Stamps, Stones and Curd
On the way to 5 Senses to Prayer Book 2 - #9
I can’t quite believe we’re nine weeks into this journey to the second book in my 5 Senses to Prayer series. Thanks for joining me on this path to getting this book to publication. I wrote most of the original prayers for this book over a period of years and as times change, I wonder how relevant some of the original prayers actually are to our current world. I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on the Postage Stamp prayer - do you think I should include this in the book? I’ve popped a little survey below to answer this question - I’d really love it if you’d provide feedback.
On the subject of this being a journey to a book, I also thought it was about time I offered a discount to the first book. So here’s a link for a 15% discount valid until this time next week. The discount code is SPRINGSENSES. Why? Well outside my window as I write today’s post, it’s sunny and the day is warm. Maybe for the first time in ages we won’t have rain today. I’m enjoying the pre-Spring feel in the air. Anyone else that lives in Te Ika-a-Māui (North Island) and has experienced record rainfalls this last twelve months is likely nodding their heads right now! I find it much easier to feel hopeful and positive in spring.
The Postage Stamp prayer was written in a time when I was leading Avenues Church as a second congregation of Epsom Baptist in Auckland. We always included an interactive intercession prayer in our weekly Avenues worship service and this was frequently focussed on those beyond our own shores. Variations of the Postage Stamp prayer were always enjoyed and I had a container of Niger stamps in my very cluttered Avenues cupboard. The prayer provided a visual way to both mix up the gathered group, and focus our prayers to other parts of the world. The wider church family had long-held connections with Galmi Hospital in Niger.
At Avenues we entertained several guests who took our Storytime in the Big Chair* slot and brought us their own stories of lived experiences from the poorest nation in the world. The stories and the storytellers made a great impression on our family and we’ve continued to maintain an interest in Niger. We are heartbroken about the current situation in Niger where a military coup has overthrown the government. I usually teamed this prayer with our blow-up globes that people passed (or threw) around the room, placing their finger on the country they were praying for and saying their one sentence prayer out loud.
The prayer can be used with a random selection of postage stamps so participants look for the country on a globe or map, or a curated set of stamps can be put together to suit countries where your group (or yourself) has connections or an interest.
Today the very few letters we receive via post seldom come with a postage stamp but postage stamps are still available and in circulation. What do you think? Is this prayer still useful? Should I include it in the book? Once you’ve read the prayer I’d love it if you’d take part in this poll. Please don’t be shy - I really value your opinions.
The theme of this week’s prayer room is feeling very intercessory to me. Intercession prayers are when we pray to God on behalf of others. Intercession - A prayer about others and God interacting with them. Below the paywall are two other intercession prayers from the second book. Both are also old classics. They’re called, “Precious Stones Prayer” and “Lemon Curd Prayer”. I invite you to join me in praying an intercessory prayer for others. Perhaps there are people in your neighbourhood or community who have current challenges, or perhaps you can throw your prayer net wider to those in other parts of the world where there is tension, difficulties and challenges.
May the presence of our God be with you this week
On the journey
* I talked about Storytime in the Big Chair in our July edition of The Seed Disperser. If you’re not signed up it’s a free monthly e-zine
Postage Stamps Prayer
Sense of Sight – Intercession (I.SI.9)
Postage stamps come from all over the world. Find postage stamps from several different countries. Look on the globe or world map and find the place where the stamp originates. Find the country where this stamp began its journey. Pray for the people who live in that country and any issues you might know about that they are currently facing.
Getting ready checklist
Gather stamps together from various countries. You can buy inexpensive packs of assorted used stamps online or from craft shops, booksellers, newsagents, and post offices.
Map or Globe
Information or prayer cues about the countries the postcards or stamps originate from
Sample suggestions for using these prayers
Set up a station with the look of a post office. Display envelopes, stamps, notepaper and pens. Include flags or images from different countries and either a map of the world or a globe. Print out the instruction for the Postcard and Postage Stamps prayers. Have a basket of postcards and another basket of stamps for people to sort through.
Sort through a pile of used stamps or old postcards. As you find stamps from different countris, stop and pray this prayer.
Small or Large Group
Hand out a postcard or a stamp to each person and explain the prayer. Ask people to move into groups based on the country they have on their postcard or stamp. Talk in groups about the needs of that country and pray together as a group. You may want to pre-arrange some key facts about the various countries to help people pray or suggest participants use their smartphones to find out current needs of the people in the country on their stamps.
Images - Static, Projected, Live Props
Postage stamps from a country interspersed with images of people needs in that country