You will need:
- A votive candle for each person in your group
- A lighter or matches
1. Arrange 12-15 votive candles in the form of a cross (you may want to put the candles on squares of paper or a paper plate).
2. READ the excerpt below and ask your group members to pray out loud and then light their candles. If you have a small group, you may want to have some pray more than once (and light another candle) so that the cross will be completely lit when you are finished. You lead by praying a very simple sentence prayer which will give others some assurance that they do not have to pray long prayers. Always allow for those who will not want to pray out loud by telling them that if they feel uncomfortable they may pray silently and then light a candle or two.
3. Allow for silence in between prayers.
The cross is, by far, the most recognized Christian symbol in the world. On the cross, Jesus Christ finished the ugly business of sin and condemnation. When once man wondered what he could do or give that would put him in right standing with God, now he can simply stand in the shadow of the cross. From the cross His grace, that unmerited favor, shines on us who choose to believe. Our shackles are broken and our hearts restored.
Without the Lamb, the perfect sacrifice, nailed to the cross, we would not be here today, and so we give thanks.
Look at the cross for a moment. The upright piece of the cross points to the sky. Christ was high and lifted up. Still today, we look up to see his majesty.
Now look at the vertical piece of the cross. It stretches from east to west. It reminds us of the stretched open arms of Christ - arms to embrace the whole world.
I would like for you to pray today in one of two ways. Pray a simple sentence prayer of thanks for what Jesus did for you on the cross, or take a moment to pray for those in your life who need to come to Christ.
After you have prayed, please light a candle on the cross.
If you pray a "thank you" prayer, light a candle that is in the horizontal line of the cross.
If you pray a "request" for salvation, please light a candle in the vertical line of the cross.
Let's pray …