Who Needs Prayer?
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To reflect upon the theme of prayer.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a leader and four readers, who will need time to rehearse prior to the assembly.
- Optional: you may wish to use three candles or tea lights and reflective music.
- Note: this assembly is particularly suitable for schools where prayer may not be a standard part of every day.
Leader: If I asked you all to close your eyes and bow your heads ready for prayer, I wonder what problems it would produce. You might say things like . . .
Reader 1: I’m not religious, so I don’t pray.
Reader 2: Which religion’s prayers are we going to use?
Reader 3: I don’t like having my eyes shut with my mates around.
Reader 4: You can’t just pray anywhere!
Leader: Between us, we could probably find lots of difficulties about praying together here and now, but do we even know what prayer is?
Reader 1: Prayer might be . . .
Reader 2: Talking to God and telling him what you want . . .
Reader 3: Listening and trying to find out what God wants for you . . .
Reader 4: Or it might be a conversation between a person and God.
Leader: But do we all pray in the same way?
Reader 1: I prayed for the people caught up in [insert a recent disaster] and for those who were trying to help them.
Reader 2: I don’t use lots of words to pray, but I try to sit in silence and gain strength from that.
Reader 3: Although I’m an atheist, I try to send positive thoughts to my friends when they’ve got big problems. I sort of will them to get better, to come out of the hard times.
Time for reflection
Leader: I wonder where we all fit into this: prayers to God, silence, sending positive thoughts or urgent, desperate pleading. Whether we pray is our decision. It is up to us.
Reader 1: Many people pray when they are in danger.
Reader 2: Many people pray when a loved one is sick.
Reader 3: It’s as if, when they are desperate, they have some hope that God will hear them.
Reader 4: Some people thank God when something goes well.
Leader: Christians believe that God always hears people when they pray, even if they have never prayed before. Let’s be quiet for a moment and reflect on our thoughts about prayer. In the silence, you may wish to say a prayer in your own way.