Seasons: Youth Prayer Stations
Compiled and Edited by Chris Bowman & Christina Valenti
Seasons are important. They provide a sense of rhythm and journey. Here in Cambodia the seasons are subtle, but still distinct. Maybe you come from a part of the world, like me, that has four distinct seasons.
Winter. Spring. Summer. Autumn.
Each has it’s own beauty and it’s own purpose. Each moves seamlessly into the next. Winter is often marked by a barrenness – animals hibernate, and try and sleep to through it, and it is sometimes a season marked by survival. But invariably it gives way to Spring – marked with new life, and the hard work of pushing up through the dirt. Which leads to Summer in all of its fullness. And as enjoyable as Summer is full of rest and long days, companionship and building memories – it too moves into Autumn. Where leaves turn brilliant colors and fall off trees.
These seasons often mark the work of God in our lives – spiritually and emotionally – we also go through seasons. Whatever season you find yourself in, know that you are not alone. Many other have traveled this journey before you, and many travel the same roads with you now. God is the God who chooses to journey with us.
So as you work through Seasons – spend time at each station. Reflecting on what God is doing in your life. You can move from station to station or linger at just one station. [Written by Christina Valenti]
Names of God
Look at the names of God set before you. God is beyond our understanding. He is more than just God. He is Creator. Friend. Father. Healer.
Who has God been to you this year? Choose one or choose a few.
Maybe one of them applies to a certain season. If so, Blu-Tac that name in that season.
Or maybe you yearn to know another side of God. If so, take that card and ask God to reveal Himself to you. Feel free to keep that card.
A time of fullness; of sun; of light; of warmth; of fun; of knowing.
Where and when this year have you experienced the fullness of summer in your life? Take a moment to reflect over the past year. Write on an index card answers to any of the following questions and place them on the board:
- How have you grown this past year?
- How can we celebrate the past year in youth group?
- Do you have a favourite memory of the past year or past few years?
- Do you want to celebrate a new friendship?
- Was there a message or a Bible verse that’s stood out to you this year?
A time of change; of trusting; of beauty; of preparing; of letting go.
Grab a piece of red or orange paper and cut out the shape of a leaf or leaves. Reflect on what aspects of your life are in an autumn season. There is an ache and a pain to the goodbyes, but often there is beauty in it too.
On your leaf – write something you are letting go of, it could be a person, place, pet, thing.
On a second leaf write something beautiful about this season. Just as the leaves turn beautiful colors as part of autumn, are there aspects of beauty in the midst of saying goodbyes?
Where do you see the beauty in goodbyes?
Take What You Need
On the wall, you will see a piece of paper saying Take What You Need. Think about what you need in your life at the moment.
Take whichever items you need and take a moment to ask God for more of that item in your life.
Now let your unfailing love comfort me, just as you promised me, your servant. Psalm 119:76
Sometimes in this season of letting go, we need a little extra comfort to get us through.
Pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate and think about all the amazing little things God does in our live, even in this season of goodbyes.
Think about where else you can find comfort during this season of change, in journaling, in leaning on others, in pets, in honest conversation with God, or music.
A time of slowing down; of waiting; of bareness; of testing.
Winter can be a season of barrenness, emptiness, but it can also be a season of beauty. It is often in these seasons that God is at work deep within us, even if we don’t sense it.
Think about snowflakes. The intricate beauty and uniqueness of each one. Just as each snowflake is unique and special so are you. You may feel lost in this season, but this doesn’t escape God’s notice.
Take the time to cut out a snowflake by folding and cutting the paper.
As you fold and cut, reflect on God’s deliberateness on working on your life – even during the seasons when you feel alone.
Often in winter seasons – what’s being grown in us is often hidden.
Unfold the snowflake – reflect on the beauty.
Look at the snowflakes others have added. Each one is slightly different. How can winter help you embrace your uniqueness.
Cut out a circle from a piece of paper. Fold that circle in half. Fold it in half again. Now cut out a pattern. Once your pattern is complete, unfold your paper, and enjoy your snowflake creation.
Grab a little piece of paper or a few even and think about something or maybe many things in your life for which you are grateful for.
Once you’ve written down what you’re thankful for, pop your pieces of paper into the jar and now take a look at the jar…think about the ways God is working in the lives of others and how through all our ups and downs, we always have something to be thankful for.
A time of new life; of hope; of new possibilities; of renewal; of freshness; of hope.
Look at the map of the world. Do you ever feel like your heart is divided between different places? What places are on your heart? Put a sticker on each of those places.
Maybe you’re moving on in the near future. Put a sticker on that place. Take a moment to pray for that area. Pray for friends. Pray for community. Pray for whatever God is putting on your heart.
Pray that you can be God’s salt and light in those places.
Download Seasons: Youth Prayer Stations full PDF here: Seasons
Photography: Sehyun Park & Chris Bowman