Gearing up for Valentine’s Day? Need an idea for a themed worship experience or youth group gathering? We’ve got you covered with this set of prayer stations centered around the five Greek loves mentioned in the Bible. These stations are designed to be self-guided and fit in well with a message or study on Biblical love. Students can move from one station to another and explore the depth of Christ’s love for them and the challenge to love others in the same way. Feel free to steal our stuff and make it your own! If you dig what you see, support us by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter or send your own stuff to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Station 1: Agape
- large standing cross (optional)
- masking tape (to make the outline/shadow of the cross)
- Post-It™ Notes
Agape (ah-gah-pay): “self-less, unconditional love”
This is how God showed His LOVE among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is LOVE: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)
Meditate on the passage above… repeat it again and again… and as you do, reflect on the promise of your salvation because of God’s unconditional love for you. Know that no matter what you’ve done in the past, or what you’re deep into now… you are forgiven because of that love. Know that no matter what emotional baggage or burdens you are carrying… God has lifted that load off of you and placed it upon the shoulders and outstretched arms of His crucified Son.
As you sit in the shadow of the cross, offer up a prayer to God. In this prayer, confess the sins in your life of which you are aware, ask for forgiveness of those sins, and rest for a moment in the comfort of knowing those sins are remembered no longer and thank God for pouring out upon you His unconditional love.
As a gesture of prayer consider what burdens you are carrying around —doubts, fears, pressures, worries, sins, mistakes— and write them down on the Post-It notes beside you. This prayer may take the form of a word, a symbol, or whatever you desire. Then, place those burdens inside the cross taped out on the floor. As you do, imagine yourself laying them down at the foot of the cross. Then picture Jesus Christ releasing you from those burdens, now and forever. At this point you may meditate further on this love or continue on to the next station.
Station 2: Phileo
- large bowl or bucket of water
- hand towel
- light-colored, smooth stones or river rocks
- washable markers
Phileo (fill-A-O): “brotherly love; love for others”
“But I (Jesus) say to you who hear, LOVE your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (and to those who you hate), bless those who curse you (and those who you curse), pray for those who mistreat you (and those who you mistreat).” (Luke 6:27-28)
Meditate on the passage above… repeat it again and again… and as you do, think about who you consider to be your “enemy”… perhaps someone that has hurt you or wronged in some way. When a name (or names) pops into your head, pick up a stone and with a marker, write that person’s name or initials on the stone.
While holding the stone in your hand, say a prayer of blessing and forgiveness for that person. After the prayer, wash the stone in the water and allow God to wash away that grudge or animosity. Once the ink has been removed, place the clean stone on the pile. Then repeat this exercise using the name of someone YOU have wronged or hurt. Write that name on a new stone, pray for forgiveness and restoration and wash the stone clean once again. Finally, place the spotless stone back on the pile and meditate further on this love or continue on to next station.
Station 3: Storge
- digital photo frame (optional)
- various images depicting concerns throughout the world (i.e. war, violence, hate, suicide, death, money, greed, hunger, poverty, homelessness, AIDS, genocide, failure, school/academic pressures, temptations, doubt, unbelief, etc.)
Storge (store-gay): “compassionate, concerned love”
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had (LOVE for them and) compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:35-36)
Meditate on the passage above… repeat it again and again… and as you do, reflect on who/what you have compassion and concern for. Now, focus on the images on the screen. What thoughts and emotions do these images create for you? God desires us to have compassion for others, especially those in greater need and danger than ourselves. We are called to love and care for those less fortunate than us… the harassed, the helpless, the lonely, and the lost, the damaged, the bruised, the mistreated, and the abused.
Think, for a moment, of your personal concerns, then any concern you may have at home or with your family. Next, think outside of yourself and consider your school, what concerns lie there? Now think about the community in which you live, this country, and finally, the world. What people or causes do you feel compassionate about? What, in this world, causes you concern? As you think about such things, offer up a prayer to God asking Him to receive those concerns and pour out His compassion. Now you may meditate further on this love or continue on to the next station.
Station 4: Koinonia
- large blank index cards or half sheets of paper
- clothesline or string
Koinonia (coin-O-nee-ah): “sharing, giving love”
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they (LOVED each other and) shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32)
Meditate on the passage above… repeat it again and again… and as you do, consider what needs or requests you have at this time. These can be physical needs (health, or recovery from a sickness or injury, etc.), emotional needs (peace, patience, companionship, etc.), spiritual needs (a closer connection to God, a stronger prayer life, forgiveness, etc.) or whatever you feel you need or require at this time. As you consider these things, draw out or write your requests in the form of a picture, or some other representation of those needs, on the cards provided at this station.
After you have finished your artistic prayer, hang it up on the line with a clothespin. You may repeat this process as many times as you would like. Then, spend some time looking at and reading the needs of others who have hung their requests on the line. Offer up a prayer to God on behalf of those people, praying that God would meet their needs. As a community of believers, together we share in the needs of each other. After praying for those requests, you may meditate further on this love or continue on to the next station.
Station 5: Eros
- Play-Doh™ or modeling clay
- a hard, flat surface
Eros (E-rose): “passionate, adoring love”
Keep your lives free from the LOVE of (things) and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Meditate on the passage above… repeat it again and again… and as you do, ask yourself: “What are some of the things, hobbies, possessions or people in my life that I “love” – that I adore and/or am passionate about?” It is certainly not wrong to have things in your life that you love. These people, things or abilities bring us happiness and value and worth. However, there is a danger in these things becoming idols. Reflect on this question: “Do these loves, at times, become idols for you? Do they become more important and take a higher priority than your relationship with God?” If you said “yes”, offer up a prayer to God asking Him to clear some space in your heart and life for a love that truly matters.
After you have prayed, use the Play-Doh to create a symbol or representation of those loves in your life, then, smash that creation as sign of your desire to make room in your life for God and a love that has everlasting value and worth. Finally, place the Play-Doh back in the container and meditate further on this love or continue on to the next station.
Below are blank graphic slides for you to customize. The font used in the title slide is Luchitas.