Pausing to Pray - Experiential Prayer Stations

Last night we created a space in our church gym for prayer. There were opportunities for receiving prayer from our Prayer Team as well as engaging in 15 different "Experiential Prayer Stations" spread throughout the gym. What a night! It is incredible to see how God moves when we pause to pray. It is incredible to see young people slow down and engage when the setting is right and space is created to pray.

Mostly, I was shocked that I was shocked by the response of those who participated. I have been part of services like this at our annual high school retreat, and every time God shows up, students are moved, and I'm surprised by the response. Tonight was the same. I find myself once again saying the words Jacob said long ago, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it!"

I encourage you to create space in your life to be surprised by God's presence. I encourage you to create space to meet the Lord.

Anyone else ever participated in a worship experience like this? What stations were used? What was the response?


Mike Langer said...

Chad,this is great to hear and see! I have not done any prayer services like this, with the various stations. During Advent, we hosted Wednesday prayer and liturgy, where the sanctuary was made open and available for silent prayer. We set up four scenes from the Nativity in four window ledges, one for each week of Advent, and there were reflections available at each scene.

We also came together to pray the psalms through Advent. I adopted the full schedule of the hours from the Antiochian Orthodox tradition into three sessions each day: morning, midday and evening. I put together a guide and folks from church seemed to really appreciate it. You can download that guide at http://jasmine.nowsprouting.com/glenellynevangelicalcovenantchurch/#/ministries/prayer. It's all the way at the bottom.

Keep up the good work there. See you in a couple of weeks! Mike

Xtina said...

Chad, I use prayer stations from rethinkingyouthministry.com (I think I've seen you comment there) -- my goal is to do comtemplative stations three times a year. I am also really surprised at how into it the youth get.

Last year our most successful one was the prayer labyrinth, which I just made on the floor with masking tape. One of the girls, as she was leaving said, "That was one of the deepest silences of my life." It was awesome.

Where do you get your stations?

Chad McDaniel said...

Xtina! We have been doing prayer stations at our annual Senior High retreat for the North Pacific Conference. I've been on the planning team for the worship station night a few times and grabbed ideas from RETHINKING YM and other places as well.

This last time around I sort of grabbed the ones I thought were the most memorable from the past and had some students who had previously participated brainstorm some new ones.

I like the idea of doing it more than once a year. We wanted to do a labyrinth, but our gym has so many lines on it already. Maybe someday. Where did you get your labyrinth resources?

Chad McDaniel said...

Thanks for the feedback man! Appreciate the link too!