Focus: Advent or New Year

Before You Begin:

The beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate where you’ve been and what your goals for the coming year are. This adventure could be used at any time, but we suggest using it to kick off a new calendar year. It could also be used at the beginning of Advent, the start of a new church year.

The Prayer Time!

As you come together for creative prayer time, explain that we can communicate to God by writing our thoughts to him. Give each person paper and pen and say, “Let’s begin the new year by writing letters of prayer to God!”

Ask family members to write areas where they need help from God, things they’d like to thank God for, and so on. Children who cannot write may draw a picture expressing their thoughts to God, or have an older family member help them.

When each person has completed his or her letter, give everyone the opportunity to read the letters aloud in prayer. If family members are uncomfortable with this, have everyone read their letters silently in quiet prayer.

Then have each person seal his or her letter in an envelope, writing names and the dates on the outside. Gather the envelopes and place them in a file, drawer, or other place for safe-keeping. Make a notation on your calendar, one year from today’s date, to get the letters out and give them to each family member. (If you’re a bit forgetful, you might want to also note where you’ve stored the letters!)

When the year has passed, gather family members together again and distribute each letter of prayer to its owner.

Let family members open the letters and read their prayers from a year ago. Then take time to share how prayers have been answered, how situations have changed, and how God is still working in the areas mentioned in each letter. Take time to thank God for what he’s done in each life, and pray for continued support with ongoing concerns.

You might even want to write new letters to God to save for the next new year!

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