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Penny in Our Pocket

Using pennies for prayers

by Revd Catherine Williams (revised, originally published in 2003)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools


To encourage us to use a penny to help us to remember to pray.

Preparation and materials

  • Have available several containers of pennies so that every child in the room can take one.


  1. Pass around the containers of pennies. Ask each child to take a penny and hold it carefully in their hand.

    Explain that you are going to teach the children a special way of praying by using a penny. In this way, whenever they find that they have a penny in their pocket, they can remember to pray.
  2. Go through the following stages, asking the children if they can add to your ideas as you explain the process.

    The penny is round. This helps us to remember to pray for the world and to give thanks for creation. It reminds us to be responsible for our planet.
    The penny has the word ‘one’ written on it. This helps us to remember that God loves everyone; that all people should be united and at one with each other. We pray for peace.
    The penny has the Queen on one side. We pray for the leaders of all countries. We pray for our teachers and parents.
    On the other side of the penny, there is a portcullis. This reminds us to pray for those in prison and for all people trapped by fear, loneliness or illness. We ask God to keep us safe and protect us.
    The penny is a very small amount of money. We remember to pray for those who are poor, those who don’t have enough food and the homeless.
    The penny has the date on it. We remember to pray for today – for all that has happened and all that is going to happen.

  3. Explain to the children that they may keep their penny. Encourage them to use it to pray and to think about the things that you have discussed.

Time for reflection

Remind the children that Christians believe that they can pray at any time, in any place, and God will always hear them.

Ask the children to hold their penny in their hand. Either lead prayers by using the penny prayers again or use the following prayer.

Dear God,
Thank you that wherever we are, we can pray and you will listen.
Thank you for always being there, and for never letting us go.


‘Kum ba yah’ (Come and Praise, 68)
‘O Lord, hear my prayer’ (Taizé)

Publication date: August 2018   (Vol.20 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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