As the nights start to get longer, many children may be involved in activities which take advantage of the darker evenings and seasonal celebrations such as Halloween and guy faukes night. This prayer activity takes advantage of the darker evenings to use the movement of a sky lantern far away in the sky to represent God taking all the wrong things we’ve said and done far away from us. As Psalm 103:12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our sins from us.”
Take out your sky lantern and take it in turns to gently drawing or write on it things you have said or done which you would like God to forgive you for. (Make sure the lantern is not pierced by the writing.) Remind everyone of the verse from Psalm 103:12 and chat about how far your lantern might go. Then unfold your lantern and light it (see below). As you are waiting for the air inside to become hot enough to fly the lantern, you could say short prayers thanking God for his forgiveness or chat about what it might mean for God to ‘remove our sins’.
In case you’ve not come across sky lanterns, they are very light paper lanterns which need careful unfolding so as not to rip them. You then need at least two people to hold the top corners of the lantern while an adult lights it. When there is a slight tugging upwards, those holding it should let go of the lantern in unison to let it take off straight up into the air.
This must, of course, be done outside and with proper adult supervision, and preferably in the evening. You could do it as part of an event or activities you’re doing outside already. When we did it, we got adults to do the lantern, although we’d all chatted about regrets and forgiveness.
Here’s some good safety guidelines.