Prayers Without Words

Picture Dialogues 

This is a prayer activity to be conducted in total silence. Play some meditative, instrumental music softly in the background.

Give each class member a pencil and a piece of paper. Have each member draw a simple picture of himself or herself on the paper. It doesn’t have to be very detailed, but a bit more than a stick person, and with some identifying features.

Then have each draw a prayer request on the paper. This can be shown in any way they like, but completely without words.

Have members swap their picture with someone else’s. Each person then looks at the picture that they have been given and the prayer request shown, and draws a response to the prayer request in any way they wish.

Have the pictures returned to the original artists and allow time for reflection on what has been created.

It may be beneficial to allow time for the prayer partners to spend a few moments praying for each other with words. Then have volunteers share their experiences.

Pray Dough Prayer 1 

Give each member a lump of play dough * or similar medium.

Have everyone close their eyes and hold the dough in their hands. Guide their reflections and invite them to mold the dough during the time of meditation. Suggest that they either work the dough abstractly as they reflect, or into shapes and objects suggested by their thoughts. Gently guide their thoughts through the adoration of God, confession of their sins, thankfulness, and supplication (prayers for others).

Afterward, invite volunteers to talk about their experiences of using the dough as part of their prayers.

Class members may wish to show what their dough looks like by the end of the prayer time and to comment on what they did to the dough and why.

Pray Dough Prayer 2 

Give each member a lump of play dough or similar medium.

Have the class pray silently to God, inviting Him to show them what He, as the Potter, would like to do in their lives. As they listen for God’s response, have them sculpt the dough to symbolize the way in which God has shaped their life in the past, is shaping it now, or wants to shape it in the future.

Pass-it-on Prayer 

Gather a collection of items that illustrate our relationship with God, such as a crown, small vine and branch, toy sheep, or crook, bandage, stain remover, torch, fragrance, bread roll, bottle of water, etc. You will need enough for everyone in the group to have one.

Give each class member an item and have them reflect on their relationship with God as they hold the object given to them. After a minute have them pass the item to the person on their left and receive an item from the person on their right.

Allow time to reflect on the new object in the same way as before.

Do this until everyone has had five different items. It isn’t necessary for everyone to have all of the items.

This idea can be adapted to use different items or themes to suit your needs.

Group prayer sculpture 

This idea is for the more adventurous classes! Organize groups of four and assign each a different kind of prayer as follows:

  • adoration/praise
  • confession
  • thanksgiving
  • supplication (for self and others)

Have each group create a living sculpture, using only their own bodies, to illustrate the aspect they have been given.

Play some meditative music in the background. Then have the group view each sculpture in turn and prayerfully meditate on the experience.

Karen Holford
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists