Focus: Flowers as symbols of prayer

Before You Begin:

Visit your local florist and collect a variety of flowers, such as those indicated below.

The Prayer Time!

Tell your children that, traditionally, different plant and flowers symbolized a variety of emotions and messages. Share the following list with meanings that have been given in the past to some popular flowers:

  • rose – love
  • white chrysanthemum – truth
  • white daisy – innocence
  • gladiolus – strength of character
  • iris – message
  • ivy – friendship
  • lily of the valley – happiness
  • marigold – grief
  • violet – faithfulness
  • zinnia – thoughts of absent friends

Give each person in your family one or more of the flowers you’ve brought. Share the meanings of the flowers, then ask each person to pray according to the meaning of their flower.

For example,

  • a person with a iris could thank God for the message of love he sent through Jesus, or God’s message that we read in the Bible.
  • if someone has a marigold, they could pray for others who are experiencing grief because of sickness, loss of a loved one, or other difficult times.
  • the holder of a rose could thank God for his love, thank God for the love of family members, or ask God to help family members to show love to each other and those outside the family.

Let family members think of different ways to use the symbolism of their flower to express thoughts of thanks, praise, and need to God. When your time of prayer is over, gather the flowers into a bouquet to be placed in your dining room or living room as a reminder of the prayers you have offered. Or give the bouquet as a gift to someone for whom you have prayed.

If your family enjoys this adventure, ask your florist or librarian for a book explaining the meaning of more plants. The ones for this adventure were taken from The Language of Flowers, a small booklet often available at florists and bookstores. It even lists meanings of fruits, vegetables, and herbs! Use these as a guide to choosing new “flowers of blessing!”

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