Yesterday, as part of our series on ‘Calling’, we gathered around five creative prayer stations.
Station 1: Practising God’s presence
We can find God everywhere – in our homes, in the supermarket, at work, and even at church! We can see God in everyone, and in everything around us. But sometimes we have to actively look beyond what we first see. And part of our calling is just that – to practise God’s presence.
I said to the almond tree: ‘Sister, speak to me of God’, and the almond tree blossomed. Nikos Kazantzakis
You’re invited to take one of the hearts and stick it to the tree, as blossom. As you do this, think of people or situations where you find it hard to see God. When do we see the barren-ness of the tree, rather than the blossom that God brings? How can we look at things differently?
Pray for help to help us see God in each and every part of our lives.
Station 2: Called to Hope
There will be many ups and downs throughout our lives. Times when God feels near, and moments when God feels far away. Times when we can care for others, but also moments when we need them to support us. Sometimes we can feel weighed down. Despite all of this, we have an eternal hope through the resurrection of Jesus. We’re reminded of God’s everlasting love for us.
You’re invited to lift some of the stones that are covering the picture, and place them in the bowl of water instead. Think of God lifting any burdens that are weighing you down. Think of the cool, cleansing water God offers.
As the picture is revealed, as we each remove stones, reflect on what the hope of resurrection means for you.
Station 3: So what will we do?
We are all called, in different ways and for different things. We might find it hard to recognise God’s purpose for us – because we’re not listening, because we don’t like what we hear, or because we don’t think we can do enough. God wants us to bring our “five loaves and two fishes”. To bring them joyfully and wholeheartedly. But doing a particular thing for God isn’t a life sentence that should weigh us down. And it’s certainly not set in stone, fixed for our whole life. God wants to change us, to help us grow. God offers us the hope of Jesus’ resurrection.
And God smiles on what we offer in faith.
You’re invited to draw a picture in the tray of sand. A picture of what you might offer to God now – of your calling. Think of God smiling as you draw it. And then wipe it away. You might want to draw something else in its place – something that might lie ahead of you?
Pray that God will guide us, and send us out in love and peace.
Station 4: Fives loaves and two fishes is enough
God doesn’t focus on how much we do. We aren’t “paid” with eternal life for being a good worker. But our relationship with Jesus does ask us to commit wholeheartedly. God wants to use everything we’ve got, to be in every part of our lives. But he doesn’t expect us to offer more than our fives loaves and two fishes. That will be enough.
You’re invited to break off a piece of one of the bread rolls. Imagine this is your “five loaves and two fishes”. It’s all you have to offer, but it’s enough.
Place your piece of bread in the centre. The dish will overflow as more people add their contribution. God will use everything that we bring.
Are there parts of our lives that we want to offer more wholly to God? Are there things we’re holding back?
And do we need to just accept the things we can’t do?
Station 5: The Lion King
God made us; knows us; and has a purpose for each of us. But, unlike Simba in the Lion King, we’re not all called to be King of the Pridelands!
Our calling can change over time. We can be reshaped, renewed.
You’re invited to use the plasticine to make a model of yourself. Maybe as a figure, or perhaps as a symbol? Think of God shaping you as you mould the plasticine. Think of the care taken over each and every part. Then remould your model into something a bit different. Add some new colours, or take a bit of plasticine away.
Pray for God to keep reshaping and renewing you – calling you.