In the week before this activity collect a variety of local newspapers.
Organize your class into twos and threes and give each group a different local newspaper. Have the groups look through the newspapers for stories of people they would like to pray for. It’s not hard to find people who have been victims of different crimes, are facing challenges, or would benefit from prayer in some way. Have them create a collage of newspaper stories, with short prayers for the people they want to pray for written on the collage.
Groups could pray for the perpetrators of a crime and their families, as well as the victims and their families.
Encourage volunteers to share a comment on their collages.
Alternative Newspaper Prayer
Use the newspaper stories in the previous activity and ask the Holy Spirit to guide the group as you choose someone to pray for specifically.
Choose a person for whom you could also do something practical, and consider how you might do this. It could be anything from a card to say that you are praying for them, to donating money to a victim support charity, or doing something in secret that will make a positive difference in his or her life.
Community Focus Prayer
As a class make a list of groups in your community for whom you would like to pray. It could be different areas within your locality, or you could pray for different services such as the fire fighters, police, hospitals, schools, etc. You could also assign class members the task of researching the needs of the different groups.
Put your prayers into action by letting the group know that they’re being prayed for, if possible and appropriate. You may wish to send a box of chocolates, cookies, or donuts with a card to the local fire department, for example. Or spend an afternoon as a group in a community service project in the community for whom you are praying. Learn the needs from local community leaders.
Bring to class a large map of your local area and post it on the wall. Use arrow-shaped removable stick-ons or cut plain paper into arrow shapes.
Invite the group to write prayers on the arrows for different people, or different organizations, such as local industries that might be having problems, or the local hospital.
Stick the arrows on the map, pointing to the homes, workplaces, etc., for whom you are praying. Add any answers to prayer to the map too.
Local Prayer Walk
Give the prayers of your class a truly local focus and pray for those in the streets around your church. In twos, walk around the streets closest to the church, for 15 minutes, praying for each home, business, or service that you pass. Look for clues that can guide your prayers, such as children’s toys, or a neglected garden. Perhaps a home that reflects wealth may need to have more family time together. Especially pray that the people in each home will experience the love of Jesus in a special way.
You can pray as you walk, keeping your eyes open and praying conversational prayers together.
After the prayer walk, regroup and talk about the experience. You may wish to combine this activity with a prayer breakfast for the class.
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists