how do you engage different generations in Gospel-centered conversation? let’s face it many seasoned adults and preteens don’t cross paths much in the church building. that is why we began our secret prayer partner ministry.

each fall we pair up our 5th-grade smasH (students ministering and serving Him) kids with an adult prayer partner in the church. the adult receives a picture and an “about me” sheet to get to know their preteen. then, each month kids receive a letter from their secret adult prayer partner (in life groups). adult prayer partners are given monthly themes to help give them content for their letters. some of the themes include: share your testimony, what is your favorite scripture, how do you study God’s word, etc.

kids have no clue who they are writing. they can ask for hints, but the adults have been instructed not to give out their identity until the end of the year. kids are challenged to write at least five sentences. (if you have ever worked with 5th-grade boys, you know what a challenge this is.) we have to make sure the kids include prayer requests so their secret prayer partner has specifics to pray for throughout the month.

kids are given smasH stationery to write on and they turn in their letters and we mail them out to their secret prayer partners. we take time and reach all preteen letters for red flags. prayer partners can email or drop off their letters. many include candy.

at the end of the year, we do a reveal where all the adults come and line up. the kids try to guess who they have been writing. they then get to meet their adult and they are instructed to pray together. the ultimate goal is for these pre-teens to have yet another adult in the church they can confide in, that can encourage them, and can point them to Jesus.

recently i got an email from a grandmother who was raising her grandson. below is an excerpt of what she shared with me. i am so thankful that God takes a little idea He planed and makes it so much more than we could ever imagine.

“When JT was in 5th grade Danielle put together some Prayer Partners for the kiddos at Dawson. Mr. Beatty and JT were paired. Mr. Beatty and JT wrote some beautiful letters to each other during that time. Mr. Beatty has continued to follow JT and even comes to his concerts.


When Chapel Choir asked about 5 people who had made an impact in his life JT listed Mr. Beatty. Mr. Beatty wrote JT a wonderful letter for Choir Tour and was at the Chapel Choir Homecoming Concert. In his letter Mr. Beatty asked JT to call him when they got back so they could have lunch. He wanted to hear all about the mission trip.


On Sunday Mr. Beatty asked me if JT liked Chick-Fil-A. I reminded him that JT was a 14 year old boy and he just liked food. Mr. Beatty said, ‘well you what a teenage boy is don’t you….he’s an appetite wrapped in skin!’ They had lunch together on Tuesday and JT got to tell Mr. Beatty all about Chapel Choir Tour.


Mr. Beatty and JT have been thoughtful, prayerful friends for 6 years. This precious example of our intergenerational church started in the Children’s Ministry and continues to be lived out and now be part of our Music Ministry.


You don’t always get to know how far-reaching what you do is. You don’t always get to know the impact your actions can have on people. You don’t always get to see God’s handiwork. So here’s a glimpse……”


not ever pairing ends up this way, but i am so amazed and grateful for the glimpses into what God is doing!

over a year-and-a-half ago, the dawson kids team began to contact and pray through our kids ministry investors and families. the truth this, we can only connect so much in a hallway on a sunday morning or at an event. our goal was to reach people where they are (whether they are consistently attending or haven’t been in a while) and ask “how can our staff lift up your family?” it’s a simple question. not all respond, but when they do we are allowed an opportunity for greater impact.

in our weekly dawson kids staff meeting we share the prayer requests and then pause to specifically pray for each of them. we follow up each prayer time with a hand -written note.

i understand this isn’t revolutionary, but it has greatly deepened the conversations we have with parents and volunteers in our busy hallways. i would love to hear how you surround your families and leaders in prayer. share ideas in the comment section.

keeping with our tradition this year, we are bringing back prayer stations. our theme this year is rooted and we are focusing on God’s Word. we only have five stations this year because we are encouraging them to spend at least 10 minutes at each station. here they are:

Leader instructions: Please divide your Bible study groups into smaller groups and guide your smaller group through these five prayer stations. (You can move in any order, but please watch your time and try not to spend more than 10 minutes at each station.) Even though these prayer experiences are hands-on, please make sure they are approaching it with the attitude and respect our great God deserves. Before you begin, pray as a small group asking God to help you focus during this time.

