On your marks
Here are some simple prayer stations based around symbols of the Spirit—oil, water, fire and wind—to set up for a Pentecost service with all ages. You might just have one or two instead of all four.
The ‘ingredients’ are included with each activity. It can help to have music playing during the prayer time—perhaps a CD so that your music group get to pray, too.
You’ll need: A bowl of perfumed oil, such as aromatherapy massage oil. (Choose one unlikely to cause allergic reaction—check with the shop.)
Sit or stand and close your eyes. Wait for the scent to reach you. It is invisible but we sense its presence with us. Thank God that he is always with us through his invisible Spirit, even though we can’t see him with our eyes.
Choose to invite God’s Holy Spirit into your life today and, as a sign of your invitation, smooth a little of the oil on to your wrist.
You’ll need: a sand tray or tray of dry compost or stones to represent a barren desert, a bucket of water surrounded by lush greenery like pot plants, and plenty of small waterproof bowls or pots.
The Holy Spirit brings life to dead places, just as water brings life to a barren desert.
What part of your life or which place or situation or relationship is dry and dead like the desert? Ask God to make his Spirit flood into that place like a spring of fresh water. Fill a small bowl with water and place it in the desert as a sign of your prayer. (Alternatively, you could pour out the water in the desert, especially if it’s a compost desert, so that by the time everyone has prayed, it’s ready for planting. Perhaps it could be the start of a prayer garden or church flowerbed?)
You’ll need: some flame shapes cut out from red / orange card or tissue paper and a set of photos of familiar local places – schools, pubs, shops, your church building, the playground, the gym etc—and worldwide ones of different countries.
The Holy Spirit brings fire, energy and passion to places and people who were humdrum and dull or loveless and afraid. Pray for people and places around you, by placing a flame on the place or places you would like God’s Spirit to set alight with his love and courage.
You’ll need: a bowl of bubble mixture and several bubble wands. Ideally, situate this near a warm air source like a heating vent to give the bubbles more buoyancy. (You could do this activity with helium balloons, but make sure you can get them down afterwards…)
God’s Spirit can lift a situation or relationship and take it to a new level, filled with life and hope. Hold such a situation before God now and breathe out your concern for the people involved by blowing into a bubble-wand and watching the bubble take on a life of its own.