I love the book/movie “Horton Hears a Who” as it demonstrates that everyone’s voice is not only important, but absolutely vital. Sometimes we can think our weak prayer is nothing compared to a confident intercessor next to us. Yet God values all prayers, short or long, eloquent or simple. In fact, Jesus honored the short prayer of the tax collector who recognized his need and cried, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” more than the righteous Pharisee who waxed long on his great qualities (Luke 18:9-14).
Several years ago while attending a small church, I did a series of short teachings on prayer and then we “experimented” or “practiced” it. While teaching on corporate prayer, I asked the Lord how we could “do” it in a unique way that would include everyone. I must admit to being a bit nervous about what I felt He was suggesting, but wanted to be obedient.
After the teaching, we gathered in a circle. I explained that we would do short sentence prayers on the theme of thankfulness. I took a beach ball and said my sentence prayer as I threw it to someone in the circle. They caught the ball and then tossed it to another person as they said their prayer. It kept the prayers short and focused and everyone was included. Though it might sound silly, it was one of the most anointed corporate prayer times I’ve been in and fun as well!
The beauty of beach ball praying is that everyone participates and no one person can monopolize the prayer. You can use many different themes: Thankfulness, praise, adoration (character traits of God), names of God, and even repentance. Prayer is meant to be enjoyable! Have fun!
If you are a parent with younger children, this can be a great way to teach prayer to them in a fun and engaging way.