Tag Archives: Prayer

Children’s Sermon – July 31, 2016 – Luke 12:13-21

Prepare: You will need a “treasure chest” of some kind.  It can be an actual chest, or as simple as a little box.  It doesn’t need to have anything in it.

20130822-223520.jpgAs the children gather, set your treasure chest down carefully in the middle of the group, and ask them what they think is in it.


Those are some good ideas! I think that I know what kinds of things you would keep in your treasure chest now.

In the Gospel we hear today, Jesus tells a story about a rich man who has so much stuff that he builds big buildings just to put stuff in.  He is very proud of what he has accomplished and of all his stuff, but he dies at the end of the story! Who gets all the stuff then? I think that is pretty interesting, but not as interesting as the question that started Jesus telling a story (because, you know that when you ask Jesus a question he is going to tell you a story for the answer, right?).

I guess it’s not really a question, but a request.  A man asks Jesus to tell his brother to split the family fortune with him.  Basically he wants half of his brother’s stuff. I think that Jesus is trying to tell this man that he is worried about the wrong things, or that he isn’t paying attention to what is really important. The man seems to be willing to make his brother man just so he can have more money, or animals – more stuff. Now, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if the man liked his brother, or didn’t like his brother, but it seems to me that Jesus is telling him to stop focusing on stuff, because things can get used up, be stolen or lost, and don’t last forever. Gathering things up in a box is just about as good as having an empty box (You can open the empty box here if you want.) What we should treasure is people! We should care for each other and use our wealth to help each other, not store it up and hide it away.

20130822-223908.jpgYou are God’s treasure

20130822-223749.jpgLoving God, you treasure us and care for us. Thank you! Help us to treasure the people around us more than we treasure our stuff. Amen

FaithCross_WorshipFor a worship station, invite your congregation to think about the people that they treasure.  It doesn’t have to be someone in the room, they can even be friends and loved ones who have died.  Give them a minute to call those people to mind and then offer a “popcorn” prayer where people can name the people they treasure aloud or silently.

If naming people in prayer our loud is not part of you tradition you may want to have a few “plants” in the congregation to get the prayer started.


Teach Us to Pray! Luke 11: 1-13, Tenth Sunday after Pentecost July 24, 2016

20130822-223454.jpg Here are a couple of ideas: invite the children forward to help lead the Lord’s Prayer wherever it occurs in your worship service. Invite the older children/youth to write one line about what they think each petition means and use that for the prayers of intercession or the prayers of the people.

*For a more “traditional” children’s sermon: Gather the children and ask them what are questions that they might have for God? Have a large piece of paper and a marker to write down their answers (or have a helper with you). Accept all answers (Pray for these things at the end). More than likely, some of these responses will connect somehow to the petitions in the Lord’s Prayer (the traditional version that we say, not necessarily the one in Luke.)Say:  We ask God all kinds of things! Do you ever ask your mom, dad, grandma and grandpa etc, for things? Maybe dinner, or lunch, or help finding a toy? Yes! We all ask for help! God wants us to ask for help and for what we need.

20130822-223633.jpg God is always happy to hear from us which is why Jesus taught his disciples to pray! You can pray to God yourself, you don’t need an adult or a pastor to pray, you get to talk to God anytime you want about anything you want and God listens. And we can talk to God about all sorts of things Jesus says: food, God’s peace, our fears, forgiveness, help with a friend. We may always not hear an answer right away, but we know that God promises to hear us! Sometimes we hear God’s answer through other people, or reading the Bible or in all kinds of ways. Sometimes, Jesus says, we have to look in lots of places for God’s answer to us.

To help us remember the Lord’s Prayer and all of the different things that we can pray for, I made a colorful bookmark out of different colors of ribbon tied together that I keep in my Bible. At our worship station today, you can make one too!

20130822-224425.jpgJesus, thank you for teaching us that God hears us always. Let us remember that we can talk to God about anything, anytime we want. (Pray for the items written on the large sheet.) We pray together the Lord’s Prayer now: (use whichever version is comfortable in your community.)


Have a table with the instructions available for all with ribbons cut into three inch lengths.

Lord’s Prayer in Color

Blue-“Our Father, who art in heaven’”

White-“Hallowed be thy name,”

Purple-“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,”

Green-“On earth as it is in heaven.”

Brown (yellow beads)-“Give us this day our daily bread”

Red-“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

Gold-“For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen.

Tie each color of ribbon together with a knot making a bookmark for your Bible or any book.

Use this to help you to remember to pray unceasingly!

(For the bracelets-string the beads on in order and then tie the bracelet on your wrist.)

20130822-223908.jpg+God hears your prayers+


Children’s Sermon–Distractions and Prayer Luke 10:38-42 July 17th 2016

Preparation: get an assistant to either flash a light or make a small noise to distract you as you begin. Tell them to start out subtle before becoming more obvious to everyone.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children to you. Welcome them and start to tell them about the gospel story today. Prompt your assistance to start the light or noise distraction. As you start talking, fade off,lose your place, etc as you are distracted by the noise or light.

20130822-223633.jpgSay, “Wow I really want to focus on this Bible story but it’s hard, I keep getting distracted. Anyone else distracted?” Have the kids point out to you the distraction and then invite your assistant to join you. “This is like our bible story today. Jesus’s visiting sisters Mary and Martha. Martha is making dinner and trying to get this ready to be welcoming to her guest. Well she gets distracted by her sister Mary of helping her and she gets upset and tells Jesus to help her get Mary to come help. Jesus knows Martha is distracted by her worry and frustration and tells her that Mary is focusing in on Gods word and has also chosen a good thing. Jesus wants Martha to remember what the main focus is of being welcoming and that is to show care for others in Gods name.”

“Do you ever get distracted? What kinds of things distract you?” (Take answers, be prepared to prompt… Could mention the movie “Up” where the dog is always distracted by the squirrel or electronics, etc.). “Many things that are good and things that are not so good can distract us from remembering we are to focus on Jesus words and live our life based on his words and promises, even our thoughts and feelings can get in the way. I think I need that reminder to focus on Jesus and that many of us do. What are ways we can do this?” (Take answers, mention prayer and worship and reading scripture. If you use the inserts or other daily devotional in your congregation this is a great time to show it and teach again how to use it.)

Centering Prayer option: “All of these are good ways. And sometimes it good for us to take a little God time out. It can even be really short. It’s a time when we can just let our mind be open to listen for God. To do this we have to get pretty quiet, do you know how to be quiet? Let’s try. Good. Now I am going to set this time for just 30 seconds and we are going to try together to do a centering prayer. This means all we are going to breath in and think the word “Jesus” and breath out and think the words “Loves Me”. If other thoughts come just take a breath and remember your words. Let’s try together once and then we will set the timer.” Practice this together and see how it goes!

20130822-223749.jpgJesus, you are our God. Help us focus on you. Thank you for your words of love for us. Amen


20130822-223908.jpgMay your heart, hands, feet, head, words, and actions be surrounded in God’s peace.


FaithCross_WorshipSet up a centering prayer/meditation area. Put out some pillows to sit on or chairs that are set a part from the worship space. Or simply provide the resources in the pews. Provide card with different kinds of centering prayer. You can write some simple ones like the example of “Jesus loves me” or “Come Holy Spirit” and/or print up some other resources from here: Contemplative Outreach 



Growing Together in God’s Promises Jeremiah 1: 4-10 Epiphany 4, Year C, January 31, 2016

20130822-223454.jpg This would be a great Sunday to have children/youth of all ages in leadership during worship, education classes and any other opportunity. If not actual leadership (perhaps for safety reasons) then have the children/youth as partners with adults for leadership. Including the pastor! Here is a suggestion for a children’s sermon that can be led by the children fairly easily.

Gather the children in the middle of the sanctuary in the main aisle if you have one or some sort of central location. Ask the children if they have ever taught any one something new. (Accept all answers.) Ask if they have ever taught an adult something new. (Accept all answers.) Tell them that today-they will be the teachers and leaders and this children’s sermon is really for the adults. Have the children say to the congregation, “You are sent by God! Do not be afraid! God will tell you what to say!” Have the congregation say those phrases back to the children/youth. Ask a random adult of a couple of different ages (18-35, 35-50, 50-65, 65+)  what they would like to say to the children today. Then ask a teenager and  younger child what they want to tell the adults about God today.

