Posted by Phil on 08.06.2012
"Taking a Prayer Space into a Primary School was a first for our team, as we we've been focussing on teenagers in High Schools. Just doing the Prayer Space for one day was new too, but in that one day over 270 children visited the space. We knew it had to be fun and appealing to younger children and wanted to keep it simple and ensure that there was plenty of room for God to have conversation with the children.
Our assembly, stations and activities were based on the theme of The Lord’s Prayer, which included our usual essentials of ways of saying ‘Thank You’, ‘Sorry’ and ‘Please’.
We are always amazed at how profound some of the prayers are when we look over what has been written. Sometimes we just stand in awe and sometimes our hearts break. Sometimes we are able to link prayers with conversations we’ve had with the children.
One girl said that her heart felt lighter after watching the tablet fizz to nothing in the water at the ‘Forgiveness’ activity. Another girl felt like she heard God telling her that loves her, which produced the biggest smile. Some of the children told us of their struggles and difficult situations, and then they prayed to put them into God’s hands by writing them onto hearts and placing the heart into a large chicken wire hand. One child said, "I liked writing down our worries on the hearts – made me feel it had gone away from my head".
The children very much enjoyed the freedom of writing and saying their own prayers to God. One boy commented, "I liked having a variety of ways to pray with friends instead of on my own".
Staff spoke of the calmness in the room and recognised the value of the opportunities for the children to be creative and free in their prayer. And as usually happens at the end of a Prayer Space, we were excited to be part of discussions with the Head teacher and the staff about doing this again sometime."
Helen McGeoch is a wife, a mum, a student (Applied Theology in Intercultural Contexts, BA) and shes been working with Joe Knight and Chris Blockley to host Prayer Spaces around Gloucester.