We designed these prayer stations to be part of Night 3 at Presence, Spring Harvest. The evening theme was ‘Jesus was courageous, so we can be courageous’. We wanted to base each station on passages where people encounter Jesus, and their different experiences of courage, fear and faith. 

The stations are fairly low-tech, there are not many items needed at each station, and no particular set-up instructions. If you choose to use any or all of these prayer stations, feel free to use your creativity in the set-up; use cloth, candles, lighting, cushions etc.
 
As it was, we didn’t have enough space in our venue at Spring Harvest to allow people to move around in the way we would normally do for prayer stations. Instead we got people into groups of around 10, packaged the stations (multiplied a few times) into plastic bags, and passed them around to the groups. On the night, we only had time for one ‘swap-over’, but we had envisioned swapping stations a few times. Engaging with the stations in this way made the atmosphere more chatty and less reflective, but that could be a valid aim in a worship setting too!
 
I’ve added my notes for the stations below. On the posters, which you can download above, there are Bible references, reflection questions and instructions for the worshippers. If you are unsure whether people will bring Bibles, it may be worth printing the passages on sheets to scatter around the stations (also available for download above).
 
Note:
On station 2 you need a large picture of wavy water. I just did a simple picture of waves using different blue poster paints and lining paper.
 

 

THE PRAYER STATIONS:

1. Courage to follow
(Matt 4:18-22 – first disciples leave everything to follow Jesus)
ITEMS NEEDED: Lots of A4 paper, felt-tip pens and scissors
 
Read story and reflect:
-                List the things that the disciples left behind to follow Jesus
-                Why do you think they just left? What made them take that life-changing decision?
-                What kinds of things have you left behind to follow Jesus?
-                What will it mean to follow Jesus in your life?
 
Action:
Draw around your shoe or foot and cut out. Reflect on your courage to follow Jesus – where might it take you? Ask God to give you the courage to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Form your thoughts into a prayer of words or images on your cut-out foot.
 
2. Courage through the storm
(Matt 8:23-27 – Jesus calms the storm)
ITEMS NEEDED: Large picture of wavy water. Black and red markers.
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                Imagine what it must have felt like to be the disciples. Think of words to describe their feelings and use the black marker pens to write those words on the waves.
-                The disciples were afraid despite Jesus being there with them in the boat? Why do you think that was?
-                Are you aware of Jesus being present in your storms? Does this change your feelings of fear?
 
Action:
Consider the storms you’re finding yourself in at the moment. Present these to God by naming them and writing them on the waves with red marker pen. Ask God to give you courage through the storm, knowing that he is present and will provide protection and help.
 
3. Courage to go
(Matt 10:5-39 – Jesus speech as he sends out the 12)
ITEMS NEEDED: sticky labels and felt-tips
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                Imagine what it must have been like to be one of the disciples listening to Jesus sending them out? What do you think were their specific fears? Do you think Jesus’ words changed how they felt?
-                Have you ever experienced being sent somewhere by Jesus? If you want to, tell someone about this: where were you sent? Were you afraid? Did God give you courage?
 
Action:
Choose one of Jesus sending-out remarks and write it out on a sticky label. Stick this inside your shoe and ask God to give you the courage to go.
 
4.Courage to believe

(Matt 11:2-6 – Jesus responds to John the Baptist)
ITEMS NEEDED: Massive paper (eg. roll of lining paper) with Matt 11:4-5 written on (list the miracles), and marker pens.
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                Why do you think John was wondering who Jesus was?
-                What kind of answer do you think he was expecting?
-                What did Jesus’ answer mean in terms of John’s question?
-                Who do you believe Jesus to be? On what do you base this belief?
 
Action:
We all have times when we struggle to believe. If you’re an eyewitness to Jesus doing remarkable things (either in your own or others’ lives), then add these things to the list, in order to build up each other’s faith. Reflect on the list for a moment, let it feed your faith and give thanks.
 
5. Courage to obey
(Matt 14:13-21 – Jesus feeds the 5000)
ITEMS NEEDED: Play-dough / modelling clay, bread basket
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                ‘We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish’ is the disciples’ answer to Jesus command to feed the crowd. How do you think they felt about their offering?
-                If you had been the disciples, what would have been your thoughts when Jesus said ‘Bring them here to me’?
-                If it had been you in that story – would you have had the courage to find the tiny portion of food and present it to Jesus?
-                What words can you use to describe how the disciples must have felt when they saw the miracle?
 
Action:
What skills, resources, money, talents and qualifications do you have? Jesus says: ‘Bring them here to me!’. Do you have the courage to obey, to hand the little that you have over to him? Talk to Jesus about this. Create a symbol of what you have using play-dough, and if you feel able, put it in the bread basket as a way of presenting it to Jesus. Pray that God may take your gift and bless many people.
 
6. Courage to take risks

(Matt 14:22-33 – Jesus (and Peter) walks on water)
ITEMS NEEDED: prayer ministry team at this station
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                What do you think was Peter’s motivation in wanting to come to Jesus on the water?
-                If you had been Peter, would you have made the request? And if you had, would you have stepped out of the boat?
-                What do you think the other disciples were thinking and feeling?
-                Which part of this story do you identify with the most: asking Jesus to be called out of your comfort zone, taking the step of faith, or feeling full of fear and calling to Jesus to save you.
 
Action:
Spend some time in prayer. Do you need courage to take risks? Have you taken a risk and feeling like you’re sinking? Either pray by yourself, or take the opportunity to ask someone here to pray with you and for you.
 
7. Courage to stop
(Luke 10:38-42 – Martha and Mary)
ITEMS NEEDED: pen and paper
 
Read the story and reflect:
-                What was Martha’s response on encountering Jesus? What was Mary’s response? Who do you most naturally identify with?
-                What do you think was Martha’s agenda? What was Mary’s?
-                What kind of agenda do you normally bring to your encounters with Jesus? What is stopping you from simply sitting and listening?
 
Action:
Grab a pen and paper. Try to rid yourself of an agenda (perhaps by telling Jesus about it first) and then simply try to listen. Jot down words or pictures that pops into your head. Perhaps, ask God a specific question: ‘what do you want to say to me today?’
 
8. Courage for the Christ
(Matt 26:36-44 Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane)
ITEMS NEEDED: Cups of red grape juice, napkins
 
Read the story and reflect
-            How would you describe Jesus’ emotional state in this passage?
-            Is this what you expect of the Son of God, the Messiah?
-            Can you relate to Jesus here? 
 
Action:
Jesus talks of drinking the cup his Father has for him. Pick up the cup of juice, and consider the challenges you have in front of you.
Why are you fearful of these things?
Talk to God, and if you feel able, take a sip from the cup as a sign of trusting God.
Reflect on that the cup is a symbol of Jesus’ blood shed for you - you can trust that he goes ahead of you in your situation.