We need each other! We need all of us together to proclaim God’s word of love, hope and grace. God works through us all and even those whom we don’t know or are different from us.

20130822-224425.jpg Have a child or two (or another adult and child) do the closing prayer. Let them make it up on the spot!

FaithCross_Worship God gifts us all to proclaim God’s good news to all people in the world. God’s promises grow in us all, too. Have small terra cotta pots, soil and some flower seeds on a table. Place the table on tile or linoleum or have a tarp under the table. Invite the congregation to write or draw images or words of God’s promises on the pots. Then they can add soil and seeds. The actual potting could also be done after worship in another location. In this time of winter, watching new growth can be a reminder that God is always doing a new thing, even when it seems that the world is frozen and stagnate.

20130822-223908.jpg +God formed you and knows you+


December Faith + Alive in the Home Philippians 4:4-7 Advent Year C


20130822-223520.jpgIn this busy season, making time to check in with those in our households or with those whom we are in close relationship is vital. There are many ways to do this! Here is one: Gather your household around the Christmas tree or the Advent wreath (if you have one), or simply light a candle. Where do you see God doing something new in your life today? Where do pray for God’s work to be revealed?

20130822-223633.jpgPhilippians 4: 4-7 (Advent 3C, December 13th, 2015):

This is not a “typical” getting ready for Christmas scripture text. No mention of Mary, John the Baptist, prophets, little town of Bethlehem, a baby or any of the images we associate with this time of year. So why is this part of our Advent reading? I tend to think it has something to do with verse six: “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

For children: What are you excited about today? What is it that you are having a hard time waiting for? Presents? Time off of school? Snow? What are you worried about today? Tests? Friends? Brother or sister? Mom or dad? Our Bible reading tells us not to worry about anything but to know that God hears our joys and our worries. Make some colorful strips of paper about two inches by about eight inches to create a paper chain. You can have 24 of them to count down to Christmas. But on each chain each day, write or draw something that you are excited about and something that you are worried about. This will be a daily prayer to God. Each day add a chain (families can create one large chain or each person can have their own prayer chain) and hang it on your Christmas tree as a reminder that Christmas is about God with us!

For youth/adults: Worry has been a primary human emotion for thousands of years. It seems that we are wired to worry about anything and everything. Some worry is good and healthy as it can keep us safe but often our worry goes overboard. Paul and the community at Philippi were not immune from worry. Paul is reminding them (and us!) that worry can crowd out our rejoicing and to offer all of daily lives, each part, to God. What is worrying you today? What brings you peace in the midst of worry? When you find yourself worrying about circumstances you can’t control, write down the worry, (paper, phone or computer) and say a prayer of thanksgiving that God is with us always.

FaithCross_ServeALT “Let you gentleness be known to everyone.” God is gentle and loving with us and we want to show the world God’s gentleness. When someone cuts you off in traffic, in line at the store, or is rude to you, offer them a prayer of grace. When you do those same actions (as we all do!), offer yourself a prayer of grace as well!  For younger children, have a small jar in a prominent place where each time someone (adults too) in the household is gentle, kind, and showing God’s love, a coin (pick which denomination works for you) can go in the jar. At the end of the month, as a household, chose a place to donate the coins. (You can have the children decorate the jar or container if you would like and keep this project going.)

20130822-223749.jpgPray for each other’s worries and joys. Thank God for God’s gentleness and love through Jesus Christ.

20130822-223908.jpg+God’s peace and gentleness be with you+

Children’s Sermon – 24th Sunday after Pentecost – November 8, 2015 – Mark 12:38-44

Prepare:  See if you can track down a  copy of “Should I Share My Ice Cream?” by Mo Willems (here is a link to Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Should-Share-Cream-Elephant-Piggie/dp/1423143434).  You can also probably find a copy at a local library.  If you cannot find this book, look for a book about how fun it can be to share something. The premise of “Should I Share My Ice Cream” is the tension between wanting to share and wanting to keep something for yourself.

For the worship station you will need access to the bread portion of your communion service, a basket of some kind and some small pieces of paper.

20130822-223454.jpgGather the children around and ask them about their favorite flavor of ice cream, or something that relates to the book that you found. Then ask them what it feel like to share that flavor, or thing with other people.

