May 2023


Casting Your Cares

A Living Hope

Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A

If you are one of those who believe that worship should leave you feeling lighter, unburdened, and set free, then this is the week for you. “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NRSV).

Week 3: May 24 – Showing the Glory of Christ in Us

John 17:1-11

Learning Outcomes: Students will understand what the word “glory” means and experience what it is to give God glory. They will also have the opportunity for a time of prayer.

The Ice Breaker (playing the song or video) will help students grasp a more modern-day (albeit historic for them, but one they know) understanding of “glory.”

The Activity and Discussion gives students a tactical approach to prayer. If you are not meeting face-to-face, you may want to drop off a plastic bag of items (a paper to write their name on, a candle, and a few strips of construction paper) at their homes, and ask them to do the prayer while you gather virtually. Then they can place their name and paper for the chain back in the bag for you to pick back up and have everything put together for the next time you are together, face-to-face.

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson, but can be adjusted.

1. Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

Show the music video “Glory” by John Legend and Common from the movie Selma on YouTube (or play the song if you do not have a video option)

It may be helpful to print the lyrics and have the students follow along.

Ice Breaker Debrief:

  • What is the definition of the word, “glory?” (You can have them Google the word after they give their own thoughts first.)
  • Let’s talk about the chorus of the song, “Glory.” What is the “glory” that is talked about here?
  • How will that “glory” come? (Once the war is won.)
  • What other lyrics jump out to you in the song?
  • What is the message that is being sent through these lyrics?

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our Scripture reading today comes from John 17:1-11. We recommend that you read two versions, one being from The Message.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • What is Jesus asking in verses 1-4?
  • Why is he praying this prayer?
  • Who is Jesus praying for in verses 6-12?
  • What is he asking for?
  • Is there a lesson in this for us?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Prayer Stations:

  • Create prayer stations in your room (or have this set in another room for students to enter into in an attitude of prayer). You may use candles (real or battery operated), dim lights, light music, and so on.
  • Explain that you are entering a time of quiet reflection and prayer. Tell students to make their way around the room and stop at each of the stations, spending as much time as they need in each space. Give them a place to go in the room once they have made their way around so you can see when they have finished.
  • You can break the silence with a praise song, or play John Legend’s “Glory” at the end to gather people back together.
  • If you are meeting virtually, consider doing each of the prayer stations in a row and adapting them to be used with items the students can find around their house. Or to be really fun, drop off a prayer station kit with one of each of the needed items at students’ houses the day before!

Discussion (Note: The leader may need to be prepared to share something personally because the students may not want to speak much):

  • Was there a station you found particularly meaningful?
  • How was this experience similar to Jesus’ prayers we read in John?
  • Has anything we read or experienced today changed the way you think about prayer?

50 minutes


  • TV or computer; or have students look up “Glory” music video by John Legend and Common on their phones (Can be found on YouTube).
  • Printed lyrcis to “Glory.” The students can also look up the lyrics on their phones

For Prayer Station Activity (Even though these are numbered, they do not have to be done in this order)

  • Candles, music, and any other worship decorations

Prayer Station 1: Personal Commitment

  • Table
  • Large piece of paper/newsprint/poster board
  • Markers, crayons
  • Have a cross drawn in the middle
  • Instructions: As you take time here to pray, think of the parts of your life that you have not fully given to God. As you pray over these things, write your name or initials on this piece of paper to show your commitment to seeking God in all areas of your life.

Prayer Station 2: Light into the World

  • Table
  • Votive candles (real or battery operated)
  • If using real candles, have a larger one lit in the center of the table
  • Instructions: Think about the people that you have influenced or could influence in your world. Have you shared your faith with anyone either through actions or words? Pray for those whom you have been an example to or those whom you hope to share with. Light a candle for each person that God places on your heart.

Prayer Station 3: Protection

  • This can be done on the floor with or without floor pillows
  • Have blankets available (Plan to have enough for one-fourth of the group at a minimum.)
  • Instructions: Wrap yourself up in a blanket. Think about a time when you felt the protection of God through someone’s actions. Thank God for that person(s). Lift up someone near or far whom you feel needs protection.

Prayer Station 4: Give God the Glory Chain

  • Lay out pre-cut pieces of construction paper of different colors, but similar lengths
  • Black makers
  • Glue sticks
  • Instructions: What are some things for which you want to give glory to God today? Maybe there are things in your life or people that have been blessings to you? You can write a word, name, or just “thank you,” or “to God be the glory,” on piece of paper as you lift those things in prayer. Then attach the piece of paper to our “Chain of Glory.”

In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


  • Gold
  • White

In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes