a song, be silent for 30 seconds).  Then you play bouncing loud music - everyone bounces around musically, from square to square on the floor until... you guessed it - the music stops and you have to follow the instructions.  As I participated in this activity and watched young people do the same, it was one of the few times I can remember when the personal and corporate splurged together successfully into one happy explosion.  The importance of the young people hearing each other and being encouraged to similarly participate cannot be underestimated! 


Other suggestions for the pieces of paper:
-Shout out one thing you are grateful for,
-Stop, ask God what he wants to say,
-Tell God about your day,
-Ask God for something you want / need,
-Ask God for something for one of your friends,
-Thank God for one person in your life,
-Ask God to meet with someone,
-Shout out the name of someone you hope to become a Christian,
-Tell God something you want forgiveness for,
-Tell God someone you want to forgive.
…Add some of your own prayer requests or needs of others…



Praying with a Map or Globe

This activity probably works best with a group.  Ask members of your group to name situations in countries overseas, for which they would like to pray.  Make a list, something like this:

1)      Iraq- for all the innocent people who have been injured or lost their homes in the recent war and continuing unrest.

2)      Indonesia – for all Christians who are in great danger of persecution because of their faith.

3)      Chile – for a friend called … who is working as a missionary.

4)      Spain – for relatives who have just moved, and need to find good friends.

5)      Etc…


You will probably discover that members of your group have some very interesting contacts! Either using a large world map or globe, put pins or sticky labels onto the relevant locations. You might wish to use small photographs or short summaries of each situation. Your ‘prayer map’ could be displayed in your church, or globe used in your small groups as a focal point when you pray. (Don’t forget to keep it up-to-date: it doesn’t give a very good impression about the prayer-life of your Church if notices are not current!)



Nights of Prayer

If you have ever been frustrated trying to get your children and their guests to sleep at a sleepover (which someone ought to rename because of the lack of sleep involved), this is for you!  (This activity is much more popular with youth groups than with adults.)  Choose a suitable building in which your group can set-up camp for a night or even a whole 24 hours.  This might be your home, church hall or church – if you’re lucky enough to have a warm enough building!  Bring in plenty of edible supplies to keep you all awake (unless you want to combine prayer and fasting…) and lots of comfy cushions etc. 

You will need to structure the time with different subjects for prayer.  Perhaps have different hours or different parts of the room devoted to parts of the world, or different groups of people?  You could also have an area devoted to confession and one area to praise and celebration.  You could even use this opportunity to try out some of the other creative prayer ideas from this site!  Why not have an art or a music corner?  Try Musical Prayers from the suggestion two weeks ago. The possibilities are endless…

A ‘Night of Prayer’ is a good activity for particular situations, such as marking the beginning of a new venture, or during a world tragedy or important event, or at a particular time of year (Lent, Advent etc.).




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