Last weekend we had our annual Women’s Retreat. This is one of the best weekends of the year! It’s always full of delicious food, sweet friendship, wonderful speakers, and a time for vulnerability and refocusing in the midst of busy semesters.
This year, we did something new: prayer stations
We divided the seven stations around this ACTS prayer model (which is a great option for daily prayer if you need a bit of structure in your life)!
Adoration – Praising God for who He is
Confession – Recognizing our sin before God
Thanksgiving – Thanking God for what he is doing in our lives
Supplication – Bringing our requests before Him
This activity was presented with a lot of freedom. We gave them an hour and 10 minutes total, and told them to spend as much time at each station as they wanted. They were told to start in any station they wanted, and not everyone made it to every station.
Instructions and verses were placed at each station so they would be easy to find around the space.
I’m excited to tell you more about each station and how you could recreate them yourself!
Draw-A-Prayer (Used to represent the adoration part of the ACTS prayer model)
Take a few minutes to read through the promises of God around the room. Use the materials provided to draw or write a prayer response to God on the poster boards. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful work of art—just a way for you to talk with God and praise Him for His promises!
This is how the station was set up—the promises that were printed out around the room included Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:19, Psalm 34:17, Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 40:31, John 3:16, James 1:5, and John 8:36.
The finished product:
String Prayer (Thanksgiving)
Take a piece of paper and write down something you are thankful for or a way that God has been faithful to you this school year. You can use as many pieces of paper as you want! Clip them to a string with one of the clothespins and spend time thanking God for what He has done.
Here is the finished product:
Attributes of God (Adoration)
The cards around the room represent some of the many attributes of God. Choose one attribute and read the verses. Take time to reflect on who God is and thank Him for this part of His character.
Take the card with you as a reminder of who God is!
Smashing Idols (Confession)
At the time of Exodus, the people were making idols out of gold and silver and worshipping them as Gods. Now, we make idols out of different things. What are some of the idols in your life – possessions, activities, attitudes and relationships that get in the way of your relationship with God?
What worries or challenges in your personal life, work, or ministry seem to loom bigger than your trust in God?
Use the Play-doh to create a symbol of those items, then smash this idol as a sign of your desire to move closer to God. As you do this, pray for God’s strength to worship Him above all else.
This station looked like this. We made sure to put down a cheap table cloth to protect the table from playdoh stickiness 😉
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Are you willing to let God help you rest in this moment? First, consider what burdens you are carrying around – those doubts, fears, obligations, worries, feelings of inadequacy that are weighing you down from experiencing God’s spirit.
As a gesture of prayer, asking God for release, write your burdens down on the post-it notes provided. Your prayer might be a word, a name, a symbol.
Then, place those burdens on the cross on the floor before you. As you do, focus on an image of God taking those burdens for you and carrying them for you as you seek rest and peace.
*I won’t show you the final product because it was full of personal items, but we used up A LOT of post-it notes 🙂
The World (Supplication)
If I had to choose, this station was probably my favorite!
This station was decorated with some artwork and items gathered from travels around the world. Feel free to decorate the area as much as possible!
Take some time to silently focus on the many needs of the world. Consider in your prayers God’s creation and heart for all people.
When you are ready, take one or more colored stones and place them on the locations on the map where you have prayed for today.
Not sure where to start?
6 Things to Pray for the World:
-For safety and political peace
-For needs, big and small, to be met
-For laborers to be willing to go out
-For specific countries where you know someone (or where someone you
know is headed)
-For open doors to the Gospel
-For softened hearts
At the end of the prayer time, this is what the station looked like:
This station was a beautiful picture of people coming together to think beyond our needs and American context. One of our students is going overseas to Japan this summer, and you can’t really tell from the picture, but there are TONS of stones stacked on top of each other on Japan—lots of prayer will be going with her this summer!
Personal Requests (Supplication)
“And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”
1 John 5:14-15
In this station, we created a prayer “book” to be taken home to give a tangible resource to pray specifically. I loved this station and the way that the girls got to interact and make something of their own.
My hope is that this would be a helpful guide to be used and altered by others. If you have questions, want to know what supplies were used, or want copies of the verses typed out, I have them all—email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the full documents!