We're excited to have this quite different kind of workshop lesson posted here by Cathy Walz. A Prayer Labyrinth is a pathway one walks while contemplating. This form of practiced or led contemplation dates back centuries in the Christian tradition. They can be simple or big, and have stations/objects/prompts spaced at intervals.
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of Prayer Labyrinth, Google it, or read this one church's description of their labyrinth.
Feel free to post your variations and additional ideas for teaching the story of "Jesus Praying in Gethsemane" through PRAYER and PRAYER ACTIVITIES.
Jesus Praying in the Garden of Gethsemane
Prayer Labyrinth Station
Summary of Lesson Activities:
You will be doing 2 activities with the students—walking a prayer labyrinth and creating a prayer bead craft.
Mark 14: 32-42
-->> "Not my will, but thy will." (the version for the younger kids).
-->> "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (the longer complete version)
- Know that they can rely on God for strength in difficult situations.
- List the 4 parts of prayer based on the acronym ACTS (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication/send help).
- Learn the different responses that God gives to our prayers.
- Review Background notes.
- Gather the materials.
- Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
- Prepare Station Scripts and Prayer Card on proper colored paper (see Labyrinth Stations).
- There MUST be 2 teachers/helpers with this lesson—one in the labyrinth and one with the craft
- Use blue or green painter's tape to lay out a prayer walk around the edges of a classroom" down a quiet hallway" or in a pattern in the center of a large room! Add arrows to direct the kids.
- Set up the following stations along the prayer walk (see Labyrinth Stations & Cook's lesson link) Use colorful carpet squares or pillows for easy to see prayer station markers. Set out all props at each station with bookmarked bible.
- Make the lighting dim. Start the CD when the first group goes in.
- Cook Communications Ministries free downloadable lesson on "God's Peace, My Peace". You will need to only print page 2 and 5 - as these pages contain the information you will need to create the Prayer Labyrinth Stations below (full details on this is shown in the post following this lesson).
Blue or Green Painter's Tape
5 Large pillows or carpet squares
CD player with instrumental music
- Station 1
Bowl of grapes
Red Paper with Station 1 Instructions
- Station 2
Purple Paper with Station 2 Instructions
- Station 3
Small Cross (or Tabletop Cross)
- Station 4
Yellow Paper with Station 4 Instructions
- Station 5
- Prayer Beads Craft
Beads: red, blue, purple, yellow, white
Make sure you have your name tag on. Introduce yourself to the students.
Open with a prayer.
Workshop leader notes: Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!
(For the first part of the month, go ahead and read the story from the Bible. For the latter part of the month—when the children should be familiar with the story—have them tell you the story)
Open by asking the children about their prayer habits: When/where/how they pray. What do they pray for? Do they pray regularly? Just when they need help? There will be no “wrong” answers, of course.
Today’s story is about a time that Jesus prayed to God. Open Bibles to Mark 14: 32-42. Read the story or have the students read. Mention that one of the other Gospels says that God sent an angel to Jesus to give Him strength for what lay ahead.
Today we’re going to talk about 4 different kinds of prayers. It is always OK to talk to God and ask for help and say little one-sentence, or even one-word, prayers throughout your day. When you pray at church, before going to bed or in the morning or whenever you want to say a prayer to God, you can practice using the 4 parts.
It’s called an “ACTS” prayer:
A- Adoration (telling God how wonderful He is!)
C – confession (telling God we’re sorry for the things we do wrong)
T – thanksgiving (telling God thank you for things)
S – supplication or "send help" (asking God for help for someone else or yourself)
At the end of a prayer we say what? Amen! It means “So be it!”
Tell them that God ALWAYS answers our prayers! Sometimes the answer is not what we expect or want! God answers our prayers in different ways. God answers either:
Yes! No! Wait, not yet! Or I have a better way!
In our story, what type of prayer was Jesus praying? (Supplication—asking God if this cup/suffering could be removed. Jesus said He was willing to do whatever God’s will was.) What type of answer did God give? (He said No to Jesus’ request, but sent help)
Workshop leader notes: You will be doing 2 activities with the students—the prayer labyrinth and a craft project. Only 2-3 students can be doing the labyrinth at a time. When they are not in the labyrinth, they can be doing the craft project.
