Lost and Found Prayer Bottles

Lent, Prayer, prayer stations

Although this prayer practice was first developed with the Parable of the Lost Coin, this is a very meditative prayer practice that can be used with multiple Bible stories. Some examples include the widow’s mite (Mark 12:41-44), Jesus and the Temple Traders (John 2:13-22), and The Question about Paying Taxes (Matthew 22:15-22). In addition to the Lost Coin, it could also relate to the Parables about the Treasure Hidden in a Field (Matthew 13:44) and the Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45-46). The sound of the bottle when you are turning it also sounds like a rain stick, so you could use it with Bible stories about rain, water, streams, floods, etc. One prayer practice, many Bible Story options!

The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin: Luke 15:1-10 (NRSV)

15 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

To help us experience this parable for ourselves, we will use lost and found prayer bottles.  They are small bottles filled with rice and a single coin.  Use electrical tape around the cap of the bottle to prevent it accidentally opening and spilling rice everywhere. After you have made your bottle, turn it on its side and then slowly turn it toward yourself while you pray and consider the following questions:

  1. When is a time when I have been lost?
  2. When is a time when I was found?
  3. When was a time when I searched diligently for something?
  4. When is a time when I rejoiced in finding something?
  5. What in my life is lost right now?
  6. Where is God to be found in my life right now?

When everyone has finished praying, pray the following prayer together, repeat-after-me style.

Prayer:  (repeat-after-me)  Dear Jesus, we thank you that you search for us when we are lost, and rejoice when we are found.  Help us to keep our eyes on you, and make our hearts ready to rejoice whenever what was lost is found.  Amen.

Petition: Coloring Prayer Focus Word Round-Up

Coloring Prayer, Easter, Lent, Prayer, Uncategorized

For our 2020 Tri-Saints Lenten Prayer Journal, one of our types of prayer is petition.  We suggest that you find a focus word and pray and color this word as your petition to God. 

You can find the prayer journal here:  https://pbsipes.files.wordpress.com/2020/02/lent-prayer-journal-2020.pdf

In the summer of 2017, I did a series of half sheet coloring pages to encourage us to grow in…(fill in the blank).  Use these sheets as a jumping off point for your own personal petitions to God.  You can use these, or come up with your own, or find another sheet to color from the thousands available for free through an image search on the internet.  I pray that these are inspirational for you in your own petitions.

Grow:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/coloring-prayer-pentecost-summer-season-2017/

Welcome:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/coloring-prayer-pentecost-summer-season-2017-week-3/

Rest:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/coloring-prayer-rest/

Patience:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/coloring-prayer-patience/

Satisfaction:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/08/03/coloring-prayer-satisfaction/

Courage:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/coloring-prayer-courage/

Trust:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/coloring-prayer-trust/

Peace:  https://goodgodideas.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/coloring-prayer-peace/

Lord’s Prayer Station #8: Deliver Us

Lent, prayer stations

Light in the Darkness Prayer

Seventh Petition:  Deliver us from evil.
What is this or what does this mean?
We ask in this prayer, as in a summary, that our Father in heaven may deliver us from all kinds of evil—affecting body or soul, property or reputation—and at last, when our final hour comes, may grant us a blessed end and take us by grace from this valley of tears to himself in heaven.  –Luther’s Small Catechism

In the seventh petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God to take us away from evil.  That can be something that is hard to pray for, especially when it feels like evil always surrounds us.  During the Litany of Light on Lenten Wednesdays, we have proclaimed “Jesus Christ is the light of the world; the light no darkness can overcome.”  At the end of worship tonight, it will be dark in the church, except for the light of the Paschal Candle, the candle which represents Jesus as the light of the world.  We take it out of the church instead of extinguishing it, because, even on the darkest day of the church year, we have not reached the end of hope.  The light of Jesus burns forever.  Tonight, you will receive a glow stick bracelet.  When you receive yours, crack it to get it glowing as you offer to God some places in your life, your community, or the world, which need the light of hope in Jesus Christ.  Keep it on your wrist or nearby during worship to remind that our deliverance from evil is certain, and that hope never ends, even in the darkest of times.

Lord’s Prayer Station #7: Lead Us

Labyrinth, Lent, prayer stations

Praying the Labyrinth

Sixth Petition:
Lead us not into temptation.
What is this or what does this mean?
It is true that God tempts no one, but we ask in this prayer that God would preserve and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins, and that, although we may be attacked by them, we may finally prevail and gain the victory. –Luther’s Small Catechism

In the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for the strength to resist sin. We also ask for God to lead us through these times. One way to experience the leading of God in prayer is to pray through a labyrinth. On your way back from communion tonight, please go all the way down the side aisle to the shelf in the back. There, you may pick up either a crocheted labyrinth, a labyrinth on a board with a red flat-sided marble, or a paper labyrinth and popsicle stick and bring it back with you to your seat. Labyrinths are not mazes, but rather a tool with only one way in or out that helps you to take a prayer pilgrimage journey without leaving your location. As you trace the path in, imagine traveling inward toward God. How is God drawing you near? When you have reached the center, remain there for a few moments and listen for God’s voice. With each breath, imagine God filling you up with the strength you will need for the days ahead. Trace the same path back out as you imagine being sent into the world. How is God sending you out into the world? What are you being called to do or to be? Return the labyrinths to the back shelf on your way out of worship tonight.

