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Would someone mind helping me write a prayer for small children?

(24 Posts)
paperthinwalls Mon 05-Jun-17 21:22:55

Could some lovely person please help me with a prayer?

I need a prayer about being courageous, just in general, not about anything in particular.
It needs to be suitable for 4-5 year olds.

I'm not a Christian and although I have lead pre-written prayers I just can't write one that feels right to me. It just needs to be short, for the end of a school assembly.

Many thanks in advance.

paperthinwalls Mon 05-Jun-17 22:43:13

Anyone?

annandale Mon 05-Jun-17 22:50:57

Dear God of adventures, when i need to be brave
Help me look up and find you close by.

Niminy Tue 06-Jun-17 07:42:41

Loving God

You are always by our side, and you are with us whatever we have to do.

Help us to be brave when we feel scared. Help us to help other people to be brave when they feel scared.

We ask this in Jesus's name.

Amen

Paperthinwalls Tue 06-Jun-17 08:21:46

Just when I had given up hope. grin

They are both perfect.

Thank you so much

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 11:53:26

Stop.

If you stood up at the end of assembly in front of my child and said what Niminy (sorry but as long as you carry on with these presuppositions I'm going to keep hunting you down because fucking kids are involved) I would be very unhappy and find you extremely disingenuous.

Why would you think its 'perfect' to tell Children 'god is always with them'

That is completely inappropriate for 4- 5 year olds.

SnickersWasAHorse Tue 06-Jun-17 12:08:58

Ollie

This is a church school with children who have been sent here because it is a church school.

What the OP asked for was a prayer and that is what they got. As someone who goes into school to lead assemblies I always

user1496319600 Tue 06-Jun-17 12:12:37

Dear God, give me strength and help me be strong to look the world in the eye's and face my fears. Amensmile

Say something like 'I'm going to say a prayer and if you want to make it your own you can say amen at the end.' This means that those of no belief or non Christian belief systems have a way of opting out with honour. If I'm standing in front of an assembly, with a clerical collar, and have led an assembly full of 'Christians believe that.....' it is clear that I am a Christian and not an atheist.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 12:16:55

This is a church school with children who have been sent here because it is a church school.

Is that true op?

Also, how does that not make Niminy's prayer presuppositional crap?
I was sent to a secular school and had many Muslim and Hindu friends, it didn't stop one nut job christian teacher stand up every day and tell us God is real and to thank him for everything.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 12:20:35

Green

What are you doing leading an assembly in a school that contains children with/ without/ and different faiths?

Also- I love the way its the little children who have to 'opt out with honour' how contemptible.

I'm leading assemblies at a church school. Very few children go to,church so I can't assume any personal faith which is why I always say 'this is what Christians believe' and give an option to not be part of the prayers. If I go into non church schools I don't lead prayers as that is not part of deal. I am working within the law and the foundation of the school and within agreed parameters with the head.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 12:48:31

Before you posted green I actually wanted to take back my question as to what you are doing there, as we will get into a debate about faith schools/ christian privilege that will derail the thread and give Niminy somewhere to hide

I am working within the law - For me, that is the problem. As I do not agree with faith schools, I don't agree with clergy leading prayers of a presuppositional nature (which they usually always are) to young children. I mean what good does it do to teach kids in RE that 'some people believe' if you are then going to stand in front of them and say:

you are always by our side, and you are with us whatever we have to do.

Its just plain sneaky and dishonest.

If you don't like church schools then you can lobby parliament for a change in the law. If you don't want religion taught in schools then lobby the govt. if you are not already a member the national secular society is here http://www.secularism.org.uk/

The challenge for writing prayers for 4 and 5 years old is a very real one so the question asked by the OP is a valid one. Concepts such as Courage and bravery are abstract and not all the children will be able to understand. I would tell a story about someone who was brave and then say a pray (with all the caveats about making it their own if they want to) such as 'loving God we pray that we can be grave like x and thank you for all the police, firemen etc etc'

I would write everything down so that if a parent complained about me praying then the school could confirm what I said. This is standard advice for clergy in school now.

Brave - autocorrect strikes again.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 13:41:51

Thank you green I follow the NSS but I'm not a member, for which I have my own reasons.

I would write everything down so that if a parent complained about me praying then the school could confirm what I said. This is standard advice for clergy in school now.

That is sad, sad that you have to cover yourself and sad that parents feel the need to complain. Take prayer out of schools- kids who go to church with their parents get prayed upon to, kids who don't...don't. Better for everyone.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 13:47:27

such as 'loving God we pray that we can be grave like x and thank you for all the police, firemen etc etc'

I really don't think that helping children understand an abstract thing like bravery or courage, can be achieved by evoking something even more abstract- faith. Why not just tell a story about a policeman being brave, without the 'Goddidit'. If I stood up and told the story of the emperors new clothes as a lesson about following a crowd/ believing whats really there (how apt in these circumstances) I wouldn't need to tell the kids to 'bow their heads in prayer' for Hans Christian Andersen...

As I said if you want prayers out of school, clergy out of school and, the church out of education you have to lobby parliament. The OP asked a reasonable question and those of us from he same faith tradition tried to help. Schools do ask some odd things sometimes and in my church schools I can say - that is a hard one are you sure.? but most of the time we do the best we can with the brief.

Niminy Tue 06-Jun-17 19:17:08

As greenheart said, the OP asked for help and I made a suggestion. The OP was under no obligation to use it as written, or, indeed, at all. I hope, Ollie, that you are not going to hunt either me or the OP down since that would be against the law.

When I do assemblies at our local Church of England primary school I always preface my prayer with 'if you would like to make this prayer your own, you could say 'Amen' at the end'. It is clear that no-one has to pray. Some of the staff clearly do not pray and they are strong role models for the children. There are always parents present, most of whom do not pray. I have never had a single complaint and neither has the school.

Niminy Tue 06-Jun-17 19:38:17

In case it is not clear, I am also clergy, and lead assemblies at the invitation of the school.

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 19:41:12

Oh you do come back!

I hope, Ollie, that you are not going to hunt either me or the OP down since that would be against the law.

Only a theist would be capable of actually taking that literally...

There are always parents present, most of whom do not pray

So most of the teachers don't do it and most of the parents don't, what are you still doing it for then?

ollieplimsoles Tue 06-Jun-17 19:42:59

And when are you going to explain why your horrible explanation of god to a six year old child with secular parents was ok on the other thread I called you out on?

Ollie you may not like it but clergy are invited into church schools to lead assemblies. Some of us teach RE classes or get invited into secondary school RE classes so that pupils can here how a Christian practices their faith or works through an ethical dilemma. Schools will bring children into church to learn about places of worship.

In assemblies clergy are often given a theme to work with so will tell a story or present a question or just chat with the children/young people. In church schools it is expected that we lead prayers.

When a church school has ofsted in there is a separate inspection called a siams report which looks at how the Christian foundation of the school is expressed in assemblies, RE and in the leadership and management of the school. You may not like the fact that clergy go into church schools, that there are clergy, that there are church schools but we are doing what we are expected to do.

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