Pretzels were originally made by monks to ease their hunger when they fasted during Lent. They shaped them to resemble crossed arms in prayer. The pretzels were made with flour and water, but no yeast, because in the Bible yeast symbolizes sin. The pretzel can remind us of our need to rid the sin in our lives, and our need to repent and turn to Jesus for cleansing from sin. (See 1Corinthians 5:6-8.)
People fast, that is they "give up" eating for a
certain amount of time by skipping a meal or more, or they quit eating
particular foods, or participating in certain activities. Fasting reminds us
that Jesus "gave up" his life for ours, and helps us to pray in a more
mindful and grateful way for his sacrifice and forgiveness.
As Christians, we need to examine our lives everyday. We need to ask God to show us our sins: "Search us, O God . . ." as it says in Psalm 139, and then receive God's cleansing, as King David cried out for God's forgiveness in Psalm 51, "Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin . . ."
Make Prayer Pretzels
What you do: Use ready-made breadstick dough in a can. Roll the dough into 12"-15" long ropes. Do not overwork the dough, otherwise it becomes difficult to shape. To shape the pretzel: Begin by making a "smile-shape" with the dough. Take one end of the dough, the "arm," and fold it down over the middle of the "smile," overlapping just a bit. Do the same with the other "arm." (Don't bother twisting the arms.) Sprinkle with coarse grained salt (or sugar). The smile-shape reminds us that when we are forgiven of our sins, our lives are gladdened! See Psalm 51:12.
Bake pretzels according to package directions. If
you're unable to bake, decorate packaged pretzels using icing and various
Play a Pantomime Game while the Prayer Pretzels bake, act out the following words or phrases from Psalm 51: God - love - you - sins - cleanse - evil - joy - hide - wash - face - broken - heart - blot out - cast me not away - inner parts.
Have one person act, without speaking, the word or phrase. Players begin by motioning with their fingers how many words are being acted out. The person who guesses correctly acts out the next word or phrase. When you're finished playing the game, say a prayer, and then eat your Prayer Pretzels.
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