We got this idea from Jackie Wilkinson at a Creative Prayer workshop. It teaches children about the different types of prayer there are. tsp stands for teaspoon but it also stands for Thanks, Sorry, Please. Each child chooses a plastic teaspoon from a jar. If it says T on it, they take time to say Thank you to God. If it says S, they take time to say sorry to God for anything they have done that does not bring joy to God’s heart. If it says P, they pause to ask God for something – whether it be healing for a sick friend or family member or for a sad situation in the world today and they ask for God to act in that situation. The teaspoon prayer is cheap to organise and can be used over and over again. It helps that children are holding something as they pray.
Jelly Baby Prayer:
This can be used in a variety of different ways to allow children to pray corporately for different things. Each colour can represent a different concept and whatever colour a child receives will dictate what kind of prayer they say. They hold their jelly baby, say their prayer and then eat the jelly!
A version of this uses colours to denote different things the children can do as a variety on ‘giving up’ something for Lent:
Red for the blood of Christ (make a sacrifice )
Green for the shade of the palm (do a good deed).
Yellow for God’s light (show kindness to others).
Orange for prayers at twilight (good behavior at bed time prayers).
Purple for days of sorrow (apologizing to someone).
Pink for each new tomorrow (forgiving others).
The Jelly Bean Prayer
Red is for the blood He gave.
Green is for the grass He made.
Yellow is for the sun so bright.
Orange is for the edge of night.
Blue is for the sins we made.
White is for the grace He gave.
Purple is for His hour of sorrow.
Pink is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat.
The Prayer Tree
If children write their prayers on outlines of hands these can be used to make the leaves on a prayer tree. Trees are generally very useful visuals as well as prayer tools. Tammi Peek gave a great example of how to tailor the prayer tree to Lent as a time of cleaning out our lives and getting rid of the dirt and the stains of our sin. She made a Laundry tree with her children with the understanding that God’s forgiveness makes us clean and new. Children wrote their sorry prayers or please prayers on detergent cut outs and hung them on a sparkling tin foil tree with the memory verse propped at the front.
The Praying Hand:
There are lots of variations on this but it is a good tool for enabling children to pray into five different groups of people in their lives.
There are a few different variations on this prayer. At Lent it’s nice as a chance to give the children the time to write a word on a stone with washable marker then drop it in a basin of water and see the word wash clean. Sometimes leaders give children a stone to hold while they are saying a sorry prayer. Then when they are finsihed they receive a glass pebble to take away with them showing that they have been forgiven and transformed.