Prayer envelopes for preschoolers

I sort of have a craft for you today.  I’ll take a moment to let that sink in for those of you who know me and/or have read my blog much.  I am craft-challenged so if I have a craft for you, you know it has to be good — and cheap and EASY!  This one is also spiritual.  I know.  I’m basking in my own awesomeness.  Obviously, I jest, but this really is a good craft.

Let me give you some background. My daughter has been praying at bedtime since she was around 2.  We started with praying on her behalf and she has taken over to saying her own prayers.  But much like the prayers of adults can do, her prayers have gotten sort of stagnant and every night we were hearing her thank God for the good day she had and not usually a whole lot else.  Sometimes she’d pray for other people, too.  Her prayers have always been precious, but we’ve been trying to teach her about the joy and responsibility of praying for others as well.

My daughter's prayer envelopes that she decorated herself.

A few years ago, I saw a prayer bucket on Pinterest that held popsicle sticks decorated with different names of people to pray for.  It was cute.  But, I don’t have a cute bucket and I loathe wooden sticks.  They give me the heebie jeebies.  And I could just see her baby brother pulling out the sticks, taking off and ending with a splinter in his tongue.  So I decided we’d try it our way.  I talked to my daughter about making a list of people to pray for and she was happily one board.  We sat down together and came up with a list of 33 family and friends (including two pets!) that we’d like to pray for.  I typed it up on my computer.  We printed them out.  I cut them out with our paper cutter so they’d all be about the same size.  I gave my daughter two envelopes to decorate.  On one I wrote: “To pray for.”  On the other: “Have prayed for.”

Last Sunday we got started using the envelopes.  She pulls out a name and says her usual prayers then prays extra for the person who’s name she drew.  That name goes into the “Have prayed for” envelope to then get recycled back through once we get through everyone.  If I was super crafty, I’d have used photos of each person since my daughter can only read a few of the names.  But I can easily tell her which name she pulled out and it works. It’s been going well.  The three nights we’ve done this so far, she’s been excited to pull out a name and get to praying.  The first night was a friend of ours.  The second night was one of her second cousins.  The third night was me.  We talked about how if we know specific problems someone is dealing with then we’ll pray for those.  If we don’t, then we’ll just pray for God to bless and protect them.

My daughter is growing in her prayers already.  I love how her mind works and I love hearing her heart.  Her heart.  Her prayer for me left me in tears.  I was blessed beyond measure.  She is so wise and so perceptive and so pure.  As she prayed for me, I offered up my own thanks to God for blessing me with her in my life.  I honestly didn’t think about how helping my daughter with her prayer life would touch my heart.

I don’t think she’ll always have a prayer list of names in an envelope to draw out.  I don’t do that as a grown-up, but I most definitely have a prayer list of people I love and care about and pray for all the time.  They don’t even know and that’s OK.  Prayer is not all about recognition.  It’s about honoring God.  It’s about blessing others.  It’s about getting outside of ourselves and remembering that God is there with us, loving us, yearning to talk with us if only we take the time. I also know my daughter has many lessons to learn and much growth in her relationship with God.  She will get there, but she already has a good start with her pure heart and sweet spirit.  She has a desire to know God and learn about Him.  She has an in-born love for Him.  She blesses her mama so much.

This has been one craft I’m incredibly thankful we took the time to do.  Something that took maybe 15 minutes total has already been blessing us in ways I hadn’t even imagined.  I don’t know why I’m surprised.  That’s how God works!

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