Keep kids’ prayers organized
This paper bag prayer book serves as a prayer journal and helps students organize their prayers into memorized prayers, prayers from their heart, and people that need their prayers.
■ 3 lunch-size paper bags
■ Hole punch
■ Index cards
■ Washi tape or sticky tabs
■ Free downloadable templates for each pocket: Paper Bag Prayer Book Templates
1. Lay the paper bags on top of each other, alternating the way they are facing (top and bottom bag with the opening facing to the right; the middle one with the opening facing to the left).
2. Fold them in half and then punch three holes in them along the creased edge. Cut three pieces of ribbon and tie one through each of the holes. Tie in a knot or bow.
3. Print and cut apart the templates for each of the pockets or have your students write this out using markers. On the cover glue, “My Prayer Book” and have students fill out their names.
4. On the first pocket (open flap of the bag you can slide something into), glue “Prayers I Know.” Flip to the next pocket and glue “Prayers from my Heart” onto it. On the last pocket, glue “People I’m Praying For.”
5. Using the markers, stickers, and washi tape, have students decorate the rest of the book. They could also use the blank pages for lists, such as a list of memorized prayers they are working on.
6. Next prepare index cards to slide into the pockets. To make them easier to find and pull out, fold over a piece of washi tape to make a tab or use a store-bought sticky tab on the short side of the index card. Stick a few index cards in each pocket. Using the paper bag prayer book Have students use the index cards to write out prayers in each of the three categories: memorized prayers they know, prayers and intentions from their heart, and people they are praying for.
When they are finished, they can slide these cards into the correct pockets to keep their prayers private and organized. Each week they can add to an index card they already have or start a new one.
IDEAS FOR YOUNGER STUDENTS
■ Assemble the books ahead of time so they don’t have to do any of the folding, hole-punching, and ribbon tying
■ Allow students to draw pictures to illustrate their words
IDEAS FOR OLDER STUDENTS
■ Have students use this both in and out of class to add prayers as they think of them and need them in their daily lives
■ Each week pair students up and have them ask their partners what they can pray for on their behalf and add it to their books
Let us pray
Dear Heavenly Father, we are grateful that we are able to talk to you through our prayers, and we pray that you will hear and listen to our requests. Amen.
Sara Jonckheere, MA, is an elementary school teacher turned work-at-home mom. Creating digital curriculum and resources, she shares teaching ideas at SaraJCreations.com.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, February 2019
PHOTOS: SARA JONCKHEERE