BEFORE YOU BEGIN
The prayer stations are meant to go in order. Each activity does not take a long time, so if there is a wait, the line should go pretty quick. In each room, there is a picture. Please look at those pictures and reflect on the images before you participate in each section.
STATION #1 • I AM FORGIVEN, I AM FREE
Our sin does not define us. Our guilt and shame is not who we are. We do bad things sometimes, a lot of times, but that does not make us bad people that God cannot forgive. We are God's children and He calls us to repentance. He wants our hearts and minds to be in harmony with Him. // ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS // Participants will write things they have been struggling with (i.e. guilt, shame, distractions, etc) on a piece of water soluble paper. After reflecting on this, participants will be encouraged to read some selected scriptures before placing their “burden” in the water bowl. The paper will dissolve and the ink will dissipate in the water. We are forgiven, and our burdens are buried in the depths of the sea. We are also loved and valued.
Psalm 103:10-14 (ESV)
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
1 John 1:6-10 (ESV)
If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Micah 7:18-19 (ESV)
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins in the depths of the sea.
STATION #1 REFLECTION POINT
Repentance is a lifestyle. We are sinners and need to make it a regular habit of wanting more Jesus...and less of ourselves. We live free because Christ lives in us. The closer we grow to Jesus, the more our sin becomes obvious and abhorrent. Know that we are DEEPLY LOVED and VALUED by our God!
STATION #2 • I FORGIVE OTHERS, I AM FREE
Because you are forgiven and free, we need to set our grudges, anger, and deep disappointments in others aside too. Let it go and be free from the burden that the lack of forgiveness causes. this doesn't mean that what someone has done to us to cause this pain, whether they knew it or not, doesn't matter or is excused...but we choose to forgive because GOD FORGIVES US. Participants read the following text and take a coin (Alka-Seltzer tablet). // ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS // After reflecting, participants will place it into the water and watch it dissolve, signaling the negative feelings they have towards someone dissolve away.
NOTICE FOR SMALL CHILDREN
Please supervise children with this station as the dissolving tablets are Alka-Seltzer.
Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as 7 times?” Jesus said, “Not just 7 times, but rather as many as 77 times.” (Matthew 18:21-22)
Has someone done something which has annoyed you, hurt you, or upset you?
Holding onto these bad feelings makes you feel worse, which is why forgiveness is important.
As a sign of forgiveness, take a “coin” in your hand and think about the person who has hurt you. Drop the “coin” into the water.
It takes a “coin” about 77 seconds to dissolve. As you watch it dissolve, repeat the prayer “God, please give me strength to forgive from my heart.”
STATION #2 REFLECTION POINT
We live free by letting go, even when we do not get the apology we think we deserve. God loves those that hurt us too and He values them deeply. We need to see humanity, including ourselves, as God sees. We need to understand that forgiveness is critical in our lives as followers of Jesus. THIS is the way! When we can learn to forgive and surrender daily to Jesus, then we can be in harmony with one another.
STATION #3 • PRAY/PRAISE WITH ME, I AM FREE
// ACTIVITY INSTRUCTIONS // On the board there is a long piece of paper up on the wall, with a line down the middle. The left side will be dedicated to prayer requests, the right side will be dedicated to praise. Participants will be encouraged to trace their hand and write names of people you would like to invite to church, who you would like to know Jesus, who you would like to connect with. Other participants will be encouraged to pray over the hands/names. On the praise side, participants will write praises on a sticky note and stick to the praise section. This can be something you want to publicly share, a blessing you got from the Agape communion, etc. We want to leave the evening with gratitude.
Psalm 106:1 (ESV)
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 105:1-2 (ESV)
Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!
Hebrews 13:15 (ESV)
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.
STATION #3 REFLECTION POINT
In order to pray for people, we need to see humanity in the way that God sees you, the one that hurt us and the ones that we hurt. We are all in the same boat of sin, but we also are all loved and valued by the same Jesus, the one who died for us all. When we choose to start and end our day with thoughts of gratitude, even in the midst of whatever circumstances we are facing, it can vastly improve our ever-growing relationship with the Lord, as well as our relationships with one another. It can also help to restore our meaning and purpose, as well as restore others, in this life as we wait for the coming of Jesus.
Located in Sanctuary at approximately 7:55pm
COME WORSHIP WITH US, WE ARE FREE
Tonight we have learned about forgiveness. We have learned how to forgive ourselves and let go of the guilt and shame that we carry. We have learned how to forgive others, as God has forgiven us. We have prayed for those that we want to know Jesus. We have shared praises of the things God continues to bless us with every day! Now we want to invite our community into our church. But are we ready for that?
FINAL REFLECTION POINT
What transformation does my life (and our church) need to make me (and our church) a safe place for others to worship? This is a sobering question when you really think about it. Do we feel comfortable inviting those that TRUST us, to worship with us. Will they be welcomed? Will they be judged? Do I accept that others may not have the same convictions as me? Am I OK that their walk may not look like my walk with Jesus? Will they feel judged? These are all questions that we need to keep in mind when we seek to create a safe house for ALL of God's children. Finally, we need to pray for the Holy Spirit to lead us in planning activities for our community, so that He may send those that need to be saved from the world. Then, we can grow together.
Thank you all for participating in tonight's prayer stations. We pray that you leave with a burden lifted as we seek to minister to our community.