Words That Encourage Station: 
Read this Scripture to your group – “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Prayer experience – Share with your group that they are going to get to use God’s Word to encourage our leaders in the church. Hold up one of the encouraging scripture sheets and explain how God’s Word can comfort and encourage others. Explain to the kids that they will each get a sheet and a marker and will be given several minutes to spread out along the staff hall and write scriptures on staff member’s sheets, located on their doors. (Please instruct them to write neatly so that the scriptures can be read. Also, tell them not to sign their names and only draw symbols that go with the scripture – no Alabama or Auburn signs on the doors.) They will have time to write on two or three doors, but make sure they spread out to all the offices and are not waiting on a door.
Prayer Time – As a small group, pick a staff member to pray for and gather in front of their door. Pray “popcorn style” for this church leader allowing each child to say a sentence prayer for them in any order. The adult leader will close this time in prayer.
Location – begins in the gathering room across from Mrs. Alice’s desk, but you will travel to staff office area and return supplies back to the gathering room.
Supplies – encouraging scripture sheet, marker, and white sheets on staff doors

Scripture Path Station:
Prayer experience – Give each child a piece of sidewalk chalk and a scripture sheets. Explain that each one of them will have their own sidewalk square to decorate with these scriptures. Instruct them to take their time and write a scripture large and decorate it. After 10 minutes give them a cue that time is up. Then have them pray silently over their square.
Prayer Time – As a small group pray for all the runners, walker, and church people that will walk over these scriptures. Ask God to give them eyes to see what He would have for them.
Location – This station begins in the area right outside the back doors of the Chapel. Kids will decorate sidewalks down Manhattan street and Evergreen. smasH will decorate the sidewalk leading into the main welcome center from Oxmoor.
Supplies – sidewalk chalk, scripture sheet.

Hidden Name Rocks Station:
Prayer experience – Review the names of God you studied in session two: MIGHTY, CREATOR, HEALER, SHEPHERD, EVERLASTING, MOST HIGH, LORD OF LORDS. Ask kids to share which name means the most to them at this time in their life and why. (Give them time to share.) Instruct them to decorate one side of their rock with the name and put the scripture reference on the other side of the rock.
Prayer Time – Once they have completed their rocks, have them hold it tightly in their hands asking God to reveal Himself to them in a new way. Close this time in prayer.
Prayer experience – Hiding Ricks Escort your small group to the area of their grade’s assigned location. Instruct them to hide their rocks. Explain that we will share with the church that these rocks are hidden all over campus. Ask a child to pray out loud for those that might find their rocks.
Location – This prayer station begins in the Manhattan Atrium lobby, but kids will be able to hide their rocks at designated places around the church property. (1st grade – around the entrance to the FRC, 2nd grade around the entrance to the sanctuary off Oxmoor, 3rd grade around the welcome center entrance off Oxmoor, 4th grade in FRC family parking lot, 5th-grade smasH around the outside of the parking building – PLEASE USE CAUTION CROSSING THE STREET.)
Supplies – Names of God sheet, rocks and sharpies

Psalm Tree Station:
Prayer experience – Give each child a Psalm 1:1-3 card. As a small group read this passage out loud. Discuss what this scripture means and how it encourages us to be rooted in God’s Word. Invite children to color the front and the back of their card. When complete, direct them to tie it to one of the branches on one of the three threes on the right outside the Arendall Welcome Center doors. (These threes are near the steps down to the Fellowship Hall and will be labeled with Psalm Tree signs.) Please make sure kids respect the landscaping and tie their string in a bow so people will be able to take one on Sunday.
Prayer Time – After everyone has attached their Psalm to the tree, circle around the tree and ask each child to pray a one-sentence prayer asking God to help them delight in His Word.
Location – This begins in the Arendall Welcome Center lobby.
Supplies – Psalm 1:1-3 card, ribbon, markers

Hands of Prayer Station:
Prayer experience – In our country we are blessed to be able to freely own a Bible. How many of you own more than one Bible? In some countries it is very dangerous to own a copy of God’s Word. Gather around a country poster (either North Korea, Somalia, Maldives, Libya, or Uzbekistan.) Read the information about why it is dangerous to own a Bible in this country. Discuss with the children ways they can pray for the believers and nonbelievers in this country. Guide kids to place their hand on the poster of the country and trace their hand. After they have traced their hand, have them pray silently for the people in that country.
Prayer Time – After everyone has had a moment to pray silently gather together as a group and ask a member of your small group to pray out loud over this country.
Location – sidewalk out back of north building
Supplies – 5 different outlines of countries with an information sheet on each country.

you can find part one here.

Jesus is Rescuer Prayer Station 

Read this Scripture to your group – “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Prayer experience – Consider what burdens you are carrying around – those doubts, fears, worries, that are weighing down. (Help kids understand things they may be carrying around and allow them to share.) Instruct kids to write their burdens down on the post-it notes provided. Their prayer might be a word, a name, a symbol. Then, place those burdens inside the cross on the floor before you. As you do, focus on an image of God taking those burdens for you and carrying them for you.

Prayer Time – Instruct each child to them go place their hand on one of their sticky notes asking God to take that burden away and then place their hand on someone else’s sticky note praying and asking God to help take that person’s burden away.

