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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: Im not religious, so I dont pray.

Reader 2: Which religions prayers are we going to use?

Reader 3: I dont like having my eyes shut with my mates around.

Reader 4: You cant 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 dont use lots of words to pray, but I try to sit in silence and gain strength from that.

Reader 3: Although Im an atheist, I try to send positive thoughts to my friends when theyve 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.

Publication date: July 2023   (Vol.25 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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