All of the Time
We can pray at any time
by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the Christian belief that we can pray to God at any time.
Preparation and materials
You will need a selection of objects that represent how we communicate with other people, for example, a mobile phone, a walkie-talkie, a cup-and-string telephone, an email and a letter.
You will also need a dictionary or the definition of the word ‘communication’, and the word ‘COMMUNICATION’ written out with each letter on a separate piece of paper.
Ask 13 children to come out to the front. Give each child one of the letters from the word 'COMMUNICATION'. Ask the children to try to work out which word they could make by using all the letters. Encourage the audience to help them.
If the children don’t guess the word, give them some clues. When they have the answer (or you have told them!), ask them to stand in order so that the word ‘communication’ is spelt out.
Ask the children what the word means. Ask another child to come to the front to find the word in the dictionary and read out the definition.
Talk about the ways in which the children have already communicated today, for example, talking, maybe a phone call, smiling, pulling a face, answering the register and so on.
Show the children some of the forms of communication that you have brought. Ask what is good and bad about each one. For example, a mobile phone is a great way of communicating with people even when they are not at home; however, it can be easily lost, and there are times when it needs to be switched off, making the owner not contactable. An email is a good way to contact someone if you don’t want to disturb them at a busy time, but some people may not check their emails for days on end.
Explain that all forms of communication have their good and bad points, but none of them give immediate access to someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Christians believe that God is available for them to talk to at all times. They believe that there will never be a moment when God is not listening to them. This can bring people great comfort because they feel that they are never really alone.
Psalm 121.4 tells us, ‘He who watches over you will never slumber or sleep.’
Time for reflection
Do you ever feel lonely? Do you ever feel scared and alone? Many religions believe that God is always with us and that we can talk to him at any time.
Thank you that you are always there for us to talk to.
Thank you that you understand me when other people don’t.
‘Father, hear the prayer we offer’ (Come and Praise, 48)