Location – Gathering Room
Supplies – large cross banner, sticky notes, pens
Bracelet Supplies: U bead

Jesus is the Promise Fulfilled Prayer Station

Read this Scripture to your group – “For every one of God’s promises is “Yes” in Him. Therefore, the “Amen” is also spoken through Him by us for God’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

Prayer experience – Give each person a party blower. Go around the circle with people each thanking God for the victory Jesus has given them. Each time someone finishes praying, blow your horns.

Prayer Time – Close in prayer after your group is finished praying.

Location – On sidewalk out back door

of North building.
Supplies – party blowers
Bracelet Supplies: S bead

Jesus is to be shared Prayer Station

Prayer experience – Give each child a piece of sidewalk chalk and have them write Jesus is (and they will fill in the blank of something they learned about Jesus.) Make sure they write it big and bold.

Prayer Time – Have the kids pray over their chalk drawing that someone that needs to know about Jesus will see it and be encouraged.

Location – Sidewalks down Manhattan street and Evergreen.
Supplies – sidewalk chalk
Bracelet Supplies: n/a

Jesus is Bracelets

Children will receive a snack size baggie from you before you begin the prayer stations. They will pick up their bracelet supplies at each station. After you have completed all the stations, your group will find a spot in North building parking lot horseshoe and complete your bracelets. There will be extra beads to complete the bracelets. Kids need to wear their bracelets when finished because in closing worship they wchallengedallenge to give them to someone that needs to know about Jesus.

last year at 24 hours 4 Him we decided to spend more time with kids actually digging into the theme through prayer stations. our theme last year was Jesus is and as i begin to prepare our 2018 “rooted” prayer stations, i thought i would share last years with you. (when i get this year’s completed, i will share them on here as well.)


Prayer Station Info Card –  Leaders, please divide your Bible study groups into smaller groups and guide your smaller group through these seven prayer stations. (You can move in any order.) Even though these prayer experiences are hands-on, please make sure they are approaching it with the attitude and respect our great God deserves.

Kids will be picking up a piece of their JESUS bracelet at each station. At the end help your group complete their bracelet in a quiet manner. Kids will be challenged to share their bracelet with someone who does not know Jesus.

There will be two parent volunteers and some youth on hand to help during this time.

Jesus Is Prayer Station

Read this Scripture to your group – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14.6)

Prayer experience – Take a few minutes to sit and meditate on the projected images of Jesus, drawn from art throughout the ages. Think about your own understanding of Jesus and your call as a disciple of Christ. Consider: Which images affirm your understanding of Jesus and his life? Which images challenge your understanding of Jesus? What about your understanding of Jesus still surprises you, pushes you, invites you out of your comfort zone?

Prayer Time – As a small group take time to pray that God would open our eyes to see who Jesus really is and help you continue to see the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus as a radical challenge to journey in faith.

Location – seats in Chapel
Supplies – images of Jesus roating on the scfeen
Bracelet Supplies: string for bracelet

Jesus is the Redeemer Prayer Station – 

Prayer experience – Explain to the children that you are going to turn on the bubble machine and as they pop bubbles they are to think of a sin they are guilty of committing. (i.e. lying, disrespect, spiritual laziness, doubt, etc.)

Read this Scripture to your group – “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ. He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us. He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ’s cross. In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross of Christ.” Colossians 2:13-15

Explain that only through Jesus can the price for our sins be paid and we can be saved.

Prayer Time – As a small group pray that God would reveal our sin and need for a Savior. Spend time thanking God for sending Jesus to redeem (buy back) us from sin.

Location – Back of Chapel
Supplies – bubble machines
Bracelet Supplies: J bead

Jesus is the Lord Prayer Station – 

Prayer experience – What are some of the idols in your life – possessions, activities, attitudes, and relationships that get in the way of your relationship with God? What worries or challenges in your personal life, work, or ministry seem to loom bigger than your trust in God? Use the Play Doh to create a symbol of those items.

Read this Scripture to your group – “The Lord said to Moses: Thus you shall say to the Israelites: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I spoke with you from heaven. You shall not make gods of silver alongside me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt-offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. Exodus 20:22-24

Prayer Time – Instruct child to silently pray to God and ask for help to put Him first before any idols they have in their life. As they pray, instruct them to smash their idol.

Location – front steps in chapel
Supplies – Play Doh
Bracelet Supplies: E bead

Jesus is with me Prayer Station –

Prayer experience – Have each child choose a mirror. Ask them what they see when they look in the mirror. Ask them if they see Jesus in the mirror?

Read this Scripture to your group – “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Prayer Time – Instruct each child to draw a heart with Jesus’ name in it on their mirror. Lead them in a time of thanking God that they can never be separated form the love of Christ. When you are finished praying, have kids erase the mirrors and prepare them for the next group.

Location – Back of Chapel
Supplies – mirrors & dry erase marker
Bracelet Supplies: S bead




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