Each week in our church services, we are led in intercessions. Intercessions are a type of prayer where one person intercedes on behalf of the whole group; essentially the person leading our prayers is praying on behalf of the congregation. Often this is a time of reflection, of seriousness; but that doesn’t mean we can do intercessions creatively! In fact, creative intercessions can help most people to stay much more engaged than they would be just listening to intercessions spoken from the front.
Here are a few of my favourite creative ways to lead intercessions:
Give each congregation member a small piece of play dough. Alternatively, you could use a small piece of tin foil that can be modelled into different shapes, or my favourite: a pipe cleaner. Pick 4 or 5 key things that you want to pray about (these could be certain people such as the Prime Minister, groups of people such as the homeless, situations such as a recent earthquake/flood, or issues such as our need to be more honest). Think of something that can be modelled to represent the things you are praying for. While you are leading prayers, encourage the congregation to model either the things that you suggest or something else that helps them to pray for the topics you’re focusing upon.
Praying the 10 commandments
This is a super fun way to pray through the 10 commandments, using each of the commandments as a launching pad for our prayers. There are also some super cool actions to help you remember each of the 10 commandments. You can find a whole blog post on this here.
Give each congregation member a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to right down their prayers on the paper before creating a paper plane from this paper. Pray over all the prayers that have been written down before asking the congregation to launch their planes around the church. After a short time of flying, get them to pick up a plane that is near them and pray over the prayers that someone else has written. You could also encourage them to take the plane to pray over throughout the week.
Head, shoulders, knees and toes
In your prayers, encourage the congregation to pray using different parts of their body. Some examples could be: your feet – that we will be sent out into the world to bring God’s will on earth; your mouth – that we will speak kindly and honestly; your hands – that we can be generous with all that we have. Encourage them to point at the body part as they praying, helping them to focus on that topic.
Sort sweets into small bundles so that each person in the congregation has a small collection of sweets, and that each has the same collection of colours. This could be done with smarties, skittles or jelly beans for example. Use the colours to represent the topics you are praying over. As you pray through that topic, encourage the congregation to eat that sweet.
What other creative methods could we use to lead intercessions?