New Year Prayer for the Church
Draw out a large floor plan of your church building and grounds. Write in each room who meets there or what happens there. Provide removable notes and pencils and invite group members to write prayer requests on the notes and stick them onto the relevant part of the church (e.g., special prayers for the young babies in the church can be posted in the nursery area or the mother’s room; prayers for those the church will be welcoming could be posted in the vestibule/ foyer area; prayers for the pastor and elders could be placed in the pastor’s office, etc.).
This floor plan could be left up all year with new prayers added as required. Small groups or individuals could choose to pray for the requests posted in certain areas of the floor plan. Or the group could lay the floor plan on a table and hold hands around the table as they pray sentence prayers for the church’s needs.
Purchase or create heart-shaped pieces of card-stock for each person, and provide pens and stickers, etc., for decoration.
Point out that prayer is a two-way communication and that most of what God wants to communicate to us is His love.
Have the class reflect on a time when they felt especially loved by God. Encourage them to tell this experience to another person and then work together in pairs as they each create a love message from God that fits with their experience. For example, “I felt especially loved by God when I was all alone and I noticed a beautiful sunset” or “I felt especially loved by God when my daughter was born.”
These messages are to be written on the heart cards and then decorated. When class members have completed their love messages from God, they can share some stories and prayerfully look at the different hearts that have been created. These can be used for a display or taken home as reminders of God’s special love.
Print out a page on your computer that has 12 squares, each labeled with a month of the year.
Give one copy to each person and invite them to write the things for which they were thankful during the different months of the past year. Then encourage them to share with a partner what they have been most thankful for. Invite them to pray together and offer a prayer of thanks for the gifts in the prayer partner’s life during the past year.
Provide a selection of thank-you notes and pens and give each person the name of another person in the group. Have each write a prayer to God, thanking Him for the person whose name they were given and expressing what they appreciate about the person.
The cards are then placed in the envelopes and addressed to the person about whom they have written, so that they can be given out correctly and taken away to be read. Alternatively, label cards with group members’ names and let everyone write a thank you note in everyone else’s card.
Print out a sheet of paper with 12 squares on it (or choose another number to suit your group). Have the group move around and exchange prayer requests with 12 other people. Promise to pray for each other through the year as your special gift to each other.
Choose a box of suitable Christmas cards, such as those depicting a dove. You will need one card for each group member, plus a few spares for visitors.
As each person enters the room, write their name on a small piece of paper. Don’t forget to include your own name too!
Then pass around a basket containing all the names and invite each person to take a slip. Give each person a card and invite them to write a short prayer for the person whose name they have received. Then they can place the card in its envelope and label the envelope with the person’s name. The cards can then be passed out and taken home to be read or read while in the group.
*See also “Prayers of Thanks”
© 2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists