Prayer stations are a unique way to end any meeting. When God’s Spirit points out sin, strongholds, or habits, people need time to assimilate new ideas before resuming life.
Time spent in prayer and forgiveness gives time to integrate new ways of thinking into our lives. We need to spend time at each station.
Setting up prayer stations can be complicated or easy.
Hope in God
Hope in God is simply performing an action as a way of giving God control and trusting Him to provide for us. Using a rock placed in sand or a placing a stick in a bowl are easy, fireproof actions we can provide for ourselves. Lighting candles, if they are previously setup, can be peaceful and supportive of prayer.
Taking communion or the Lord’s supper gives us the opportunity to ask for forgiveness of sin. We know God forgives us because we confess our sins and turn away from them.
A large cross to a print out of a cross in a photograph can be used to illustrate Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. We can place our burdens at the foot of the cross and leave them there. The action of writing down our habits, addictions, burdens, or strongholds on a piece of paper and placing it in a bowl gives our human heart a physical image of releasing our burdens to God.
Praying for Others
Some use chicken wire placed on a wall or tiny wooden cubicles to enable us to roll up and place our prayers written on paper. We have added our prayers to the wall where we know someone will pray for them. Our prayers can also be placed in a bowl next to a stack of paper and pens.
We can add one more station, a prayer team. One or two people who are known to pray with confidence and boldness in Jesus Christ can be chosen for this station. For larger groups, a larger team is needed. Smaller groups may pray for each other.
In our digital age, having praise music softly playing in the background enables us to release our fear of being heard! Whether your music is a live band, piano, or organ, or you play recorded music, make sure it is soft enough to think and conducive to your group. Try not to play simple hymns for young people or soft rock for older ones. But if everyone is comfortable with silence, it can be explored!
A simple prayer station method for a prayer hour
This is the simplest method mentioned in the Planted Flowers Bible Study Workbook:
- Place a stick in a bowl or basket to symbolize hope.
- Break up a cracker in a bowl and provide juice to dip for communion.
- Use a picture or image of a cross above a bowl or basket. Have stacks of cut printer paper and pens for each to write a burden to leave at the cross. Write the burden down, fold over paper, drop in the bowl.
- Provide stacks of cut printer paper and pens next to a bowl or basket where each can write prayers.
Use a quiet home, church, or community room for 1.5 to 2 hours of uninterrupted time is perfect. Two hours allows for setting up and taking down stations.
Music provides a nice touch using soft praise music. But this is optional.
Setup: Most can be done ahead of time. Actual setting up may only take ten minutes. Try to leave space between each station for privacy.
Arrival: Hopefully everyone arrives close to the same time. Allow only a few minutes for visiting.
- Explain the stations again briefly.
- No one will read the written prayers or burdens. Stress this to allow for complete honesty.
- At the end, make time to listen to God in silence.
- Only use ten minutes for the arrival time.
Begin Prayer Quickly
Prayer time: Dismiss everyone to pray. Some will use the stations right away. A few will move to sit and pray. Some will kneel. Allow individuals to pray and use this time as they are led by God.
What if someone is sobbing? Approach quietly. Place a hand on shoulder and pray silently for them. Do not intrude on what God is doing. If they turn to seek solace, hug them back. Stay silent.
Allow 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your designated time allowance. Some people like a “ten minutes left” to remind them to listen to God too.
Debrief: Gather everyone together and ask for one sentence from each: “What did you hear God say?” If someone is hesitant to share, do not push.
Pray together: Gather the written prayers and pray over them without reading. Gather the burdens together and pray over them without reading. Then throw them away.
Take Down: Be respectful of time. The meeting should be either 1.5 hours or 2 hours but no longer. Dismiss the meeting and immediately move to take down the stations. It is perfectly okay to ask for help.
Ask anyone who is in need of a moment to help with the take down and then listen and pray with them.
Try out your prayer stations and comment here how it goes! Find suggestions below for items to set up your prayer stations!