When Mission Together, previously known as Holy Childhood, was founded in France in 1843 by Bishop Charles de Forbin-Janson he gave the children the challenge of saying a Hail Mary every day and giving a small coin every month. Since then the task remains the same: one small prayer and one small coin. To support teachers in England and Wales with this valuable work, Mission Together has created new resources that help prayer to become a way of life in the school day as pupils learn what it means to spend time in God’s company. Click here to view our prayer resources page.
Prayer is the habit of being in the presence of God and, like any habit, requires practice. By supporting children in their prayer life from an early age we build good habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. It is often easy for prayer to turn into a shopping list of requests whereby God becomes a Santa Claus figure, called upon when necessary and handing out gifts to the well-deserved. A relationship such as this will remain infantile and cannot mature into a loving, reciprocal meeting of hearts and minds. A good way to avoid this is to apply the ARTS acronym: Adoration, Reconciliation, Thanksgiving and Supplication. When prayers contain elements of all four then conversations with God become more meaningful.
This is witnessed in a Missio* backed school for Iraqi refugees in Jordan (pictured). Some of the children remain traumatised and families depend entirely on what they are given, yet every day at school the children and their teachers, invest time in collective adoration and thanks to God through their singing, actions and words. The children’s joy emanates from them as they place their trust in a loving Father.
We thank staff in schools in England and Wales for encouraging their pupils to pray. For it is only after children have fostered a loving relationship with God that they can share that love with others. And when they do, they discover that they too, can be missionaries of God’s love.
*Missio is the parent charity of Mission Together. Click here to find out more about MissioUK.