social spark Aisling Beatha: Prayer Space Activities


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prayer Space Activities

This is my day eighteen post for the "31 days of blogging in October" challenge.  I am blogging 31 days of Children's Ministry.  To find links to all the other days (as they get posted) go to DAY 1.

So what makes a good prayer space activity?  The following explanation is taken from the Prayer Spaces in Schools Website:
Prayer stations are usually flexible and open, and yet they do need some structure so that participants can engage with them easily and confidently.
If you plan to create your own prayer stations, it's a good idea to follow these guidelines. 
a) An introduction/explanation of the station itself - “This is a prayer wall. Prayer can take many forms...”
b) Simple directions/instructions - “Take a piece of cardboard...” “Stop and breathe slowly...” “Look at yourself in the mirror...”
c) Questions that encourage reflection - “How did you feel when...?” “What do you think this might tell you about...?”
d) Some encouragement, quotes from people, words from the Bible and other sources, around the prayer station theme... and in some cases, suggestions for exploring the theme further. 
When gathering ideas together, whatever their source, ask yourself - is this simple? Would someone who has no experience of God or church or faith understand how they can participate in this activity, within 10 seconds of reading or hearing the explanation? And - is this prayerful? Would someone who has no experience of God or church or faith feel welcomed into honest, simple prayer and into personal reflection? If yes, go for it.

Another thing to consider is the age range of participants, particularly in a primary school, where you may have children as young as 4 attending the prayer space, pre readers and pre writers, but maybe I can discuss that further in a future post.  For now, I want to give you a taster of some prayer stations that were set up at the recent training day I attended for Prayer Spaces in Schools.

That is obviously a secondary school activity, but it is one that I really like the idea of.

This activity is along very similar lines to the previous one, and shows how you can adapt an idea to the supplies you have available.

For those who don't like to do too much reading, you can use mp3 players and audio tracks.

Obviously you need to be careful using water in your prayer space, but these are some good ideas:

Those are just a few ideas, but the prayer spaces in schools website has many more ideas for you to look through and choose from if you can't come up with your own and some are very popular.  This one in particular.

People manning prayer spaces will often have to clean the hand off after a few sessions, to make space for more names.  That's why we laminate the photos.
But if you can't get a laminated huge photo of a hand like that, you can always just draw one out like this, and use post it notes which can be removed, or draw a new one each time it gets full.

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