Push, Play and Pray #2
Running our hands through sand on a beach or riverbank is a simple joy people of all ages enjoy. If you’ve ever sat on a beach, chances are you’ve spontaneously found yourself pushing the sand together and forming it into a shape, almost without realising what you’re doing. At other times you may have grabbed buckets and spades and intentionally set out to build a sandcastle, right on the water’s edge so the incoming waves will fill the moat. A favourite summer activity for me as a child was to build the largest castle we could and watch as the waves lapped it, hoping that when we returned the next day there still be visible remains of our efforts.
Anyone who hears my teachings and doesn’t obey them is like a foolish person who built a house on sand. The rain poured down, the rivers flooded, and the winds blew and beat against that house. Finally, it fell with a crash. Matthew 7:26-27
Last week we used dough for our Push, Play and Pray prayers. This week we turn to sand.
We live in worrying times. Our push, play and pray series invites us to let go of our worries by getting involved prayerfully with our bodies. This action of pushing is at the heart of this short series.There is something wonderful that happens when we can phyisically and symbolically push out our worries. In the process we can find moments of joy in our playing and we can find calm and reassurance in our praying.
The texture of sand is very different to dough. The push and play experience will also be different. Dry sand sifts through our hands like a fast moving egg timer. It’s hard to hold onto a handful of dry sand for very long. Add a bit of water to the sand though, and we have a substance that is mouldable. We can push this sand into a bowl or bucket or other container, pressing down hard to make it firm, before tipping out a shape. The shape can be decorated by adding shells, leaves, feathers, seaweed or driftwood. Perhaps instead of decorating, you’d prefer to slice up the shape with a plastic knife or the edge of a spade.
The possibilities for prayers using sand are rich and varied and I invite you to create your own sand prayers this week or use the prayers I offer. Both prayers this week are Supplication & Petition prayers which are prayers about us and our needs and interaction with God.
In our first prayer today we use sand from the beach or river. If you don’t have access to a beach or river you can use a bag of sand purchased from a garden centre or building supply store. The prayer also involves a child’s bucket and spade or use a large kitchen spoon and a bowl to make yourself a sandcastle. The prayer I offer this week focusses our attention on giving the things we’re feeling pressured about currently to God.
In our second prayer today we use a product called kinetic sand. Kinetic sand is real sand that has been coated with a silicone oil. This makes the sand cling together so it looks almost magnetic. It doesn’t stick to anything else so it’s very easy to clean up. Kinetic sand feels like sand, but it’s softer and silky. It can be moulded into shapes. You’ll find many sensory videos on YouTube using kinetic sand. Despite the claims you’ll find on the internet, it is not possible to make an at-home version of kinetic sand. (Yes we’ve tried!) You can purchase a small container at department stores and toys shops. If you like the texture of sand, I think a pack of kinetic sand is well worth adding to your prayer kit. The prayer I offer this week focusses on bringing God into our connections and relationships with others.
I hope you enjoy both the prayers below. Feel free to adapt and change them for your own circumstances and settings. In these worrying times, my hope is these sand prayers will bring you comfort.
May God be with you in your sand play and may you know that God hears your worries.
On the journey
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