20130822-223633.jpg I have a book for us today, it’s a short book about how sharing can be hard, and how it can also be really fun.

Read the book!

What do you think about the story? Why do you think that it was so hard for Gerald to decide what to do with his Ice Cream?

In the Bible story that we hear today, Jesus points out a woman who is giving a very small amount of money to the church, something like giving a penny. Jesus notices her and says that she is actually giving much, much more than most of the other people. That penny is all that she had to live on, to buy food, clothes, and she gave it all away – she shared it!

The idea of sharing the all that we have is pretty scary, but when we all share together, then we can all have enough, just like Gerald and Piggy both getting some ice cream.

20130822-223749.jpg God of abundance, help us to see and know that there is enough. Help us to share what we have, and accept the gifts of others. Amen


Have the paper ready

Go get the communion bread, or go near it and talk about how this small amount of bread feeds all the people in the room. One person could certainly eat it all, but there is enough to go around, it we all share.

Invite the congregation to think about other things in there lives that can be shared so that all have enough – have them write those things on one side of the paper. Then have them turn the paper over and have them write what it feels like to share something wonderful with someone else.

Gather the papers together and use them as part of the prayers of the church. The whole basket can be blessed, but also pull a few out to read as part of the prayer. Use some for the things we know we should share, and use some to praise God for the gift of sharing.


20130822-223908.jpg You are filled with God’s love and grace.

Take Heart! Jesus Hears You! Mark 11: 46-52 Pentecost 22 October 25, 2015

20130822-223454.jpg Have the children gather in their usual place without you. Walk around the worship space asking them if they can hear you. Sometimes be loud or with your mic on, sometimes have your mic off, whisper and one time just think it to yourself and then ask them if they can hear you. When you reach them, ask them, “Could you always hear me? Was it always easy to hear me? When I didn’t speak at all, you had no idea what I wanted to communicate to you. If we have something important to tell one another we have to be sure that the other person can hear us.”

20130822-223633.jpg In our Bible story today, there was a man Bartimaeus who was born blind. He couldn’t see anything at all. But he had really good hearing. He heard that Jesus was coming to town and he knew that Jesus would help him. So he called out to Jesus for help. Jesus heard him and helped him. Jesus said that he was healed because Bartimaeus knew that Jesus would hear him. Jesus wants us to know that he will always hear us, whether we talk to God loudly, quietly or just in our hearts without saying any words out loud. Jesus is always with us, sees us, hears us and loves us no matter where we are or what we are doing. (Depending on the size of the group you can ask the following question) What do you want to ask Jesus today? Ask anything because Jesus promises to hear you! Sometimes we can’t always tell that Jesus has heard us and we wonder but that’s ok. We can even ask Jesus if he’s heard us! There is not anything that we can’t tell Jesus!

20130822-224425.jpg Jesus you promise to see us and to hear us always. We are grateful that we can ask you anything at all. We love to share your closeness and love with others. May we be like Bartimaeus, confident to call out to you no matter what. Amen.

FaithCross_WorshipSet up on a table a prayer station with post-it notes and pens. Have a basket to place the notes in. Invite people to ask Jesus anything they want on those post-it notes. They can place them in the basket to be read during the prayers in worship or taken home with them for their own prayer time (or both!). It’s also Reformation Sunday in many congregations. Have a brief reminder of the history and how Martin Luther posted questions for discussion on the door at Wittenburg. You could also have people place their post-it notes on the worship space door. Be sure to close the prayer with words of assurance that Jesus always hears us even when we aren’t sure or can’t see the outcome we desire.

20130822-223908.jpg+Jesus hears you and loves you+

Children’s Sermon/Worship Station – 6th Sunday After Pentecost, Mark 6:1-13 – July 5, 2015

Prepare: You don’t need to prepare anything specific, but be ready to lead the children’s sermon from a new place, or at a different time, or  . . .

The idea is to do something different so people cannot just be on “autopilot” during the children’s sermon and worship station.

20130822-223520.jpg Invite the children to join you in you new location or time, etc. Ask them how they feel about it. Is it good to be doing something new? Does it make them feel uncomfortable?

