DIY Prayer Box
“I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway,” is a quote by Nicole Lavelle that pretty much sums up my life.
How then does one do what they are not capable of doing? Prayer!
Do you have insurmountable obstacles? Do you know someone in need of a miracle? Are you desperate for an answer to prayer? Are you concerned for someone close to your heart? Are you anticipating God’s activity in your life? Are you seeking a creative way to teach your children to pray and to involve your family in meaningful prayer? Are you finding it difficult to appropriately thank God for something He has done in your life?
I have encountered all of these scenarios and I have found prayer to be the tool I needed for every one of them.
I was inspired by my church’s Prayer Room, with various specific prayer stations, which we have utilized over the years while holding prayer vigils. When I compared my prayer time at home to my prayer time during the vigils it resembled drive through fast-food compared to a sit-down steak dinner, with the One I love, at an upscale restaurant. I enjoy and depend on my daily prayer time but my soul found uninterrupted intimate relationship, renewed strength and blissful zeal in the simple structure the prayer vigil offered participants.
The idea of dedicating a room in our house solely for prayer was a grand idea but did not realistically fit our family at this stage in life. So I condensed prayer tools, some of which were replicas of the prayer vigil along with some of my own, into a Photo Box. The box coordinates with our home, decorated in the seasonal colors of fall, because I could live in perpetual autumn.
I am teaching my kids to use this box of prayer tools which makes our prayer life richer, organized and meaningful. Although this could be used daily, we reserve it for special occasions or special needs. I want to ensure my children do not become bored and do not feel inadequate while praying. The disciples fell asleep in the Garden so I know we are capable of doing the same.
Here is a list of what I keep in our Prayer Box:
- Directions that can be followed step by step
- Candle and matches (keep out of reach of children)
- ABC cards. Go through the alphabet to find an adjective for God that correlates with every letter, write a word/phrase that describes God to you in this particular situation or write how you are asking Him to work in this situation.
- Hand sanitizer
- Psalm 100 cards
- List of missionaries from our church
- Small pad of paper and a sealed box
- Current list of prayer requests for our church family
- Essential oils: Cassia, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense and/or Hyssop
These are inexpensive oils I ordered from Edens Garden. If you are using essential oils for therapy/healing purposes I recommend using only Young Living Essential Oils.
Don’t forget a box of Kleenex or a travel size pack of Kleenex
We find a comfortable spot and gather close. (There are times when I utilize the box in private).
We do not consider quiet time during prayer uncomfortable but rather an opportunity for God to speak to our heart, soul, mind and strength. It is good to discuss something with the Lord and then be silent as we wait on Him. (This is a discipline I lack and hope to enjoy the benefits of before moving to my residence in heaven).
We follow the A.C.T .S. approach to prayer and worship time. We read the scriptures and instructions out loud. You may use all the tools/helps or choose according to your prayer topic. Pray the printed scriptures out loud; add your own prayers anywhere you choose.
A drop of Cedarwood may be rubbed into the palms of your hands before beginning your prayer and meditation and/or a drop of Frankincense to symbolize you are bringing your best to Jesus.
“And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.” Revelation 5:8 (NIV).
“Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne.” Revelation 8:3 (NIV).
“May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” Psalm 141:2 (NIV).
We read in scripture that incense represents the prayers of the saints and in the tabernacle the altar of incense was before the throne of God, the arc of the covenant, burning continuously because we are to pray without ceasing.
For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved… 2 Corinthians 2:15 (NIV).
Take a moment to light a candle, or light incense, and as you enjoy it’s sweet aroma, be blessed to know that your prayers are always a sweet aroma to our Heavenly Father.
“But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-14 (NASB).
Oh Come Let Us Adore Him… Savior, Master, Yahweh. There is something about that name!
Use the abc card and go through the alphabet to find an adjective for God, or a word that describes what you are asking of God in this request, that correlates with every letter. When you are finished, take time to read the list back to God, just fill in the blank —
“Lord you are_____________________”
(We believe, therefore we speak!)
When you have finished this card, pick one of your words and find a hymn or praise song for that word/adjective. Meditate on that song and sing it to God, either aloud or in your heart.
God “inhabits” the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). As your heart begins to adore him, you’ll sense his presence more deeply.
“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace.” 2 Corinthians 4:16 (The Message).
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
“Change my heart, Oh God.” Make it ever true. Change my heart, Oh God. May I be like you. You are the potter; I am the clay; mold me and make me; This is what I pray…
Take a piece of clay from the bag. As you work the clay into the shape of a heart, use this time to search your own heart. What do you need to give Him? Pride, greed, selfishness, anger, lust…
(Use the hand sanitizer to ‘cleanse’ your hands.)
Use a drop of Hyssop as a symbol of the cleansing work Christ has done for you. “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 (NIV)
“… let’s make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let’s make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1 (The Message)
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
Accept God’s forgiveness and cleansing and thank Him for it.
Use a drop of Cypress which scripturally symbolized purification and can be used as incense.
“We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!” 2 Corinthians 4:13-15 (The Message)
“For all that you’ve done, I will thank you. For all that you’re going to do, for all that you’ve promised and all that you are is all that has carried me through, Jesus. I thank you.
And I thank you, thank you Lord! Thank you for loving and setting me free. Thank you for giving your life just for me. Jesus, I thank you, gratefully thank you.” -D Jernigan
Take time to meditate on Psalm 100.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
On a Psalm 100 card, write your own personal Psalm 100 by filling in the blanks.
