Prayers of intercession for 20s-30s (café-style)

1. Video your own neighbourhood

A camera

Go around your neighbourhood with your own video camera or still camera, and with a simple image/video/movie editing programme, piece together some images about particular subjects for prayer. The effect of seeing your own neighbourhood on screen can be quite amazing.

Take it further

Maybe each week/month choose a particular subject for prayer. For example, if it is education, have outdoor pictures of the local infant/primary/high schools, as well as sixth form colleges, adult education schools, education board, special schools, etc. Pray for teachers and pupils alike. Share together concerns, pressures, thanksgivings.

2. Newspaper intercessions

A folded newspaper

There are always newspapers lying around in cafés (but always ask the owners before cutting them up!). Ask each table/person to prayerfully select a news story that concerns them, share why with others, then pray about it together.

Take it further

The following activity is especially poignant if celebrating communion together. Invite everyone to select stories from different types of newspapers/magazines, gluing or stapling them to a large paper tablecloth which then becomes the communion tablecloth. A single candle could be lit and the elements of bread and wine placed on your intercession cloth. Acknowledging God in the midst of brokenness and mess is indeed powerful and moving.

For more info see Sue Wallace, 'Newsprint', Multi-Sensory Prayer, Scripture Union, 2004, p17.

3. Bible Society Newswatch service

A video projector

Display on a screen using a projector - or print off for each table - the weekly single-paragraph Bible Society reports relaying what the secular news is reporting about the church and what the church media is reporting about the world and culture.

Take it further

For more detail on each story, click on its weblink source. If you print a weekly/monthly notice-style sheet with the news stories, you could encourage people to take it home and continue to pray about them during the week/month.

4. Parasols of protection

Cocktail umbrellas

You will need: some coloured paper cocktail parasols (one per person); Blu-Tack or plasticine; a large world map, preferably laminated; a desk lamp or spotlight.

Display the world map with your light source shining onto it from one side. Invite people to come up to the map and pray for areas of the world experiencing conflict and needing God's peace. Think about the people there who need protection from the bombs and bullets, or protection from other things such as starvation or bad harvests. Each person in turn places their parasol in such a way that its shadow falls on the place you are all praying for, securing it with Blu-Tack.

Finally, conclude with a prayer of thanks for all the times we have been protected by God when we have been in fearful or difficult situations.

For more excellent ideas like this see Sue Wallace, Multi-Sensory Worship, Scripture Union, 2009.