Prayers of intercession for children

1. Bubble prayers

BubblesAsk each child what they would like to pray for, then invite them to visualise their prayers in the blowing of bubbles. Prayer is often seen as a strong activity, but this activity helps us to visualise that our prayers are sometimes quite fragile and delicate – like the bubbles.

Take it further

If you have a small group, just passing one pot of bubbles around gives each child time and space for their own prayers, and the others can join in praying for them too.

For a different ambience that works really well outdoors, especially with a larger group, have enough pots of bubbles for one each and shout many 'one word' or 'one sentence' type prayers all at the same time, such as: prayers for the world and creation, prayers for children in Africa, other issues, and so on.

2. Maps and Post-it 'home' prayers

A pad of Post-it notes

Invite everyone to write/draw a prayer for their home/family on a small Post-it note. On an enlarged street map of your local area, find the street where they live and stick their prayer Post-it on the map.

Take it further

Invite everyone to look more closely at their surrounding communities, find their schools and pray for their teachers. Then pray wider - for example: the park keepers, the police, fire service, ambulance service, hospitals, etc.

3. Prayer bag

An army bagThis activity is particularly helpful with small children. Each week/month you invite someone to draw out of the bag items that you have already placed there which can lead to prayer, such as: a Monopoly house (praying for the homeless); a bottle of water (praying for access to clean water across dry lands); a bandage (praying for those who are hurting); and so on. The possibilities are endless. Use the same nice bag each time and not a cheap plastic one. Often as the bag emerges each week there can be a sense of expectation and curiosity, so endeavour to catch people's attention.

Take it further

You could invite each person to form a prayer there and then, or to shape what they feel should be prayed for, or to take the item back to their group so they can all write a prayer together.

For more information on this creative prayer and others like it, see John Pritchard's excellent The Second Intercessions Handbook, SPCK, 2004, p125