Post-it Note Prayers
Kids like post-it sticky notes *and balloons) and they can be used in a variety of ways to encourage students to pray and think about prayer, create dialog, and prompt discussion. Different colors of post-its can be a great way to represent and encourage different categories of prayer (intercessory, thanksgiving, praise, confession). The act of creating the note is somewhat private and anonymous and feel less like we're putting kids "on the spot" to pray in front of others.
1. A Post-It Prayer Design --students or teachers can create or select prayer subjects, starter lines, or their own actual prayers and put them in a display, such as the prayer cross seen above.
Instead of a simple cross, you could engage your students in a discussion about "what shape(s)" our prayer wall should take to reflect something about the particular story or content they have been studying or want to pray about. The shape can be created by placing tape on the wall (as seen above) or using the post-its themselves.
For example, if you are praying about the Prodigal Son, kids could use blue masking tape to create an outline of the "older brother" or "father" or the father's "home" into which the teacher or students could place prayer starters about that person or subject in the story. For example... what should the Older Brother be praying? Or, what should you be praying for if you are jealous or envious of someone?
2. Students create a "prayer station" that invites others to read a verse or a short "prayer prompt" and then post a prayer to the wall. Seeing what others are praying about, and what words they are using is a great way to encourage kids to pray. Write starter phrases on post-its and put them on the wall ahead of time for the students to pick, complete, and re-post.
Sometimes a "post-it prayer station" can be the last of several tasks or stations students are working through. Seed the stations with starters and post-its you have created in advance. Create an inviting shape to encourage students to want to be part of the "post into" activity. Conclude the class by gathering everyone around the prayer station and reading a few of the notes. Send them home with a note of your own.
3. Post-It Prayer "Games"
To encourage kids to pray and make it memorable, you can create simple "post-it" games with the sticky notes.
Back Post Game: Studying Abraham, Jacob, and Esau story? Have each student write two "blessings" that would be worth having (and of course, discuss what blessings are worth having), then place the sticky note on the students' backs and tell them that when you say "go" to try and steal the blessing from each other's backs by placing other people's blessings on your own back. (Play this in a confined space.) Now play the game in reverse -trying to share your blessing with others. Are blessings in limited supply? Now have a student place blue post-its on players player as soon as they see them give away a blessing. See who collects the most blue post its (This is an example of the many ways you can play a post-it game to demonstrate a point. You fill in the details.)
Prompted Thankful Post-its: At the end of class, have students place thanks" and "blessing" and "reminder" notes each others' backs. A yellow note can be a note of thanks about that person. A blue note can be a blessing. A green note can be a reminder about the lesson you want them to remember. (Obviously, you will need to discuss and make some suggestions!) Don't know what to say about someone? Talk about how we can appreciate other people and be thankful for them even when we don't know them or can't come up with something specific. Finish by letting each person read what others have placed on them.
"Poser" Post-Its: Pick people from the Bible story you are studying and have a student 'pose' against a wall as one of the characters as you create an outline of them on the wall with blue masking tape. Create a tape outline of one person that represents the class as well. Create a list of keywords (prayer starters) and write them on the board, then have students write their intercessory prayer for that character in the story, and one for themselves. ("Older Brother, I hope you will...." "God help me to....")