Hello parents, Hello leaders, Hello people who are interested in kid stuff at i61!
A couple weeks ago we started talking about prayer in the i61 kids room.
How do you pray?
Where do you pray?
Why do you pray?
Does the way you talk to God at school sound different than the way you talk to God at church?
“Why do we have to put our hands together and close our eyes when we’re at school and we’re praying?”, asked one girl.
“Well, what do you think?”
We didn’t come up with a definite answer, only that maybe it was the teacher’s way of making sure the class stayed focussed while they were saying the prayer… it was noted though, that our way of praying at i61 church was quite a bit different than the way they prayed in school.
I got in trouble during prayer time at school, and I shared this story with them:
When i was 6, my teacher’s name was Miss Parsons. A very strict lady, who, I was sure, couldn’t stand sight or sound of me… At the end of the day we had to stack our chair on the table in front of us ready for the school caretaker to come and clean the classroom floor. Then we had to stand by the table and say our prayer, it had a little tune to it and I can’t remember all the words but I’m pretty sure it ended like this:
Thank you for the love you bring,
Thank you, Lord, for everything,
and then a long, “Ahhhh-mehhh-n”
Every single day, the same little singy-songy prayer.
And I really didn’t like that year in school, I just wanted to go home. And one day, I was right at the end of the prayer along with everyone else, hands tight together, figertips to my chin and eyes screwed up tight and suddenly the thought popped into my head,
“It’s home time! and any second now the bell will ring and the sun is shining out there and I get to outside and be all done with school till tomorrow!”
And seriously, that thought made me so happy that when it got to the “Ahhhh-mehhh-n” bit I…well I… I twirled around and around. And around and around and around! And then I heard my own name being shouted across the classroom and Oh my, I was in trouble now. How dare I twirl in prayer!
But… was my twirl a part of the prayer every bit as much as the words?
The kids, who had just heard my story thought it was - definitely, I was being thankful with my body, it was saying “Thank you God!, it’s the end of the day! I made it!”
Now. Just so you know, I did not go on to encourage children to disobey any rules that their schools have. Just that if they ever wanted to do Amen Twirls at i61 or in their homes or gardens or wherever else Amen Twirls are not forbidden then they could jolly well do so!
If your kids have prayers that they say every day in school, ask them about what they are. The 3 children who got up and prayed their school prayers for the rest of the class 2 weeks ago, admitted that they’d never even really thought about what words they were saying, they say it every day so they are just too used it. When they thought about what they were saying they were like, “hey, that’s a pretty good prayer!”
Help them turn those words they repeat every single day into real prayers.
Will blog again tomorrow to tell you about what else we’ve been finding out about prayer.