On Tuesday I was taking part in a Chelmsford Diocesan Youth Leaders day hosted by our three lovely youth advisers, Andy, Alice and Rachel. As well as being there as a youth worker I was also co-leading an afternoon session on Prayer Spaces in Schools. Arriving early we set up 7 Sanctum prayer stations in about 20 minutes thanks to the amazing CYO team who made the whole operation look like a well rehearsed military exercise.
Here's a run down of the worship time I led for the first 30 minutes of the day.
1. Slowing down
I used A Breathing Prayer by Christine Sine (h/t Jonny Baker) printed out 18 times, each printout having a different line in bold. (I'd also produced a few plain copies as there were just over 20 of us). We prayed through it one line at a time read by the person with that line in bold on their copy, leaving a whole breath (breathe out, breathe in) between each line to give the prayer the right 'pace'. The printouts being randomly distributed among us which enhanced the sense of a community at prayer, rather than reading round in order.
2. Sharing stories
I showed a Keynote slide with photos of signs bearing these words
Love, Joy, Sadness, Peace, fear and doubt
and asked people in pairs to tell a story from their work with young people that’s inspired by one of the words. Then to pray the simplest prayer for the other person.
They were then asked to tell a different person a different story from their walk with God that’s inspired by the same words, followed again by praying the simplest prayer for each other.
3. Silent meditation on John 15:4-8 "Remain in me, and I will remain in you..."
4. Using plain white tiles and coloured Sharpie pens people were encouraged to create a coaster that reflects the questions:
In what way do you want more of God?
In what way does God want more of you?
with Kim Walker, "I have found" playing in the background. Although this only gave us about 6 minutes, looking around later there were some truly inspiring tile coasters heading back to various parts of Essex and east London. My prayer is that they will continue to inspire people in their walk with God and that God will surprise them with his answers and his presence.