Tracing Hands

"My Hand" Collage by Kathy Barbro

On Ash Wednesday, Corey Trinkl, Director of Children’s Ministry at Community United Methodist Church in DeBary, led our preschool classes in a prayer exercise. Class members traced one of their hands onto a poster board. (One board per class.) During Lent, the preschool classes will be praying for one another by placing their hand on the hand of a person in another class. The poster boards will rotate through the different classes, staying a week in each class.

Corey’s idea started me thinking about other situations where having the tracing of someone’s hand would help focus prayer. What situations come to mind for you?

  • Praying for a sister congregation
  • Praying for students away at college
  • Praying for those who are imprisoned
  • Praying for your local firefighters, police officers, or city officials
  • Praying for a mission team while they are away
  • Praying for those who are homebound or nursing homebound
  • Praying for those who are in the midst of long treatments or recovering from surgery

The beautiful thing about this process is its flexibility. You could collect hand tracings of persons who will be lifted up in prayer or give hand tracings of those who are doing the praying.

  • What would it mean for someone to receive a poster board full of traced hands as a reminder they are remembered, loved, and covered in prayer? How about a quilt covered in hands?
  • How would an altar table cloth covered in the hands of a mission team or other group help focus the prayers of the people?
  • How would filling the hands with names, situations or images further focus prayer? (Be sure to stop by Kathy Barbro’s terrific blog, Art Projects for Kids. To find out more about today’s featured art, including instructions for creating your own hand collage, click here.)

James 5:16 (NRSV)
Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

Ephesians 6:18 (NRSV)
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

1 Timothy 2:1 (NRSV)
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone,

Colossians 1:9-10 (NRSV)
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God.

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For more information on the art, scripture translations and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

2 thoughts on “Tracing Hands

  1. I am reeling with new ideas from looking through your blog!

    I love this idea of placing your hand in the “hand” of the person you are praying for. I think it could also be used in worship if everyone traced their hand and then found someone else to trade with. It would take a little time, but what a powerful way to be in prayer and connection.

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