Prayer Spaces at St Peter’s

A request for prayer from 4th – 8th March from Emma Sargeant

“Kate Diwaker and I are doing another Prayer Spaces weeklong event in St Peters school starting on the 4th March.
“The details are…
We are going into St Peter’s on Monday 4th March and starting the day off with an assembly, based on the Lord’s Prayer and using a very large “Prayer Sandwich”. The prayer Spaces room opens from 9:30am until 3:20pm everyday that week with the whole school getting the chance to come in, half a class at a time.

“We have volunteers from St Peter’s and St John’s church and parents from the school, so please pray for a great team atmosphere as we all work alongside each other.

“Pray for the children as they come into the space each day and experience God through prayer and quiet and reflection. It is a Church of England school so the children are used to the idea of prayer but may not have spent 45mins at five different zones themed from ‘thank you’ and ‘please’, to ‘sorry’ and ‘friends, family and the world around them’. So please pray that they encounter God on a whole new level during this week.

“Please also pray for the families of all the volunteers involved as they may well come under spiritual attack next week; and pray against illness or anything that will stop them being involved.”

Below is the review document that Emma wrote about Prayer Spaces at Paganel school which gives more information about the Prayer Spaces in UK.

Prayer Spaces review of Paganel Primary School.
5th- 9th November 2012.

Over the last few years, Christians have been taking the ‘24-7 prayer room’ idea out of churches and into primary and secondary schools around the UK. More than 250 prayer spaces have taken place in local schools, where more than 100,000 children and young people have experienced simple, creative prayer… and many have prayed personal prayers for the first time in their lives.
The idea is very simple… you partner with a local school and set up a classroom (or part of a hall, or some other public space) with a series of prayer activities with different themes relating to prayer.

The purpose of a prayer space to welcome children and young people with their teachers into a space where they can explore prayer.
We began our prayer space week at Paganel Primary School with an assembly using the Lord’s Prayer as a starting place. We used a “prayer sandwich” as a visual aid, showing the children the ingredients you use to pray. We then told them that they could come and explore this more in the prayer room during the week, where they would all get a chance to engage in prayers about being thankful, sorry, asking please prayers, praying for our family and friends, and looking at ourselves in relation to the wider world.

The assembly was a great success. The headmaster was very encouraging towards us afterwards, as were many of the staff, and said that we had pitched it perfectly for the children and they were looking forward to joining us in the prayer space.

The week was separated up into sessions where we took half a class, about 15 children, and had them in the prayer space for 45 minutes at a time. We also opened the prayer space a couple of afternoons after school. There were 5 prayer stations in all, each manned by an adult volunteer who was there to show the children what do to and to engage with them at whatever level the children needed. With Reception to Year 3 the adults were leading the 3 or 4 children allocated to their station, in a small group work time and directing them as necessary. However with Years 4-6 we allowed the children to choose the station they wanted to go to for themselves. They could then stay there for 5 minutes until the buzzer sounded and then move on to another station or they could stay at the same station for a further 5 minutes if they wished to do so.
Both of these ways of working created the right atmosphere for each age group and they loved it.

We kept the prayer space quiet and calm by playing classical music and only speaking in whispers, giving the children a peaceful space in their loud and full days. It was such a privilege to be with children as they engaged with fears and worries that were weighing them down, as well as seeing them laugh trying to hook a duck and then saying thank you for something pertinent to them.

Our volunteers were amazing, and indeed the whole thing was only possible because of the volunteers who prayed, watched and engaged with the children. One of the important jobs they did was to read every prayer written by the children, in between the sessions, so that we could recognise any issues that looked worrying and needed to be referred to the school pastoral team. We did have a few of these, and we know that the great pastoral team at Paganel will follow them up expertly.

For Kate and I the best moments were when we had those very special conversations with the children and felt they had been touched by God, even in a small way. Then seeing them again in the canteen at lunch time, in their own environment, chatting again with them and showing them that we remembered and cared.

As a parent at Paganel School I do feel that my relationship with staff and pupils has deepened because of this week, by just being around and listening to the children and seeing them every day. I have also moved from being Amy and Oliver’s Mum to Emma!

We have had some lovely feedback from staff and children alike who all found the experience of being in the prayer space a really positive one and now we are looking at ways to create a prayer/thinking space within the school on a permanent basis which is very exciting.

28th Feb 2013 Posted in: Hidden Posts by Stella Jennings 0

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