The season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. For 40 days, not including Sundays, we focus on our spiritual practices (self-reflection and repentance, prayer and fasting, and sacrificial giving) which strengthens our faith, drawing us closer to God.
This playlist includes a variety of experiences for your family to engage in the spiritual practice of prayer.
Learn more about Lent…
Pancakes for Supper
On Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday), make pancakes together for supper! Why pancakes, you ask? Having a “breakfast food” for dinner is something different and is a reminder we are getting ready for the season of Lent. This is an opportunity to have conversations about how your family will observe Lent. Perhaps this will include some some new or different spiritual practices as part of your daily routines. Enjoy this time together…and don’t forget the syrup!
Worship on Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. To begin this year’s Lenten journey, your family is encouraged to attend an online service.
Making Lent Pretzels
As a family, make some pretzels as a reminder to pray. The twisted shape of a pretzel resembles two crossed arms in prayer. Read more about the history of Lent Pretzels. Download the Pretzel Prayers Directions to make your own pretzels!
Create a Prayer Space at Home
Designate a space in your home for your family to gather to explore different prayer practices throughout the Lenten season. This can also be a space for family members to go when they need a calming place. Include the following objects:
Bible/favourite Bible story books: to read together
Cross: to remember Jesus’ death & resurrection
Candle: A symbol of God’s presence with us.
Purple cloth: This is the liturgical colour of Lent – the time of the church year that we wait for Easter.
Empty bowl: A reminder we are making space to talk to God.
Make space to pray together as a family and explore these prayer practices during this Lenten season. Suggestion – pick one prayer to practice during each week in Lent.
An “at-your-fingertips” way to pray. Hold up one hand and touch each finger as you pray for others & yourself.
Thumb: pray for those closest to you, your family and friends.
Index finger: pray for people who give direction like teachers, coaches, health care workers, therapists, first responders, etc.
Middle finger: pray for leaders in governments, businesses, the church, etc.
Ring finger: pray for those who are sick, vulnerable, and most in need
Pinky finger: pray for yourself and your own needs
Materials needed: paper, markers/crayons/coloured pencils
Warm up by drawing some doodles, squiggles, lines, circles, dots, etc. on a piece of blank paper.
When ready follow these directions:
- Take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Repeat a few times. You may want to light a candle (or turn on a battery candle) as a visual reminder to be quiet and in prayer.
- Write God or a favorite name for God (i.e. Gracious God, Loving God, Creator, etc) somewhere on the paper and doodle around the name.
- Take turns sharing a prayer of thanks or a prayer request for you or others. Set a timer for about 3 minutes (you can adjust the amount of time depending on age or attention span).
- Write down your thank/ask prayer either with words or a picture and then doodle around it while praying.
- Repeat step 3 as many times as desired.
- When you are ready to end, write Amen or your favourite prayer closing somewhere on your paper
from Praying in Color
Breath prayers are wonderful as a calming, meditative practice. Choose a brief phrase to repeat in one breath. Say one part as you inhale and the rest as you exhale. You can say breath prayers out loud, in a whisper, or silently. Here are some Breath Prayers to cut out & use.
Body prayers include movement as you pray.
Take 3 deep breaths.
God, you are above (reach toward the sky),
below (touch your toes),
inside (hands to heart),
and all around (big arm circles).
I worship you (reach toward the sky),
and give my life to you (touch your toes).
And I love you (hands to heart)
with all that I am (big arm circles).
Take 3 deep breaths. Amen.
From Illustrated Ministry
Some music to inspire your prayer practices during Lent….
Dust We Are and Shall Return
Open the Eyes of My Heart
O Lord Hear My Prayer (Taize)
Hear Our Prayer
I Will Pray
There’s No Wrong Way to Pray
When I Pray For You
A Child’s Guide to Lent and Easter
by Rebecca Ninke & Kate E.H. Watson
by Matthew Paul Turner
by Laura Alary
You may wish to read this book in parts to make room for conversations about:
Making Time (0:58)
Making Space (3:13)
Making Room (8:03)
Holy Week (10:18)