Prayer of the Heart
To enable children to grow in their understanding of prayer
by The Revd Dr Philip Hesketh
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To enable children to grow in their understanding of prayer.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a large heart made from coloured card.
- Sticking plasters and pens - check that you can write on the plasters.
- Explain that in today's assembly we are going to think about praying for other people. In the Bible God tells people to care for one another in their hearts (2 Corinthians 8.16), and to hold people in their hearts (Philippians 1.7). Stress that when we care about people we hold them in our hearts, and this is a way of praying for them.
The Hebrew word in the Bible for 'heart' is lebab (lay-bawb), which means the inner mind, will and understanding of a person - the person we truly are inside. The Greek word for heart, kardia (from which we get cardiac), also means mind, or inner being.
- Ask the children to think of someone they know who is sick, or sad, or hurting in some way - someone they would like to pray for. Choose some children to come to the front and write their own name on a plaster. Stress that they do not write the name of the needy person (for example some people may not want everyone to know that they are unwell). Writing their own name is way of showing their concern and they can think of the person they are praying for as they do it. Then stick the plasters on the cardboard heart.
- Suggest that prayer isn't a difficult thing, because we do it all the time. When we think of a person we can remember that they are important and that God loves them just as he loves us.
The really wonderful thing is that when we hold people in our hearts they are also held in the heart of God, because everything that God has created is loved by God and held in God's heart.
- You might like to suggest that the large heart remains somewhere in the school so that children can add plasters to it, with their names on, when they want to pray for someone.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think quietly about a person they know who needs our prayers.
You love everything and everyone.
We remember now people who need your special love at this time.
Thank you for holding them, and us, in your heart.
'Kum ba yah' (Come and Praise, 68)