Thursday, November 18, 2010
I have been wanting to take a Wednesday night for quiet a while to do prayer stations and finally felt that this was the opportune time to do it. We began the night looking at Luke 5:16, which is just one of the many times that we read that Jesus would often get alone to pray. This is the practice of the spiritual discipline of solitude. I explained that it is not simply getting alone, but being alone with God, and that they have the opportunity this night to have solitude with God through the prayer stations.
The first part was to focus on their distractions. I asked them to pray about any distractions that would keep them from having a conversation with God. After a few minutes of examination I had them write down these distractions. Then when they were ready they could come forward and put their paper in a box as a symbol of letting go of the distraction.
Next I asked them to spend some time asking God to reveal any sin in their life. After a few minutes in prayer they were to write their sins down, but knowing that they will be destroying them in a minute. Then when they were ready they went to our storage room and read the following information: "You are sitting in our storage room. There are some useful items, some not so useful. Some items we want to hold onto, while others can be thrown away. If you are not careful, you will store sin in your life, when you need to get rid of it. Pray asking God to forgive you of your sins and read these verses as a prayer to God: Psalm 51:9-12 Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all of my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit." Then the students destroyed their paper by running it through a paper shredder as a symbol of their sin being forgiven.
The next station focused on burdens and they read the following: "Burdens, we all have them. We usually carry them with us instead of laying them down at the cross for Jesus to take over. Pray asking God to reveal any burdens in your life. Then write them on sticky notes. Your burdens can be anything: stress, family, fears, etc. Take your time with this. Use as many sticky notes as you need. When done, place them on the cross, leaving the burdens for Jesus to carry. 1 Peter 5:17 casting all you anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." On the floor was a cross made out of duct tape and they placed their sticky notes on them. The picture above is of this.
The next station focused on the world and our command in Acts 1:8. There were pictures on the walls of maps of the world, North America, Tennessee, and McMinn County. They read the following: "'but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.' In this verse we are commanded to reach the areas of the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are millions of lost people in the world that need to be saved and accept Jesus. As you look at the maps on the wall, pray for these areas. Pray for Athens, McMinn County, Tennessee, North America, and the world in general. Pray for missionaries, pastors, missions organizations, etc. that are serving around the world."
The next station was called reflections and each had a mirror to look at themselves as they read the following: "Romans 8:38-39 'For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Choose a mirror and gaze into it. Examine the reflection that stares back at you. Are you able to give God thanks for the amazing creation that is you? As you consider your reflection, perhaps use this centering prayer, praying it over and over, meditation upon and sinking deeply into the meaning of the words: 'Thank you God, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.' Take one more look at the mirror. Know that if you have been saved that God has plans for you and be excited that God wants to use you. If you have never been saved, then get with an adult and get that settled tonight. Jeremiah 29:11 'For I know the plans I have for you...'"
The final station was set up as a dinner table with seats for the students to sit at, except for the head chair which symbolized the seat that Jesus is sitting in. Each plate had a sheet for them to read the following: "As you sit at this table, it appears that you are having a dinner. Don't be disappointed because there is no food, but instead there is something greater. The chair at the head of the table is empty. But imagine that Jesus is sitting here. He actually is since God is everywhere. Now consider this, God can be anywhere and do anything He wants because He is God, but He wants to fellowship with you! He wants to dine with you! Take a few minutes thanking God that you can have fellowship with Him anytime. If there is anything that you want to say to God, now is the time."
When they were finished they went back to their original seat and spent time praying for everyone else there tonight. What was awesome was that the students were so respectful of each other this night, and it was obvious that God was at work. Another thing that I was excited to see was that several of them after they completed the stations, sit and read their Bibles! Seeing a student read their Bible without being prompted to is a beautiful thing!
Posted by Nathan Eaton at 10:27 AM