The Rock Solid 5th Grade Retreat offers developmentally appropriate teaching and practice for students completing elementary school to build a rock solid faith through the holy habits of worship, prayer, study, and play as they prepare to move into middle and high school. I was a co-leader for the prayer station. My partner used yoga mats and body prayers. I offered self-directed stations with a short debrief at the conclusion.
Introductory teaching: Prayer is communicating with God. The best way for God to communicate with us is through the Bible. The way we best communicate with God is through prayer. God gave us five gifts to help us experience the world He created and to keep us safe. These were the stations using those five gifts based on Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Sight – Glow stick bracelets
Say a blessing prayer for someone by name, then give them a bracelet. Be willing to receive prayer from someone else only responding, “Thank you.”
Jesus asked his friends, “Watch and pray.” Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 21:36
Smell – Silence/deep breaths
Just be with God, light an LED candle, sit on (or near) the towel, and stay until you are tapped on the shoulder to move on.
I added a healthy sprinkle of peppermint essential oils to the towel often to have the scent as part of the space.
God’s favorite smell is our prayers. Psalm 141:2 “May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.”
Touch – Ask forgiveness for your wrongs, your hurts, your expectations, your words.
Recite the CONFESSION AND PARDON.
I confess that I have not loved you with my whole heart.
I have failed to be an obedient church.
I have not done your will,
I have broken your law,
I have rebelled against your love,
I have not loved my neighbors,
and I have not heard the cry of the needy.
Forgive me, I pray.
Free me for joyful obedience,
through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
Tie a ribbon onto the frame as a remembrance that Jesus took the punishment for our sins. If you confess (agree with God) your sins, God is faithful and just (fair) and will forgive you.
God does not remember our repented sins, but we do so that we repent/turn away from them to love God with our whole heart for our whole lives.
“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just (fair) and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
Hear – Pray the 23rd Psalm from bookmark aloud while walking a track around 2 orange cones
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Think beyond the moment, but the future. God and you can use anything and everything you face to help someone else.
Don’t despair. Ex: Judas…if he’d just waited one more day! Pray aloud even when you don’t feel it….it’ll remind you until you do.
In the debrief I share they will hear this scripture at various remarkable moments of Christian lives like funerals, births, prayer nights, help, etc. The bookmark I found was a King James Version so I shared that it was the first Bible financed by King James in the year 1611 to be mass produced through the printing press and explained the old English words which were appropriate at that time.
Taste – Dumdum lollipop
Read a proverb each day for the day of the month. Today is the 17th, so read Proverbs 17 from your own Bible.
Proverbs are wise sayings, not truths, but can help you along your way…will help you live like Jesus growing “in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
In debrief, I shared testimony of students who read a proverb every night before they go to bed or each when they rise each morning while in middle school/high school.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8
- God has equipped you with 5 senses: tools to stay safe & enjoy the world He created. When we don’t know what or how to pray/communicate with Him, we can use our five senses.
- Go with what you know and not with how you feel. This is what you know: YOU are a beloved child of God, created by God, for Jesus, to bring good into the world.
- Sing an echo benediction: “Do not be afraid, God is with you, Everywhere you go, God is there.” (Thank you, Mark Burrows). Do not be afraid/fear not …. 366 times…one for every day of the year.