About five years ago at the middle school where I worked at the time, I was invited to observe a very fascinating English project by my friend Mr. Luke Perry. Mr. Perry had given all of his student’s shoeboxes and was having them create a “writing box.” This box was to be filled with anything that would inspire students to write. He then presented his own “writing box” and displayed everything that inspires him to write. The item I remember the most was a pocket watch he displayed due to his obsession with watches. He shared numerous ways this watch had sparked his creativity to write several stories.
Later that year our church staff desired to do something that would create excitement for relational communication to Christ. We wanted to make it tangible. I remembered that captivating lesson and the writing boxes. After I shared this riveting experience, the staff caught fire with excitement.
Pastor Hopper kicked off the prayer campaign with a series we called “iPray” and that Sunday Morning he preached to the entire congregation about his personal prayer life and displayed his “prayer box.” Each staff member went though his / her box and explained the personal and spiritual significance of each item.
MY PERSONAL PRAYER BOX
- A picture of my wife, Rose and myself – To pray for my family
- My Bible to be able to hear the voice of God
- A prayer journal to write down what God speaks to me
- My iPod that has the Bible on audio, prayer music, and pictures of family, friends, and churches
- My father’s first preaching binder to remind me of my calling and heritage
CHURCH PRAYER BOXES
We incorporated the “prayer boxes” into our church and families the following ways:
- Invited all members to bring a prayer box to the next service
- A testimonial service where everyone had a chance to share his or her prayer box.
- Craft activities for the children to create personalized prayer boxes
- Our annual week of prayer and built each night around our prayer boxes.
- A ‘trade off” service where student’s traded something from their prayer box with an adult. They were to keep the item for one week and pray for each other’s need.
- I preached an eight-week sermon series during this time period and each week I passed out an item that connected to my preaching that people could place in their prayer box.
THINGS TO KNOW
- There is no right or wrong way to facilitate prayer boxes.
- You can use shoes boxes, gift boxes or have people bring their own boxes. The students had boss that we passed out to them and they decorated them. Many of the adults went and purchases nice, ornate boxes from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and other creative places. While the prayer boxes had a solemn purpose, we also had a lot of fun with our “Prayer Project.”
The prayer boxes were one of the most powerful activities that our church has ever done. It gave families a tool to work around as they collected, and shared items for their boxes. Parents told me they used their box as their nightly family devotional tool, bringing their families into deeper communication with Christ. I have been blessed to share this tool with many youth groups and churches and have always heard many incredible praise reports. I trust this activity will help your group or personal life as well.