5th February 2024
It’s impossible to put into words the power of a Prayer Space, the wonder in a child’s face when they come into the space and the impact that it has on their little lives. It’s impossible to put into words how they feel in those moments, the calm and peace that it brings and what God has done through it. A Prayer Space is an incredible thing, and you don’t fully appreciate it until you are in that space with pupils resting in God’s goodness. We ran our first Prayer Space in Ballymena in November, and I didn’t fully get it until I was in it, neither did the volunteers or the Vice Principal of the Primary School. She saw the space before the children had been there and admitted to me that she didn’t quite get it but after being there with a P2 class and watching the pupils interact with the activities, she said with such wonder “now it all makes sense.” That’s just it. It makes sense. It makes sense to offer this time and space to children and young people. It makes sense to love them in the best way that we can, and Prayer Spaces are a way that we can do this. This is why I started Prayer Spaces in Ballymena, I love the children and young people so much and want them to know this and to know that the local Churches care for and value them.
Everyone involved in our first prayer space absolutely loved it. A Church volunteer commented “I was bowled over by the session I had the privilege of volunteering at” and each one deeply valued their time volunteering in the space. However, it is the response of the pupils that blows my mind.
Is there anything you’d like to say about the Prayer Space?
“It is the best thing ever!” “I really enjoyed it thank you for letting me explore different types of communicating with God.” “I think it was an amazing thing to go to and allowed me to calm down and connect with God.” “I really enjoyed being able to just sit and think.”
How did the Prayer Space make you feel?
“The whole Prayer Space made me feel happy.” “Very confident.” “The Prayer Space made me feel happy, more sure of myself!”
One child commented that it is important to talk to God every day because if you’re feeling sad God can take those burdens off you – how amazing!? Another said that they were “feeling a bit sad that morning and the Prayer Space made me feel very happy.” “It helped me be braver and have confidence in myself” and “the activities helped me relax and calm down to take a moment to breathe.”
Finally, my personal favourite quote from a child “Under my Umbrella made me realise how much I am loved, and it was encouraging.”
It is an absolute privilege to facilitate a space where children can feel loved and valued, spend time in peace, grow in their confidence and experience the joy that prayer can bring. In the words of a little P5 “the Prayer Space was amazing, there should be more!”
Let’s give more children and young people these opportunities, all for the glory of God.
SU Schools worker for Ballymena.