Dear child please pray for 45 minutes and then tell us what you think about prayer ...
... I bet your thinking 'Yeah right, good luck trying that!'
But last week we asked over 500 children aged 4 - 11 years old in our local primary school to do just that.
Co hosting with the awesome PACE Trust I got to spend a week in a reflective prayer room that housed 9 different and interactive prayer zones. Each class in the school had 45 minutes off their regular timetable to explore the prayer room with the support of us and their class teachers.
We had no idea what would happen, in some ways I didn't want to know, when things are too planned out they lose the opportunity to spot God at work and to respond to the spirit.
At the start of the week the room looked a little bare ...
Day 1 of the Big Question window, a space for the children to ask God any question.
Lots of important things came out:
and the window scene grew
some of the children gathered together, closed their eyes and asked God out loud their questions. We waited together to see if God answered them, some children saw pictures in their minds, others heard answers and some said they just knew what God's answer would be.
With St Michaels being a very international school the world prayer zone quickly gained momentum:
as the children prayed for their home countries, they discovered where each other was from and united together to consider some of the needs and issues occurring across the world and of course the map grew ...
We considered injustice, children have an amazing eye for spotting whats not fair across the world and in an act of prayer we built a chain of injustice:
by the end of the week our chain was big enough to go right around the room. With issues of racism, slavery, bullying, homelessness all being prayed for by the children.
Each class reflected on what they were thankful for:
With each class being given back their 'thankful prayers' at the end of the week to equip them to continue to reflect on what they are thankful for long after our time with them.
At the end of every class we asked the children what they thought of their time in the prayer room: 'epic', 'fun', 'cool' were the most common responses we received. Who would of thought it, 30 children praying for 45 minutes and all eager to do it again.
Many children revisited the room in their own time at break or lunch, some just enjoying the quite space, others trying to finish off prayers they didn't get time to undertake.
Highlights: we got to pray with & for hundreds of children, they got space to ask God some important questions & he answered.
God is already at work in the lives of the children & staff at this school, thankfully we got to spend the week pointing it out and joining in the adventure!