Lenten Bookmark Reflection: Romans 12:5

Coloring Prayer, Lent

During Lent this year, we will be diving deep into Paul’s Letter to the Romans in our Bibles. Each week, you will receive a bookmark with a focus verse in Coloring Prayer format. On the back are reflection questions to prepare you for the study of the upcoming week.

For Good Friday, we will focus on Romans 12:5 “We, who are many, are one body in Christ.”

Find a printable file for this resource here: Romans 12 5

Lenten Bookmark Reflection Romans 10:15

Coloring Prayer, Lent

During Lent this year, we will be diving deep into Paul’s Letter to the Romans in our Bibles. Each week, you will receive a bookmark with a focus verse in Coloring Prayer format. On the back are reflection questions to prepare you for the study of the upcoming week.

For Maundy Thursday, we will focus on Romans 10:15b: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.”

Find a printable file for this resource here: Romans 10 15

Lord’s Prayer Station #6: Forgiveness

Lent, Prayer, prayer stations

Prayer Experience:  Dissolving Our Sins

Fifth Petition:  Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.

What is this or what does this mean?
We ask in this prayer that our heavenly Father would not regard our sins nor deny these petitions on their account, for we are worthy of nothing for which we ask, nor have we earned it.  Instead we ask that God would give us all things by grace, for we sin daily and deserve only punishment.  So, on the other hand, we, too, truly want to forgive heartily and to do good gladly to those who sin against us.  –Luther’s Small Catechism

In the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask both for forgiveness of our sins, and for the ability to forgive others.  Tonight, you will receive a small slip of dissolving paper and a writing utensil.  On one side of the paper, write a few words to remind you of a sin that you need to have forgiven by God.  On the other side, write a few words to remind you of a sin by someone else that you are still holding on to.  Offer these sins as prayers to God for forgiveness. 

On the way out of church tonight, you will be invited to the front of the church, where you will find two students with bowls of warm water and stirring utensils.  Drop your slip of paper into the water, stir until it dissolves, and hear the words “You are forgiven.”  Exit by the side aisle.  If you are unable to come to the front, a student will come to you.

You can buy dissolving paper here: SmartSolve Water-Soluble Dissolving Paper
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It works best with pencil, warm water, and something to stir the water up.

LORD’S PRAYER STATION #5: Daily Bread

Lent, prayer stations

Play Dough Prayer
Fourth Petition:Give us this day our daily bread.

What does “daily bread” mean?
Everything included in the necessities and nourishment for our bodies, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, farm, fields, livestock, money, property, an upright spouse, upright children, upright members of the household, upright and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, decency, honor, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like. –Luther’s Small Catechism

In the fourth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for everything we need for this life on a daily basis. Tonight, you will receive a container of play dough. Take some time to think about those things that you really need. You may choose to form your play dough into a sculpture representing your prayer, or you might just offer specifics quietly to God as you knead and form the dough in your hands. When you are finished praying, you might take a picture of what you created and set it to the lock screen on your phone, so that you might be reminded of the ways in which God provides daily bread in your life. Please return the dough to the container and make sure that it seals tightly so that we can use it another time.

You can purchase your own dough here:
https://smile.amazon.com/Crayola-Dough-Colors-5-Size-Pack/dp/B073WG4PYD

You can learn more about Praying with Dough here:
http://flamecreativekids.blogspot.com/p/play-ough.html

Lenten Bookmark Reflection Romans 8:38

Coloring Prayer, Lent

During Lent this year, we will be diving deep into Paul’s Letter to the Romans in our Bibles. Each week, you will receive a bookmark with a focus verse in Coloring Prayer format. On the back are reflection questions to prepare you for the study of the upcoming week.

For the sixth Wednesday in Lent, we will focus on Romans 8:38: “For I am convinced that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Find a printable file for this resource here: Romans 8 38

Lord’s Prayer Station 4: Ticket to Heaven

Lent, prayer stations

Ticket to Heaven/Glimpses of Heaven

Third Petition:  Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
What is this? or What does this mean?
In fact, God’s good and gracious will comes about without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come about in and among us. –Luther’s Small Catechism

In the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God’s will to be done here among us.  As God’s children, we are called to recognize the unbreaking of the kingdom, the places where God’s kingdom, although not fully here, shows up in the places where we live, work, and serve.  Tonight, you will receive your very own “Ticket to Heaven.”  Take some time to think about ways and places where you have seen God’s will be done, here on earth.  Write them on the back of your ticket as you pray in thanksgiving for these times, and ask God to open your eyes into the future, that you might see God’s will, here and now and in this place.  Take your ticket home and put it in a place that you can see it often, so that it will remind you to look for heaven here on earth.

Ticket to Heaven Cards: https://goodgodideas.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/ticket-to-heaven.pdf