Friday, January 4, 2013

Creative Christmastide Prayer with Children

I want to share an idea for children's prayer that I saw recently. After Christmas, we happened to pop into the Zionskirche, the church where Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught confirmation classes, while taking a walk. Near the altar, they had the following set-up for spontaneous prayer. My children were immediately drawn to it and so was another child who happened to be in the building. 

There was a nativity scene with a basket full of tea lights and a candlelighter nearby. The children were encouraged to light a candle, say a prayer, and then set the candle among the nativity landscape. This is especially meaningful if the children have spent time on passages like Isaiah 9:2 ("The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light") during Advent. 

The second part of the prayer set-up involved placing a written or drawn prayer in the holes of cinder blocks. My daughter, who can't yet write, drew a picture. 

This type of prayer is great for both younger and older children, because it allows them to express themselves verbally or non-verbally, depending on where the child is developmentally. It also particularly appeals to children who tend towards the spiritual style of symbolism.

I would definitely like to do something 
like this next year! 


  1. It's so encouraging to see churches taking children seriously. I've pinned this on Pinterest!

  2. I love these ideas Sheila! Thanks so much! I once saw a prayer wall made of card board that I tried like crazy to find for our atrium but it is no longer being made. The brick idea is a great alternative, although those are some pretty cool bricks. I'll have to dig around and see what I can find. I pinned this also, so hopefully lots of people will find these great ideas and your wonderful blog!

    1. Thanks, Leslie! I've seen bricks like this one a lot here - maybe they are a German thing? Maybe one could be made out of plaster or something like that.