Here’s a simple way of worshipping at home on your own or with your family. This one explores the holy habit of prayer.
Say you’re going to be a little part of (name your church) church at home today.
Light a candle and pray:
With the light of this candle, we remember the light of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God, you are here with us now and also with our friends and family in their homes today.
Especially we remember that you are also with… (invite everyone to remember people from church, school, extended family, neighbourhood)
Thank you, Jesus, light for the world. Amen
Say: Today we’re thinking about prayer: not wish-lists we read out to God, but prayer as the holy habit that connects us with God and with God’s kingdom, like air connects us with life.
Invite everyone to have two minutes to go round your home and bring back to the table one object that says something about prayer. Talk about what everyone brings back. If they fit into any of the sections below, refer back to them.
a teaspoon – in a recipe book, a teaspoon measure is written as TSP – the first letters of Thank you, Sorry and Please.
a heart shaped object reminding us of God’s love
a favourite cuddly toy to represent that God is always with us
Play some or all of Aretha Franklin’s ‘I say a little prayer for you‘ and talk about what everyone thinks of the way she prays in this song.
Ask someone to read Luke 11:1-4.
Jesus Teaches About Prayer
11 One time Jesus was praying in a place. When he finished, one of his followers said to him, “John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, please teach us how to pray, too.”
2 Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, we pray that your name will always be kept holy.
We pray that your kingdom will come.
3 Give us the food we need for each day.
4 Forgive us the sins we have done,
because we forgive every person who has done wrong to us.
And do not cause us to be tested.’”
Ask: Why do you think Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray?
Say: God’s people have prayed in many different ways. Here are a few.
Draw the shape from the photo – on to a piece of paper, give everyone coloured pens and fill it in as you go along, getting everyone’s suggestions of words or pictures to put in each section. If everyone thinks of other ways of praying, such as praying for other people, add more pieces of paper.
They pray to praise God, just enjoying who God is
They pray with silence and listen to God
They pray with words – sometimes prayers created by other people and sometimes prayers straight from their heart
They pray to say sorry
They pray to say thank you
They pray in anger, sadness or frustration
Say the Lord’s Prayer together, with or without action
Blow out the candle, changing the light from visible to invisible light
Finding Beauty in the Small Things
Can you find one thing inside or outside your home that is small but precious and beautiful to you? It may be a pebble, a flower, a favourite toy or something that you have made yourself. We are all precious in God’s Eyes, however small we may be.
This week many of us will have seen and felt the gentle rainfall of Spring after many days of beautiful dry sunny weather.
Some families in far away places right now, don’t have the joy of the rain. Rainfall is precious to them. Their world is dry, meaning that they may face many different challenges to us.
In Peru, Gloria, age 9 said ” If I could change the world, I would collect water and grow plants, they help give us life, they protect us so that we can breathe fresh air
Thank you God that we can breathe fresh air and enjoy both the sunshine AND the rain.
Here are two activities which you may like to do together in your family, you could each even spend some quiet time on your own and then later share your thoughts about the small things.
Collect some rainwater and make a little rain pond, (you can use tap water if you don’t have any rain)
Use any small or large container.
Fill your little pond with anything you find, stones, shells, grass, petals, anything at all… Say thank you to God for the joy of His life giving water.
Share a piece of bread and take a drink of water with your family.
One cup, one bread, one family.
2. Make a Nature Box thanking God for all his Creation.
Any carton will do. You can use an egg box if you have one.
Collect small things from around your home or on your daily walk.
Talk about the things you have put in your box and say “We thank you God”
I Can Pray a Rainbow
“I can pray a rainbow…” Genesis 9 v 13
God placed a rainbow in the sky as a symbol of his promise never again to send a flood like the one Noah survived in the ark. Today, the rainbow is a symbol of hope for us all.
Here are two rainbow inspired activities for you and your family to explore together.
A RAINBOW PRAYER HUNT
Go on a search round your house and try to find something of each of the colours below.
Here is a prayer you can say for each colour as you find them.
RED ❤️ Thank you God that you love us and are always with us.
ORANGE (amber traffic light picture ) Dear God please help us to be patient, to listen to you as we wait for this crisis to end.
YELLOW (sad face emoji) Dear God, please help all those who are scared. May they know your perfect peace that takes away fear.
GREEN (first aid sign) Dear God please look after all those who are sick, give them the treatment and help they need.
BLUE (NHS sign) Dear God please protect all those who are working for the NHS, thank you for all they are doing to protect us.
PURPLE ( purple crown symbol) Thank you God that we are children of the King of Kings. Thank you that even though we are in difficult times we can trust in you.
RAINBOW LEAF PRINTS
Use washable coloured markers to colour a rainbow pattern on the back of a big leaf. Keep changing colours. Now you are ready to print. Grab some paper and a damp paper towel. Wipe across your paper with the paper towel so that it is just damp, not soggy. Turn the coloured part of the leaf on to the paper and press down gently. Press all over and then carefully remove the leaf. Try a fresh leaf and a different rainbow pattern – spirals, stripes, classic rainbow arches. They all turn out differently but they are all bright and beautiful.
On your daily walk (or even indoors), collect some items that you can make a mini prayer garden with. A paper plate, an egg box, anything will do. Just add things, that you collect and say thank you to God for all that he has created for you.
