8/23/13

Prayer Cross



During the summer of 2012, my daughter and I visited a restaurant at the beach that gave me an idea. The restaurant had something called a Wishing Wall. Ever seen one? The whole wall was filled with tiny cubbies. Everyone was invited to write a wish on a colored piece of paper, roll it up, and stick it inside a cubby.  The different colored papers made the most beautiful abstract artwork!

I decided to make a cross with cubbies and have the kids write a prayer on their paper on the first day of Sunday school with the instructions that we would read them on the last day of class and discuss their outcomes. It took several weeks to completely fill the cross because I wanted to make sure everyone had an opportunity to write at least one prayer. There was really only one rule: the prayer had to be for someone else. We actually began reading the prayers about a month before the last day because I didn’t want to miss anyone who may be leaving for an early vacation.

I was quite pleased with how it all turned out. For those whose prayers were answered—well, isn’t God wonderful! For those whose prayers were not answered, we talked about how God’s plans are not always our plans. It was a wonderful segue into having faith that God knows best. Two people who had prayers that were not answered shared stories of how the unanswered prayer turned out to be the best thing. Again, isn’t God wonderful! 

This exercise teaches children to focus on looking to God for help, strength and understanding not just for ourselves, but for others as well. We see through answered prayers that God hears us. It draws us closer to Him and strengthens our faith and trust in Him. 

It's important to talk about how not all prayers are answered. Sometimes we can see later how that was the best thing, but sometimes we still don't understand why our prayers were not answered. This is where trust is so important. We have to remember that God always does the right thing, and although we don't understand it right now, He loves us deeply and is doing what is best for us. 

This would also be a great learning tool to use at home with the whole family, or with homeschoolers, play groups, and youth groups of all ages.  

Materials needed:
            6 wooden boxes (I found mine at Michael’s for just a few
                  dollars)
            15 toilet paper rolls (cut in half) or as many as needed to fill
                  your boxes
            Hot glue gun & glue
            Yarn or cord for hanging
            Command hook for hanging
            Strips of colored paper

  


1.  Glue boxes together in a cross pattern.
     2. Glue toilet paper halves in place.
3. Glue cord to back for hanging.



I think it’s prettier with the paper rolled tighter, so next time I’ll probably add pieces of cardboard in an X shape inside the toilet paper compartments to divide them into 4 smaller spaces each. I only had 12 kids last year, so I kept them large and we each had at least two prayers.

We hung our cross on the classroom door for everyone to enjoy.




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7 comments:

Cindy Dy said...

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post.

www.gofastek.com

The Radical Cleric said...

This is such a beautiful idea. Thank you for sharing. I've been looking for a meaningful way to help kids learn the power of prayer. We made a prayer wall this year similar to what you've done with the cross. I think this coming year we'll do the cross. Thank you again!
Sue in Arizona

Teresa said...

I am so glad you are enjoying the blog! Thank you for your kind words. :)

Teresa said...

I'm thrilled you found my idea useful. I'd love to see pictures of your cross! If you'd like to share them, I'd gladly add them to this post for others to see as well. This is one of my favorite activities because not only does it decorate our room so beautifully, but the kids learn so much from it. Thank you for visiting!

Unknown said...

love it thank you for sharing

Unknown said...

Can I ask what ages do you think this would work for? I teach pre-k and kindergarten.

Teresa said...

Hello. I have used this activity from first graders all the way up to adults. That's one of the many things I love about this activity - it's useful for almost all ages. You could certainly have pre-k and kindergarten age kids write/draw prayers on paper and put them inside the cross. That would actually be a nice little before class ritual to keep the kids busy as others are still arriving, and it would teach good prayer habits. But I'm concerned children that young (especially pre-k) may not be able to grasp and appreciate the discussion later about whether God answered their prayers or not. I'm sure that will vary from child to child, though. It would be an interesting experiment. If you try it, please let me know how it goes. One more thought: because children that young are fairly immediate thinkers, if you decide to discuss their prayer outcomes, I would do it the following week before too much time goes by and that still may be a bit of a challenge. I hope that helps. Blessings.