Focus: Thanking God for responding to prayers

Before You Begin:

Find a box in which you will collect mementos to remind you and your family of God’s active presence in your lives. You’ll also need decorative supplies (such as wrapping paper, construction paper, stickers, and markers).

The Prayer Time!

Begin by taking a box or other similar container and having family members decorate the outside of the box. (Use your decorative supplies, and encourage creative expression!)

Then tell your family, “Each time we notice God working in response to one of our prayers, we’ll find something that will remind us to give thanks for what God has done and put it in this box.”

Give your family examples of what you mean, such as these:

  • if a friend recovers from an illness, you might put a get-well card in the box;
  • if God provides for you financially, you could drop a check stub or a coin in the box;
  • if you pray for guidance and God leads you in a certain direction, you may want to add a compass or road map to the box;
  • if you pray for help on a test and do well, you might want to put a page of your class notes into the box (after the test!).

After a week of collecting items in your memories box, gather together to look through the box. Use it to remind everyone of reasons for expressing thanks to God. Include in your prayer a time of thanksgiving when you open the box and take out the mementos one by one. As you examine each thing, have the family member who chose the item thank God for what it represents and for the way God has worked in his or her life in the past week.

At this point the box can be emptied and your family can start over, or you may wish to leave these mementos in the box to serve as long-term reminders of God’s work. Continue to add to the box as often as you like, using it whenever you all need a reminder to give thanks for the many ways God has answered the prayers of your family.

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