Know that the Lord is ________________________________________________
It is He who ________________________________________________________
And we are His ______________________________________________________
Enter His _____________________with ___________________________________
Give ________________________to Him and ________________________His name.
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 17-18
If you are praying over someone in your presence you may anoint them with drops of Cassia, a holy anointing oil, used during Old Testament times.
Pray for the people on your prayer board, church prayer request list or your church missionary list.
Other prayer needs:
- Church staff, leaders, teachers and members including families, singles, widows, sick and shut-ins.
- Life’s difficulties, struggles, relationships, finances, studies or job.
- Friends, loved ones, relatives, neighbors, co-workers. Talk to God about their needs. Ask for their salvation.
- Our nation: President, legislators, justices, judges, governors, mayors, police and emergency personal. Grant us wise leaders. Turn our nation’s hearts and minds to you, God. Pray for righteousness. Pray for the weak, the oppressed and the enslaved.
- Internationally: Pray for the weak and oppressed and pray against modern day slavery. Pray that God’s word is accessible to all people in our generation. Pray for pastors and churches in countries where Christianity is persecuted. Pray for the poor and the starving that Christ will provide their every need.
Use the journal to record and date thoughts, prayers, dreams, etc.
Use the small pad of paper to write down your struggles and give them to God. For this I have a completely sealed box (glued & tied) where the struggle may be placed.
Another option is to pray for ourselves or others and then give the request to God by releasing a seed outdoors. The seed symbolizes something we need to let go of. When we release it outside we are showing God it now belongs to Him. We may see the fruit of our prayer some day or God may be the only one who knows the outcome of the prayer/thrown seed. We know whatever the outcome may be — it will be a supernatural work of God. (I have found gourd seeds to be vigorous.)
I hope you find this prayer time to be refreshing and that it makes you long for the next time you come before the Lord. I pray that God ministers to your heart, soul, mind and strength during these prayer times and that you begin to notice and remember answers to prayers.
More information on the above mentioned essential oils:
If you are using essential oils for therapy/healing purposes I recommend using only Young Living Essential Oils.
CASSIA* (Cinnamomum cassia) steam distilled from bark. Cassia was an ingredient in the Holy Anointing Oil given to Moses. This exotic fragrance of vanilla/cinnamon might be similar in its aroma to cinnamon, but it is physically and chemically much different. Care must be taken in topical use as it may cause skin sensation. It is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and an anticoagulant.
Scriptures: Exodus 30:24; Ezekiel 27:19; Psalm 45:8
Historical uses of Cassia:
- A drop placed in the hands rub hands together and cup over nose for a joyful, uplifting feeling.
CEDARWOOD* (Cedrus atlantica) steamed distilled from bark. Produced mainly in Morocco, it is the species most closely related to the cedars of Lebanon. Of all essential oils, cedarwood is highest in sesquiterpenes, which are oxygen-delivering molecules capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier.
Scriptures: Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 52; Numbers 19:6
- Diffuse or inhale from bottle to enhance prayer and meditation.
- A drop of oil in your palms and then cup them over your nose and mouth. Inhale, breathing deeply to help with mental clarity.
- Used as an effective insect repellant).
- A drop to a cotton balls and place in drawers to repel insects.
- Egyptians used 1-3 drops rubbed into the scalp may help to inhibit hair loss.
- A drop or two rubbed on wounded skin may help to clean, disinfect and protect from infection.
- Rub a drop or two on the chest area to help relieve symptoms of (difficult breathing) bronchitis.
- Applied to help with sleep.
CYPRESS* (Cupressus sempervirens) steam distilled from seeds. The oil of Cypress has been used since ancient times for purification and as incense.
Scriptures: Genesis 6:14; Isaiah 41:19; 44:14; I Kings 9:11; Song of Solomon 1:17
- Used to help with healing cuts and healing of scars.
FRANKINCENSE* (Boswellia carteri) steam distilled from resin. It’s a generational tree that takes forty years to produce its first resin. One of the gifts of the wise men to our Savior, frankincense would have been rubbed all over the body of the baby. Egyptian tradition says that “Frankincense is good for everything from gout to a broken head” or in other words “good from head to toe”. If in doubt, use Frankincense. Other names for frankincense are “olibanum” or “Oil from Lebanon”.
Scriptures: Exodus 30:34; Leviticus 2:1, 5:11, 6:15, 24:7; Numbers 5:15; I Chronicles 9:29; Nehemiah 13:5, 9; Song of Solomon 3:6; 4:6, 14; Isaiah 43:23; 60:6; 66:3; Jeremiah 6:20; 17:26; 41:5; Matthew 2:11; Revelation 18:13
- It was used improve concentration.
- Spiritual oil that enhanced and promoted emotional and spiritual feeling.
- Diffused to elevate mood.
- A key ingredient in the holy anointing oils and the oil that stopped Biblical Plagues.
HYSSOP* (Hyssopus officinalis) steam distilled from stems/leaves. It has a very long history as a cleansing herb.
Scriptures: Exodus 12:22; Leviticus 14:4, 6, 49, 51, 52; Numbers 19:6, 18; I Kings 4:33; Psalm 51:7; John 19:29; Hebrews 9:19
- Used to prevent the Plague.