Churches are exploring innovative ideas for prayer activities outside church buildings. Could your church offer outdoor prayer to your community?
Please be aware that items left outside could be vulnerable to the weather and – more importantly – to contamination by infection. Anything placed outside for people to touch should be packed by people wearing gloves and a mask. Once packed, the items should be labelled with a date and left for at least three days before being offered to the public.
Peg some yellow ribbon strips outside your church in a visible place, with a notice saying: “Please take a yellow ribbon and tie it to the railings as a sign of love and prayer for those you’re missing seeing at the moment.” Alternatively, ask people to bring their own ribbons and tie them onto your railings or a tree. They could also write a prayer on them.
Invite people to write a prayer on a luggage label and tie it to a tree or railing in your church grounds. As people pass by, they can share in your prayer.
Simple Acts of Prayer
Display a poster on a door, noticeboard or window at your church, saying: “Do you know someone who desperately needs prayer today? Perhaps someone who needs comfort, healing or help. Find something in nature to represent this person such as a pebble, flower or leaf. Hold it in your hand as you pray and then leave them, symbolically, in Jesus’ love.”
Invite people to post prayers that will be added to the weekly church prayer cycle. If you haven’t got a postbox, create one using a plastic box with a hole sliced in the lid. Make sure that any posted prayers are spread on a clean table and left for three days. Remember to clean the table after the items are removed.
Virtual Prayer Wall
Follow these instructions to create a virtual prayer wall with a QR code link.
Create a labyrinth in an area outside your church, in a car park or on a grassy space, using a line-marking spray (eco-friendly sprays are available).
Paint an old bench and write on it: “Be still and find rest.”
Experiential Prayer Space
Create an outdoor prayer space using a large wooden cross or around a beautiful flower planter. Add a sign encouraging people to “Be, look, listen and be closer to God.”
Create a prayer trail around your church grounds. You can provide prayer stations on different themes, such as forgiveness, thanksgiving, intercession, joy and solace. You can include Bible verses, a thought to ponder, a suggested action and a prayer to send people on their way.
Place a sign on your church door and encourage people to pray for the local community surrounding the church. Take time to walk and pray for each household in the street, whether you know them or not. One street could be walked to and prayed from each week.
Create large letters spelling out PRAY. If these are in wood, they can be painted and prayers can be written on them, or images attached to them, to create a living prayer station.