A long time ago there was a festival on October 31 to celebrate the harvest season. People tried to scare away evil spirits by dressing in scary costumes. The children would dress up and go door to door telling people that if they gave them a treat the evil spirits would go away.
Years later the church decided to change the festival by making it a celebration of eternal life. Instead of honoring evil spirits they honored all the Christians who had died in the last year. This celebration was held on November 1 – called All Saints Day or All Hallowed Day (holy ones). The evening before was called “All Hallows Eve”.
Over the years the name was shortened to “Halloween”
When planning for a pumpkin prayer family devotion time a real pumpkin can be used, or you can use an artificial hollow foam pumpkin (purchased from a craft store).
Steps for Pumpkin Prayer Family Devotions
Each step below includes actions to take in the process of carving your pumpkin, comments to make about what and why you are doing this step, a scripture reference and a short prayer.
Preparing Your Pumpkin:
If you are using an artificial foam pumpkin, have the parts already cut out before starting the devotion. Clear push pins can be used on the cut out pieces as little handles aiding you in taking the pieces in and out.
To make fake pumpkin “guts:
Materials needed : a mound of tangled orange yarn
real pumpkin seeds
(found in little packages in the snack section of the grocery store)
white Elmer’s glue
Take a small amount of glue and mix it with the yarn and seeds. Spread it out on wax
paper to dry. When the glue has dried, the seeds will stick to the yarn
resembling real pumpkin “guts”.
If you are using a fresh pumpkin, cover your work surface with newspaper first for easy cleanup. Cut each piece as you go along and have a family discussion about each part.
1. Pumpkin Lid.
God helps us to learn about Him. We need to be open to what God wants to do in our lives.
* Scripture: “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2
* Prayer: Dear God, open my mind so I can learn about you.
2. Pumpkin “guts”.
God takes away our sins and forgives us. We need to ask God to take away our sins every day.
We can feel all clean after God forgives us. Show clean inside of pumpkin
* Scripture: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and
purify us from all unrighteousness” I John 1:9
* Prayer: Take away all my sin and forgive me for the wrong things I do.
3. Heart shaped eyes.
How can we see that God loves us? We see how much God loves us when we read the Bible, look
at our families and see everything God has created!
* Scripture: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”
* Prayer: Open my eyes so I will see Your love
4. Cross shaped nose.
What does it mean to turn your nose up at something?…don’t like …ex. foods, clothes, etc. We
may think we know what we need better than God does! It is important to remember that Jesus
died on the cross for us and we know that God gave us all we really need.
* Scripture: “It is good to praise the Lord and make music to Your name, O most High.”
* Prayer: I’m sorry for turning up my nose to all You’ve given me.
5. Bible shaped ears.
Do you ever have to be told more than once to do something? Sometimes we don’t
listen well. Parents want you to listen to them and God wants us to listen to Him! The Bible
tells us : How much God loves us, how He wants us to live and how He will help us. We need to
listen to God’s Word.
* Scripture: “Give ear and come to me; hear me that your soul may live.” Isaiah 55:3
* Prayer: Open my ears so Your work I will hear.
6. Fish shaped mouth.
Jesus told disciples they weren’t going to catch fish now but they would be fishers of men by
telling others about God’s love. A long time ago Christians greeted each other by drawing a fish
in the dirt when they met. We can use our mouths to tell others about Jesus.
* Scripture: …” I will proclaim what the Lord has done. ” Psalms 118: 17
* Prayer: Open my mouth so I can tell others You’re near.
7. Light a candle inside the pumpkin.
Turn off the lights and either light a small votive candle in a real pumpkin or turn the switch
on an electric candle. Battery operated candles, votive or tea lights are a safe, great ideas.
Look how bright the light shines out of the pumpkin! The light stands for the Holy Spirit that lives
in Christians. When we let God open up every part of us, He can shine through us so others will
see Jesus in us.
* Scripture: “You are the light of the world…Let your light shine before men, that they may see
your good deeds and praise your father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16
Dear Heavenly Father, open our minds so that we can learn more about you; Please take away our sin and forgive us of the wrong things we have done. Open our eyes so we can see how much you love us. You have given us so much. Please forgive us for turning up our noses at our many blessings. Open our ears so we can hear and understand your word and help us to know how to share the Good News with others. We ask that you help us let your light shine in all that we say and do.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen