Use these 12 months of prayer ideas for church families to encourage and nurture prayer at home. What better way to start the new year than with great ideas to get families praying together.
Year of Prayer Ideas for Church Families
January: Special Delivery
Distribute a postcard to each family. A family can be one person. Ask families to write their names and any special prayer requests on their cards. Encourage families to return their cards over several weeks. A “prayer administrator” makes sure every individual or family is represented. If any families haven’t filled out a card because of their absence, the prayer administrator can fill one out on their behalf.
Mail a postcard to church members so each family has a different family to pray for during the month of January.
February: A Heart for Prayer
Have the children decorate pink and red construction paper hearts. Then write the names of your church families on the backs of the hearts-one name per heart. Suspend the hearts from your church foyer ceiling.
Ask every family to take a heart and pray for that specific family during February. Recruit a crew who’s willing to pray for more than one person in case some paper hearts remain.
March: Leave Your Burden
Cut out a large cross from foamboard, and display it in a visible area in your church building. During the last week of February, distribute sticky notes to church members–adults and children. Ask each person to write a burden to give to God on the note. People can do this anonymously. Encourage church members to attach the notes to the cross. It’s a good idea to attach a few notes ahead of time to encourage participation. Each individual can take home one of the notes and pray all month for that burden to be lifted from the person who’s carrying it. Allow time at the end of the month for people to tell about answers to prayer.
April: Handle With Prayer
For each family or child, you’ll need six plastic eggs and half an egg carton with spots for six eggs.
Paint the halved egg cartons. Use a permanent marker to write “Fragile: Handle with Prayer” on each carton top.
Photocopy family names from your church’s phone directory or pictorial directory. Add the names of those not listed in the directory. Cut apart the names, and put one family name in each plastic egg. You can also simply write the name of each family on a paper slip.
Give each family six eggs in a carton and encourage them to pray for a family each day.
May: Flower Power Prayer
Give a long-stemmed rose to each family. Encourage them to choose one person or family to pray for through the month of May. They can deliver the flower and ask for any specific prayer requests.
June: Rockin’ Prayer
Collect enough small rocks for every child to have one. Then give a rock to each child to carry around in a pocket during the month of June. The rock is a reminder of Jesus, our rock, and it can remind them to talk to Jesus daily.
July: Pop! Pop! Pop! Prayers
You’ll need one empty 20-ounce soft drink bottle per family, plastic disposable plates, a fine-tip permanent marker, glitter or Mylar confetti, corn syrup, water, and scissors.
Have families create this fun prayer reminder craft together by following these steps.
1. Cut six half-inch ovals from the plastic plates.
2. Write “Family,” “Neighbors,” “Church,” “Our Government,” “World Crisis,” and “Peace” on six different ovals. Then put the ovals into a bottle.
3. Add a teaspoon of glitter to the bottle
4. Fill the bottle three-fourths full of corn syrup and top with water. Tighten the lid on the bottle.
Encourage families to shake the bottle every day during the month of July and pray for the item that comes up first.
August: Schooltime Prayers
Print labels with “Pray for Our Children’s Education.” Attach the labels to school supply boxes and give them to church members. During the month of August, families can pray for education issues or people associated with schools when they buy school supplies to put in the boxes. When school starts, donate the supplies and boxes to a local school for children who may not have school supplies.
September: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
Give each family a white pillowcase and fabric pen. Encourage families to pray for a different person each night for bedtime. Then have them write the person’s name on the pillowcase.
October: Leafing It to God
Pour prepared plaster of Paris into a medium-size bucket. While the plaster is still wet, place a tree branch in the center of the bucket to create a self-standing tree. Write the names of children on fall-colored construction paper leaves, and tape the leaves to the tree branch. Have children select a leaf and pray for that person during October.
November: Make a Clean Sweep
Purchase tiny whisk brooms at a craft store or print whisk broom images on card stock. Add a label with the words “Make a Clean Sweep.” Attach a self-adhesive magnet to each one so they can be placed on refrigerators. Distribute these as a reminder to pray for inner cleanliness as the Advent season approaches.
December: Family Advent Calendar
Print December calendars with the name of a family or individual in each square. If your group is smaller than 31 people, repeat names. If your group is larger than 31 people, put more than one name in each square. Copy a second blank calendar sheet on red or green paper. Use an X-Acto knife to cut three sides of each calendar square, but don’t fold any squares back. Glue around the outer edges of the blank sheets and place them over the name sheets. Show the kids how to fold back each window, revealing a different family to pray for each day in December. cm
Authors Melissa Plowman and Cheryl Stewart are children’s ministers in Wichita Falls, Texas.
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