Involving Children in World Day of Prayer

Children are a very welcome part of World Day of Prayer 2020.  They can take a role in a regular service or participate in a special program written with young people in mind.  Click here to go to the Children’s Program resource on the WICC website.

Children’s WDP activities may take place on Friday, March 6th or during Sunday morning classes or as part of religious studies at school.

Facilitators can use narrative, drama, games, crafts and songs to help share the message of Rise! Take your mat and walk.

Below are some program highlights.


The Objective:

For children to see Jesus’ love, compassion and caring, and be encouraged to show love and compassion to others.

Age group:  3-12 years

The facilitator may use the Bible Study material for its self-preparation before giving the lesson to the children.

A.  Free narrative of the Bible story:

Jesus performed another miracle in Bethesda, a pool by the sheep market which had five porches. Many people with different disabilities – the blind, lame and paralyzed – lay there waiting for the movement of water by an Angel. The first to step in after the troubling of the water got healed.

One of the men, a lame man, who had been sick for thirty-eight years, was seen by Jesus, and Jesus knew he had been ill for a long time. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made well?” and the man answered, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me. Jesus said to him, “Rise! Take your mat and walk.” Immediately the man was made well and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Talking about the story: Form groups with the children based on their age and let them answer some of the questions below. Adapt the questions to their understanding level. After the group conversation, invite them to share specially the two last questions.

  1. Which kind of people were at the pool? (v. 3)
  2. Who then came to the pool? (v. 6)
  3. Which question did Jesus ask? (v. 6)
  4. How did Jesus react when he saw the lame man? (v. 6)
  5. For how long had the man been ill? (v. 5)
  6. When Jesus asked the lame man, what did the man say? (v. 7)
  7. What then happened after the man answered Jesus? (vs. 8-9)
  8. What are the three things Jesus told the lame man to do? (v. 8)
  9. What three things did you learn from what Jesus did?
  10. If you were Jesus, what would you do in seeing the lame man lying by the pool?

B.  Dramatize the Bible story:

The narrator explains that the children are to dramatize Jesus healing the lame man by the pool, based on John 5: 2-9a. Prepare the scenery with props and ask for volunteers to play the roles of the story’s characters.

There should be a mat, sign of a pool, an Angel to disturb the water, children with different disabilities – the blind, the lame, the paralyzed – and Jesus. Three others children with cards bearing the attributes of Jesus (compassionate, love, caring).

Talking about the story: Prepare the cards with the words below. Place the cards in a box, reshuffle and let the children pick one each. You may need to adapt some of the words according to the age group. Let each child explain the meaning of the word and create a complete sentence with the word. If the group is too big, form small groups to do the activity. Motivate a conversation with the children based on their shared sentence and the meaning of Jesus’ action. The conversation may be used to introduce an art activity, like drawing the story or continuing the dramatization based on the sentences created by the children.



Love, Peace, Reconciliation, Compassionate, Forgiveness, Relations, Development, Acceptance, Caring, Friendly, Love, Sharing, Harmony, Restore, Praising.


C.  Draw the Bible story

Pin on the wall the drawings of the story as provided. Invite the children to choose one of the drawings, and ask them to share what they see in the picture. Motivate them to create the sequence of the story and the meaning of Jesus’ action today. You may use questions 9 and 10 (see above) to talk about the application of the Bible story today. Finish the conversation reading the Bible text.


D.  Playing for love, peace and reconciliation

Use the game song Mingle Mingle to talk about the focus of the program on love, peace and reconciliation.


Leader:            Mingle Mingle

Children:         Mingle

Repeat the two song lines 3 times

Activity: Children are running up and about mingling, following the leaders’ instructions. They should not move in groups but individually. If the leader calls out a number (for example 4) it means the children should stand into groups of 4 and after a little while, those not in groups are asked to go out of the game. The leader continues to do so until there are very few children left.

Talking points about the relevance or teaching: Love, peace and reconciliation

  • There is a true mix up despite color, height, structure, class etc.
  • They are doing it together in joy and peace.
  • If ever some had not liked each other before, they are made to reconcile.
  • They learn that they need each other to fill up the required number, which shows that in life despite any differences people need each other.


E.  Learning about Animals: The main five animals found in Zimbabwe are elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinoceroses. Search pictures of those animals in magazines, journals or the internet. Show the pictures of each animal and invite the children to name them. You may also have placards with the names and ask the children to match the card with the picture. Invite the children to draw the animals.


F.  Craft Culture: Mat made out of reed or sisal is a very common craft in Zimbabwe. Bring some materials to guide the children in the making of a small mat. It can be made by weaving the reed, or recycling papers or plastics. Or even, let the children draw mats and color them to be taken home.


Thank you, God of Joy for being compassionate to us and for healing us. Help us to depend on you for everything as we grow in reading your word and prayer. We thank you for always meeting us and our parents as well as our country in every point. Amen.


This material is part of the worship service and educational resource for the

2020 WDP annual celebration.
For further information, please, contact:
World Day of Prayer International Committee
475 Riverside Drive Room 729
New York, NY. 10115. USA
[email protected]

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