It’s important to choose and organise the prayer activities carefully, so that the prayer space best serves, and meets the needs of, the whole school community.
Some schools like to host prayer spaces at particular times of year, e.g. Advent, at the end of the year to support transition, before exams/tests, etc.
Our nationwide research project (2017) into the impact of prayer spaces on the spiritual lives of children and young people reflected the findings of David Haye’s ‘Spirit of the Child’ study ten years previous – that their spiritual lives were expressed in four ways:
As you explore the activities in our resource library, you will find that they represent all of these four areas. Try to select a couple of prayer activities from each area for your prayer space.
Creating your own prayer activities is easy, and it’s a good exercise for pupils. We’d recommend using the ‘Why they work’ guidelines on our How to use webpage to get started.
If you do create some new prayer activities, or adapt some of the ones from our resource library, and once you’ve tried-and-tested them, please send them to us so that we can share them.
We try to encourage every prayer space to include at least one prayer activity that focuses on an issue of injustice, either something local or something global. As pupils use these prayer activities, and as they express their questions and their hopes for things to change, some begin to consider ways that they might become part of the answer to their own prayers. Ask the school if they have an adopted charity or project. Maybe you could find or create a prayer activity that connects with it?
Borrow items if you can. Beg for them if you need to. Buy them if you must. Prayer spaces don’t need to be expensive. (You don’t have to buy a bubble tube!) Some churches, Diocese and Christian schools-work projects have already collected a stock of prayer space resources that they will loan out to those hosting new prayer spaces in the area.
Using the floor plan that you drew when you first visited the school, try to fit your prayer activities into the space you have available. Here are a few things to consider:
If this is your first prayer space, you may like to set up your prayer activities in a church hall a couple of weeks before the start date, just for practice. This will be a good opportunity for your team to see what the prayer activities look like, and it will give you the opportunity to rearrange them if they don’t seem to fit together as well as you’d imagined.