What Are Prayer Spaces?
Children and young people are innately curious about life. Growing up raises lots of questions, some to do with their experience, both the good and the bad, and some to do with their sense of wonder at the universe we live in and whether there’s more to life than meets the eye. Many have an interest in the non-material aspects of life, the spirit or soul, and want to explore how these ideas and experiences help them to develop their own sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.
Prayer Spaces in Schools enable children and young people, of all faiths and none, to explore these life questions, spirituality and faith in a safe, creative and interactive way. Taking a broadly Christian perspective as a starting point, prayer spaces give children and young people an opportunity to develop skills of personal reflection and to explore prayer in an open, inclusive and safe environment.
We invited our parents and members of our community to share in Prayer Spaces. The response we received was overwhelming, you can read some comments from parents below:
"My daughter Holly (class RY) and my son age 3 loved visiting the prayer spaces. Each station posed a question or something to ponder while doing the activity. They especially likes bouncing in the trampoline while shouting about things that made them happy. It was a lovely experience to share with them both."
Everyone has big questions about life.
What are your big questions?
If you could ask God one question right now,
what would you ask?
Watch the bubbles.
Try to follow one from the bottom to the top –
they always reach the top.
If you want to, write or draw a prayer on a Post-it note
and stick it on the bubble tube.
The word ‘holy’ simply means ‘set apart’.
For hundreds of years, people have discovered that
being set apart from other people helps them to be
more aware of themselves and also of God.
In our busy world, this isn’t easy.
This is a place to be still.
This is a ‘holy’ space.
There is no need to talk, no need to do anything.
In the Bible, God often reminds people to be still, to wait and to stay calm whatever the situation.
Pick up the jar in front of you and shake it. Watch as the glitter swirls around.
As you think about all the things in your life at the moment, picture them settling down. Can you take time to be still regularly and allow your mind to become calm?
Try to hook a duck with one of the fishing rods!
When you’ve hooked a duck, turn it over.
On the bottom is a subject to think about.
If you want to, you can say a thank you prayer about the subject on the bottom of the duck.
Make sure you return your duck to the pool.
What do you hope for in the future?
What do you hope the world will be like?
Write or draw your hopes and dreams on a piece of paper. If you want to, you can do this as a prayer to God.
Fold the four corners of your square so that they meet in the centre. (Ask someone to help if you need to.)
Carefully place your square onto the water with the folded corners facing upwards. And now wait as it slowly unfolds.
Hopes and Dreams
What are your hopes? What are your dreams?
Look at the three boards in front of you. Can you think of a small dream, something simple?
Can you think of a medium dream, something possible but pretty big?
How about a HUGE dream, something that seems impossible at the moment?
Jumping for Joy
Bounce on the trampoline or hopper.
Think of something or someone that makes you feel joyful… something or someone that you are thankful for.
If you want to, say (or shout) them out as you bounce on the trampoline.
We all do and say things that are wrong sometimes. To say sorry is to admit that you are wrong, and that you want to put things right.
Christians believe that when we say sorry to God, God
wipes the wrong things away. This is called forgiveness.
If there something you need to say ‘sorry’ for?
If you want to, write a sorry prayer onto the magnetic board.
When you are ready, wipe it away again.
This school is a community. Everyone is important. Everyone contributes something. If anyone was missing then the community wouldn’t be the same.
Where do you fit into the school community.
What do you bring to the school community?
If you want to, you can make a model of yourself out of plasticine and put it on the board with the others.
Where do you fit? Are you happy there?
Think about all the good things in your life.
Think of someone or something that
you are really grateful for.
Use some of the playdough to make a model
of the thing you have thought of.
If you want to, while you are making your model
use the time to say thank you to God.
In Jerusalem there is a wall called the Wailing Wall where people have posted their thoughts and prayers to God for nearly 2,000 years.
This is our prayer cross.
If you want to, write or draw a prayer on a Post-it note. Roll-up your prayer and put it into one of the holes on our cross.
In the Bible Peter writes; ‘Cast all your worries onto God because he cares for you.’ (1 Peter 5v7)
As the aqua beads run through your fingers, think about what worries you, or makes you feel stressed.
Think about letting go of those worries and stresses.
By worrying less and stressing less
helps us to deal with our problems.
Everyone has something that worries or troubles them. I can be a small thing that suddenly feels very big.
Think of your worry or trouble and picture it in your mind. Blow a bubble and watch it float away taking your trouble with it. As the bubble bursts imagine your worry disappearing too.
Love Heart Prayers
Think about the important people in your life.
Now think of one person who you are especially grateful for. Maybe a family member or a close friend or even someone in this room now.
If you want to, take a sweet and while you are thinking sweet thoughts write a love heart prayer for someone special.
Fishers of Men
Jesus picked out 12 Disciples. Some of the disciples were fishermen. Jesus told them “Come, follow me.” Jesus said that He would make them “Fishers of Men”.
Jesus called his followers to be fishers of men. The disciples showed God love through the way they lived their lives and by how they treated others.
Take a fish and write about how you can show love and kindness to other people.
We get hurt. Sometimes people do and say things to hurt us on
purpose. Sometimes they don’t mean it, but it hurts anyway. Holding onto hurts isn’t good for us. Has someone hurt you?
Forgiveness is hard, it’s about letting go.
If you want to, pick up a tablet and think about those hurt feelings. When you feel ready, drop it into the water. As you watch the tablet dissolve imagine forgiving the person who has upset you and the hurt disappearing.
Christians believe that God made everyone. And Christians believe that God loves everyone equally too, even you and me.
Like snowflakes, we’re all unique and wonderfully different.
No other human being has the same fingerprint as you.
If you want to, press one finger onto the ink pad and then add your fingerprint to the card as a way of saying thank you to God for making you unique and wonderfully different.
This is a plasma ball. It contains electrical energy.
Touch the ball with your fingers. Move them around.
What happens if someone else touches the plasma ball at the same time?
How does this remind you of God?