Thank You Prayer
Use chalks to create your own family prayer picture. Draw your home and family, you can even cut out people using paper and add them to your picture. Include the names of people you’d like to pray for. If you can make bubbles, send a prayer as each bubbles floats away, or even shout out loud the name of someone who is helping you everyday and say thank you.
The Good Samaritan
And now an activity from Rachael, Reuben and Myah who read the Story of the good Samaritan together.
One day Jesus told a story to a man who asked him how to be a good neighbour. “There once was a Jewish man walking along a road. He was coming from Jerusalem and was heading to Jericho, which was a full day or two of walking.The road was rocky and there were small hills all around. The man was just humming to himself and enjoying the nice day when suddenly a group of men jumped out from behind a hill. They took all his belongings and tore off most of his clothes. They didn’t want him to follow them so they beat him up very badly, and left him lying and bleeding on the side of the road. A few minutes later, a priest was walking down the same path and noticed the man lying on the side of the road. But he crossed the road and walked on the other side and acted like he didn’t see the man. About an hour or so later, another man, called a Levite, was walking down the road. Levites were people who assisted priests with their work. He slowed down and walked a little closer to the man, but then kept walking without helping him at all. Just a few minutes later, another man came walking. He was a Samaritan. But as soon as he saw the man, he went over to him and felt compassion for him. He put bandages on his sores and poured oil and wine (which were quite expensive) on the sores to prevent them from getting worse. Then he lifted the man on his own donkey and took him to a hotel to take care of him. After Jesus finished the story, he asked, “Which of the three men do you think was a neighbour to the man who was left beaten on the side of the road?” The man who asked him the question at the beginning replied, “The one who had compassion and helped him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”
The story of the good Samaritan demonstrates that friendship is defined by love and compassion, not race. This handprint craft will encourage us to think of ways we can lend a helping hand to our neighbours.
Offering Our Song of Praise to God
Messy Science – Water Making Music
Jars (at least three or four of the same or a similar size); water; spoons; food colouring in a few different colours if you have it
Fill each jar with a different amount of cold water and make each a different colour with the food colouring. Gently tap each jar with a metal or wooden spoon and listen to the different sounds.
Why do the different jars make different sounds? The sounds you hear are caused by sound waves, which are themselves caused by the glass vibrating as you hit it. The frequency of sound depends on how fast the glass is vibrating. When a glass contains more water, the vibration is slower and the pitch is lower. Conversely, when the glass contains less water, the vibration is faster and the pitch is higher. If you’re feeling particularly musical, try to work out how to fill the jars to create a musical scale or even a tune. The more jars you use, the more possibilities there are!
You could do this experiment a slightly different way with some plastic water bottles with different amounts of water in. Rather than hitting the bottles, blow over the top of them. Now what do you hear? Which has the highest and lowest pitch? It should be the opposite of what you found when you hit the jars. This is because in this case, it is the vibration of the air in the bottle and not the actual bottle that causes the sound you hear. In the bottle with only a little water in, there is a longer air column and the sound waves in the air vibrate slower so that the pitch of the note is slower. With a lot of water and little air, the sound waves in the air vibrate faster and the pitch is higher.
The person who wrote one of the Psalms said, ‘Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!’ (Psalm 150:6). Sometimes we can praise God through words, but what do you think it means to praise God without words? Do non-humans praise God, do you think? Do trees and rivers? Do animals? How would you praise God silently? Is it possible?
I know that whilst you have been home schooling, many of you have been doing some amazing art and crafts. I’d like to show you two things my Granddaughter Leana has made. Of course, I can’t see them at the moment but my son-in-law has sent me some photographs.
The first is of this amazing caterpillar. Can you see what it is made from? Now, I’m sure many of you know the story of the very hungry caterpillar. Well, today I want to tell you a story about a very special caterpillar. He was very hungry, and he munched away on leaves until he grew into a big caterpillar like this one.
And he was a kind caterpillar, so he showed all the other caterpillars where to find the biggest, juiciest leaves, and everyone in the caterpillar community loved him and followed him from leaf to leaf. And then one day, the caterpillar said to his friends, “I’m going away for a little time, I have a very special job to do”.
The other caterpillars were dismayed and begged him not to go, but the caterpillar said that he must go, but promised that they would see him again. The caterpillar shuffled away until he found a comfy tree trunk, where he wrapped himself in a silky sleeping bag and went to sleep.
And whilst he was wrapped tightly in his cocoon, he began to change. He grew wonderful wings and long legs and his green coat changed into bright multi-colours and then one sunny day, he burst out of the cocoon as a beautiful butterfly like this one Leana has made.
Wow! The other caterpillars wriggled over to the empty cocoon and began to cry because their friend had gone. They thought he must be dead. Then suddenly they heard a familiar voice and saw a beautiful butterfly hovering above them.
“Don’t cry said the butterfly, I’m here, I’m alive”. The caterpillars could not believe their eyes. “Didn’t I promise you’d see me again?” said the butterfly. “I’ll always be with you and one day you’ll be beautiful butterflies too and we’ll always be together!” Then the beautiful butterfly fluttered away out of sight.
That story reminds us, that like the beautiful butterfly, Jesus is alive, and he is always with us and although we can’t see him, we know he is with us when we see the beautiful things in our lives, like butterflies.
And we know he is with us when we are touched by the kindness of other people and feel the love of Jesus in our hearts. Rev Sue