Lent is a contemplative season, a time to turn inward and focus on our spiritual nature and relationship with God. Churches offer special corporate worship services and study opportunities during this solemn time. They also encourage personal spiritual practices such as meditation, fasting, and almsgiving. More and more churches are now offering interactive prayer stations during Lent, allowing participants an opportunity for personal reflection while being physically present with others in the body of Christ.
Prayer stations can be set up in a church sanctuary or other area and may stand alone as a worship experience, be part of a special worship service, or be available for individuals before or after Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or another Lenten worship service. The space for each prayer station is set up with directions and objects which allow people to participate at their own pace. The purpose is to create a time and space for people to experience God’s presence in their lives. They can be very simple or quite elaborate. There are plenty of ideas for prayer stations using simple materials, so it is something that anyone can put together. However, those with a creative, artistic bent can also offer their talents to create original prayer stations.
When experiencing prayer stations, people are given an opportunity to engage and interact with their faith in tangible, relevant ways using a variety of their senses. This is meaningful for adults but is also appealing for youth and even families who may wish to experience the stations together.
Lenten prayer stations can be based on the traditional Stations of the Cross, alternate/Protestant Stations of the Cross, or another theme appropriate for the season. The Rethinking Youth Ministry website has suggestions for prayer stations based on phrases in the Lord’s Prayer. A simple set of prayer stations based on the Lenten symbols of ashes, water, clay, and oil can be created if space is limited or if you wish to keep the prayer stations up for several weeks.
Practical Resources for Churches can work with you to create prayer stations for your own church, whether you choose to visit us in person, telephone, or contact us by email. We would love to be a part of bringing this meaningful contemplative activity to your congregation.