Believe it or not, prayer time in a homeschool classroom can get kind of stale. I know, shocking right? But it’s true.
Last year, I noticed that our prayer time to start our day was getting boring. We were all just saying the same thing every day and maybe throwing in an immediate need but then we never returned to it.
It was lame.
Then I had an idea to create something that would help us to pray for more people, to pray for them more often, and pray more genuinely for them. Of course, I thought my idea was revolutionary….until I looked on Pinterest.
But, no matter. As a family we decided to make our family prayer time matter with prayer sticks.
The obvious benefits were evident almost immediately. Our prayers were no longer boring. We prayed for different people everyday. We prayed for pressing needs more than once.
What I didn’t expect though was how this changed the nature of the prayers my tweens were offering up. But I’ll get to that later.
If your family prayer time has fallen a little flat lately I would encourage you to go out and get yourself some simple craft sticks. Write some prayer requests, the names of friends and family, and organizations around your town on the sticks and put them in a container.
Yes, it is that easy.
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But for those of you who need a little more detail, here goes.
Jumbo sticks work better than skinny ones because of writing on them. I use sharpies on my sticks and no, I don’t color code them.
2. Get yourself a cute little container
I use a metal pencil cup but a glass jar would work or a basket or a vase. Whatever. It will work. Don’t over think this part. It’s not rocket science and you don’t have to put it on Pinterest.
3. Write down your requests
Choose requests that are age appropriate. Pray for family and friends. Remember your city, your state, and your nation and the leaders working to run these entities. (1 Timothy 2:1-6) Include your local pregnancy care center, shelter, mission, and of course, your church.
Write down immediate needs and requests that need an answer from the Lord. The choices are endless. Be as specific as you want to be. God knows what you want and need. He will answer.
Don’t forget to let your kids pick some of the requests too. As tweens and teens they are starting to develop relationships and may have specific needs for specific friends from church or school you might not know about. Let them include them in your cup.
No request is dumb. All are welcome in our prayer cup.
4. Change up your sticks every few months
We keep about 25 – 30 sticks in our cup at a time. This allows us to choose from a variety of requests but also to repeat prayers over a few months as well. We know the Lord directs us to pray for those who need it most each day, even though it seems like chance as to which sticks we will choose. We know He’s working all things together for the good of those who love him, including our prayer time.
Every three months or so we go through the sticks and change 10-15 of them. This keeps our prayers fresh and our interest peaked. There are always new requests to pray for and we want to stay current with those needs.
5. Expect answers
The best part of using our prayer sticks is seeing God at work in really tangible ways. Healing, provision, help, protection, and major life changes have occurred after we have prayed. It’s been fun to experience these things as a family and see God working all around us.
There is nothing better than taking a stick out of rotation because our prayers have been answered. Yahoo!
6. Keep praying even when you don’t get answers
Just because you don’t see God working doesn’t mean He isn’t. Some of our sticks have been in our cup for months and months. We haven’t gotten answers but we know our prayers are being heard. We will faithfully continue to pray as long as it takes.
7. Prepare to see your tweens’ and teens’ prayer lives grow
When we started using our prayer sticks my kids’ words were still a little stale. But, in just a few weeks I began to see each of them blossom and grow as they picked up a new stick. Their prayers were deeper, they personally cared about the outcome, and they were attentive to what God was doing in each situation.
I’m not going to lie and say they have these super deep prayer lives now. They don’t. Some days it’s still a chore to get them to gather for prayer time. But the change overall has been amazing. They now have an outlet for corporate prayer and feel more at ease in other prayer situations such as church and youth group.
Part of my job as a parent is teaching my kids how to pray. This is one way I am doing just that and it’s working.
Now, it’s time to put together your own prayer stick set. This isn’t a Pinterest moment. Don’t over think this. Be as creative and cute as you want to be with your sticks and your holder but don’t stress yourself out. Most important, keep it simple. The emphasis here is on the requests and the people you pray for, not the cup.
I’d love to hear how you are incorporating prayer sticks into your homeschool or family time. Share with me in the comments so I can let my kids know you are doing it too.
Are you going to try prayer sticks in your homeschool or family time?