How do you help people to pray? This is one way I’ve found that people of all ages seem to like! It’s simple, but effective.
I think that one of the thing that we need to do more of and more effectively in church services is resource people so that they can develop their discipleship outside services. One way I try and do this is by giving people simple, practical ways of praying, including this way.
In recipes, teaspoon is abbreviated to tsp. We can also use that to remind us how to pray, using the headings: Thank you; Sorry; Please. When possible, I give everyone a plastic teaspoon and encourage everyone to take it home, as a reminder to pray, and as a reminder of one way of praying.
Even without the actual teaspoon, I’ve used those three headings in all-age, school, and Messy Church services, but I’ve also recently used it in a more traditional service (complete with actual teaspoons that I handed out!), and it seemed to go down well there as well. I think that giving people simple, memorable things to help with their discipleship is an important part of what we should be doing in our services.
When I’m doing these prayers in the noisier sorts of services I will introduce each word, give the children a short time of quiet reflection and then get them to shout out the word as loud as they can (by counting to three). It gets away from the ‘hands together, eyes closed’ method, lets them make noise in church, and hopefully also helps them remember the words.