Say: You’ll take turns going on the prayer walk--just a couple of you at a time! When you’re not on the walk you can work on your craft project. Before you go tell them that there are some ground rules they have to follow or they will be asked to sit out: (1) This is a quiet time of prayer and they need to be respectful of each other and quiet time with God. (2) Tell the kids that they will begin walking and they should leave space between them so they don’t bunch up. It’s NOT a race! It’s a time to be quiet and talk to God.
Labyrinth (see sheet on labyrinth stations & diagram of cross labyrinth)
Workshop leader notes: When you arrive, begin the CD. Keep the lights dim. Kids should take their shoes off (optional). You should only take a manageable size group at a time (3 or 4). You will need to stagger the kids as they enter the labyrinth. As the first kids finish, have them go back to the workshop so they’re not a distraction to the others.
Say: There is nothing "magical" about the prayer walk! It’s simply a way to pray using your feet and legs, heart and soul! And it is through prayer we talk to God and open ourselves to hear his voice! Not sure how all this happens? Don’t worry! Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be our helper! I’ll invite you to enter the prayer walk one by one! When the first person gets to the third station" I’ll call on another person to begin! (If there are a large number of kids, you may need to start them when the previous student reaches the 2nd station).
Explain how to do the labyrinth. They should walk slowly and quietly along the marked path to the stations—marked by the pillows. Then they should sit down, read the card, and do the activity explained in the card. When they are done at one station, then they move on to the next until they are done.
Prayer Beads Craft
Workshop leader notes: Students will work on these when not in the labyrinth.
For each set you need:
1 small cross or heart with a metal hanging ring or hole punched in top
1 red bead - red is for praise - we praise our Lord (Adoration)
1 purple bead - purple is for repentance - we are sorry and want to do better (Confession)
1 yellow bead – yellow like a happy face--is for thanksgiving (Thanksgiving)
1 blue bead- blue is for asking - the (blue) sky is the limit – we can ask God about anything
1 white bead- white is for dedication - we dedicate our day to God so that we may show His love in the world
Start by threading the cross onto the centre of the cord and bring the two ends together. Thread a white bead over both ends of the lace, followed by a blue, yellow, purple and then red bead. Tie the ends together.
Tell the children to start their prayers with the red bead. God asked us to put Him first. Then at the purple ask for forgiveness for the things they did wrong, at the yellow bead, say a thank you prayer, at the blue say prayers for the people they care about. Go over the prayer hand from Station 5 of the labyrinth. At the white, remember to offer their day to God and at the cross say the Lord's Prayer as Jesus taught.
Review the following: ACTS, the 4 answers God gives to prayer, prayer hand.
Read the memory verse. Ask the students what they think it means.
Close with a prayer.
Younger students: Assess their reading ability. For those who can’t read well, you may need to use the PreK adaptation.
PreSchool students: Take the students in groups of 2-3 through the labyrinth and read the cards for them and then have them do the activity.
- “God’s Peace, My Peace” lesson from Cook Ministries.
- Jan Napa, Prayer Ideas. Rotation.org. Web.
- Jan Napa, Prayer labyrinth, Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Rotation.org. Web.
- Neil MacQueen, Computer Ideas (memory verse suggestion). Rotation.org. Web.
(Editor notes: Many churches call these "Shepherds" instead.)
1. Detailed Summary of Activities : The children will go through a prayer labyrinth to learn the different parts of prayer. When not doing the labyrinth, they will be in another room making prayer beads.
2. How the guide might help (this might be changed by the teacher): Two adults are needed for this lesson! One teacher will be working with the children as they go through a labyrinth. The other adult will work with the students making the prayer beads.
A lesson written by Cathy Walz from: St John Lutheran Church, Forest Park, IL
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.
Non-functioning link to "God's Peace, My Peace" replaced in 2018.
Printed from Rotation.org