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Class prayers?

Aims to give children ownership of the prayers they say in school.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To give children ownership of the prayers they say in school.

Preparation and materials

  • Gather together some copyright-free photos of people praying and have the means to show them so all can see during the assembly.
  • Have samples of prayers that the children are aware of.
  • It is important that the class teachers are present during the assembly and aware of the follow-up required (see Step 7 below).

Assembly

  1. Ask the children what prayers they know.

  2. Discuss why people pray and what sorts of things are said.

  3. Ask the children, ‘Who writes prayers?’

  4. Discuss the fact that anyone can write a prayer and, while there are many prayers we learn as part of our religions, when people talk to God and the content of the conversation is up to the person praying.

  5. Mention that most prayers have one or more of the following aspects:

    – adoration – praising, worshipping God for who God is
    – confession – asking God to cleanse us from sin
    – thanksgiving – believing, acknowledging God's grace
    – supplication – making our specific prayer requests
    – ending – giving thanks and saying amen.

  6.  Ask if any of the children would like to share some prayers they know. Identify the five aspects in the list above in these prayers. If no one volunteers any prayers, use the samples of prayers you gathered in your preparation above and show the children these aspects in those prayers.

  7. Tell the children that, this week, in their RE or citizenship/SEAL lessons, they will be writing a class prayer. These prayers will then be shared in the following week’s assembly. The prayers can then be displayed in each class and on a shared worship wall.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to consider all of the things that they could thank God for and what they could ask for help with. 

Prayer
(Say the Lord’s Prayer.)
Amen.

Hymn

‘All over the world’ (Come and Praise, 61)

Publication date: November 2013   (Vol.15 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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