20130822-223633.jpg Jesus is changing things around in the story today, too. He goes into his hometown and tries to change how they understand the Bible. He tries to show the people who have known him his whole life a new way to understand the healing power of God. He tries to show them something new and they just don’t like it!

This happens to us, too. Maybe we show up at work or at school and our schedule is not what we thought it was going to be. Or maybe you get served your favorite food but it has a spice or flavor that you are not used to and you don’t like it. It can be really hard to try something different, especially when we like it just fine the old way, and sometimes even more if the NEW way is somehow better!

We like things the way they are often because it is comfortable and safe. We don’t like to take risks and change things. Jesus calls on us to look at the world a different way. Jesus wants us to see the good news and share God’s hope and healing, even when it is difficult to do, and even when people might reject the news we have.  Jesus has advice for that, too! He tells his disciples to spread the good news and offer healing wherever the go. If the people there don’t want to hear what they have to say, then they should just shake it off and move on.

FaithCross_Worship A little church camp mixer! Encourage people (demand?) to get up and move around the sanctuary and find someone that they don’t know very well. Sit down with them and find out something new about them.

Then have those groups of two people join into a group of four people and introduce their new friends to each other.

The last piece is to create a small prayer group from those four people. Invite them to share a prayer request with the group of four and ask them to commit to praying for each other throughout the week.

Ideally, you have these groups of four check in the next week!

20130822-223908.jpg God goes with you!

20130822-223749.jpg God of healing and hope, give us the wisdom to welcome your presence. Give us the patience to listen to your good news. Give us glad and grateful heats for your abundance in our lives. Amen.


Children’s Sermon Easter 7B John 17:6-19 2015

Preparation: create a photo or picture collage of things that we do with our friends, different activities, etc. Put either a cross or praying hands in the center. OR draw a big scribble and put the name of a friend in one of the sections and then different things about him/her around it–for more details go to the blog Worshipping with With at this link. You will need to scroll down to the ideas for this text. This is to have a visual. The message can be done all orally if you choose.

20130822-223520.jpgGather the children. Ask them to name some things they do with friends. Show them your poster and talk about those things (add to it if you can) or Show them your name scribble and talk about your friend in particular.

20130822-223633.jpg“There are many things we can do with our friends. You know Jesus had friends too. He had his disciples and the people who followed him and he did all kinds of things with them. Can you think of any? He walked with them, talked, hung out under trees, went to cities and towns, drank and ate, etc. Do you think he did any of the things we listed like play games? Well today we hear from Jesus who had done all these wonderful things with his friends and we hear that Jesus reaches out to us too and calls us friend, a loved child of God. And what he is doing is praying. Yep he’s ‘thinking about all the things his friends have done and all the things they will need to do even when he is not with them any more to teach about God’s love. He’s thinking about them and about us and he is praying. He prays that all those ways that we live and play and learn are ways that we also show love to others. He prays that we will know what to do when hard things come into our lives. He prays that we will know how to love others and that God will be with us. So Jesus prayed for the disciples and he prayed for each one of you–that you will know how to be friend and love others.”

If you have done the name scribble, tell the kids how to do this and then encourage them to do this during the sermon or at a worship station or at home. Describe how the name scribble shows things about the person that they can pray for specifically. They can make this for their friend, say the prayers for them when they give it them or before, like a blessing of the drawing.

20130822-223749.jpg“One of the ways I have been taught to pray is to hold hands so that both thumbs point left.”Demonstrate by holding hands of the two children on either side of you. “See one hand is underneath, so it is being supporting this person. The other hand is on top so it is being supported. Let’s hold hands in a circle so that we are being supported by our neighbor and offering support to the other neighbor as well pray.  Jesus, thank you for the gift of friends. Thank you for sending us to the world to be a friend. Help us to love them and support them and show them your grace. Amen”

20130822-223908.jpgJesus’ prayer today gives us a promise and blessing that we will also always be held in his love. Let’s say our blessing together while making the sign of the cross. “God in my head, God in my heart, God on my left, God on my right” Amen

FaithCross_WorshipWorship Station: Have paper and markers and sample ‘friend scribbles’. Invite people to pray for a friend or friends by creating this name scribble and praying for each part of their friend’s lives. Another way to do this would be to write different places on the globe or different issues in the spaces of the scribble and pray over them.