This Valentine’s Day, don’t just talk about God’s love; help kids experience God’s love through prayer stations (aka worship response stations).
A prayer station is an activity that allows children to express their responses to God about what they are learning and who He is. Each station looks different and gives the child an opportunity to respond to God in a different way.
Some churches leave these prayer or worship response stations up in their children’s area all the time and use them weekly. As a mobile church, that wasn’t an option for us, so I incorporated them into our schedule in a different way.
Every year for Valentine’s Day, we take a break from our regular curriculum to host a special Sunday centered around prayer stations (some of my favorite prayer stations lessons are available here). We still have worship and a Bible lesson that relates to the theme of love in some way, then we release the kids for 15 minutes to participate in the prayer stations. They can choose to go to all of them or just a few, and can do them in any order they want. They become active participants in responding to the lesson in the ways they are most comfortable with and at their own pace.
After 3 years, our kids know what is expected of them and what they can expect from this time, but I always like to remind them that prayer stations are a chance for them to respond to God about what they just heard in the lesson. It is a time for them to talk to God, hear from God, and spend special time with Him. I remind them that it is not a time for talking with friends, running around, or goofing off, and if they choose to distract their friends, they lose the privilege of participating (this has never happened – the kids are always into it!).
I play slow worship songs in the background while children go through the stations and have volunteers float around the space to help monitor, encourage, help, and redirect when needed.
Is it scary to let kids loose for a time of self-guided prayer? Yes.
But is it worth it? YES!