The following resources are designed to support you in your important work of fostering faith and spirituality.
They are intended to help you convey to your students the importance of prayer. The significance of making a small spiritual space, away from the busyness of their everyday life, to slow down enough to catch what God might be saying to them.
Prayer of ‘Our Father’ – Principles to Live By
Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.
a Write down the modern version of Our Father
b. Under each line, write your personal version of Our Father and a line or so on what you think it means
c. Read the original Our Father from the scriptures (Luke 11:1-5)
Our father is the perfect prayer because it was set by Jesus. It described the way of life we should aspire to as his follower. Do you agree with Jesus’ philosophy?
What other religious faiths follow the same principles as prayed by Jesus in this prayer? Give examples.
When is the Our Father prayed in the liturgy?
Lord, teach us to pray.
Prayer of ‘Hail Mary’ (as used in the Rosary) – Life of Jesus as witnessed by his mother, Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace.
Our Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
a. Write down modern version of the Hail Mary.
b. Why has this prayer endured? What appeals to us about its simplicity? Read its origin in the scripture – Luke 1: 39-56 . Why was it called the Annunciation? Explain in your own words.
The Hail Mary is known as Mary’s prayer and is used for praying the rosary. The early Christians used the rosary as a way to remember the life of Christ through Mary’s eyes as witness.
Prayer beads are used in many other religions – Hindu, Buddhists, Muslim (99 beads) and Jewish. They have a meditative effect on those using the beads, as they repeat the prayers in a chant like manner.
Because the rosary is the chronological story of the life of Jesus, there is a specific structure to the prayer – similar to the Stations of the Cross.
a. Look up information on how to pray the rosary and what days they are prayed. Find out about novenas and decades of the rosary.
b. List the ‘mysteries’ and what to parts of Jesus’ life they relate. The spiritual themes, such as the Sacred Mysteries, are a way of storing religious events in our conscious minds. Why is this structure of prayer still used today?
c. Create your own decade of the rosary (10) with beads of your choice. You may wish to make it into a bracelet. Alternatively, sketch your own beads with colour, shape and texture that reflects your interpretation of the rosary prayers.
d. Try meditating by saying parts of the rosary, such as repeating Hail Mary.
Look at why it is an effective way to silence the mind. In what way can you use a simple mantra or affirmation?
Mary, Mother of Jesus, Bless this generation of your children
So that we too may live in the shining Resurrection of your son, forever and ever.
Scripture & Bible Literacy
Reading 1: Psalms 8:3-9
“When I look at your heavens…..how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
- Read the biblical verses aloud and slowly.
- Listen to the words with your heart.
- See the images in your mind.
- Pause and listen to how you’re feeling – are you joyous, excited, bored, worried?
- Can you relate this feeling to your life?
Reading 2: I John 4:16
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
- Pay attention to moments when you pass moral judgements on others. Listen to the emotions in your judgement.
- In what ways is love a form of prayer?
Reading 3: Colossians 4:2
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”
In what ways do we use blessings and gratitude for all the things we have in our world?
Activity: Your own Gratitude Journal as a form or prayer.
Make your own Gratitude Journal. Write in it daily. Begin with ‘Today I Am Grateful For…’ and finish with a blessing.
Suggested Classroom Activities
Facts and inquiry worksheet ~ Prayers for all seasons
Traditional prayers are based on the liturgical calendar, commemorating significant religious events. Personal prayers are our individual conversations with God. Both are intrinsic for feeding our spiritual life.
What is prayer?
- Prayer is a common voice used to express our spirituality.
- Prayer is also our personal dialogue with God.
“Prayer is…nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.”
Saint Teresa of Avila
1. Discuss what your class’s definition of prayer is.
2. Forms of Prayer.
Topic: How Prayer can be Expressed in Various Forms and Mediums.
a. Explore and investigate prayer in its many forms. You may choose 2-3 forms of prayers and present in mediums most appropriate to the theme.
b. Express yourself in one form of prayer.
(Some of the common themes in prayers are gratitude, love, sacrifice, blessings, help, hope)
Art as Prayer
Iconography, paintings, sculptures, woodwork, stained glass windows
Prayer as Art.
Use art to demonstrate how effective it is as a form of prayer and can portray similar feelings as in prayer.
Pilgrimage as Prayer
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Lourdes, El Camino, the Muslim tradition of the Hajj, the Native American and shamanic vision quest, walking the Kokoda Trail
Show how a spiritual inner journey and an external journey is a form of prayer and spiritual fulfilment.
Song, Movie and Dance as Prayer
Hymns, inspirational songs, chants – Gregorian, Tibetan monks, ancient chants, liturgical prayer songs, modern songs e.g. ‘You raise me up’, musical and classical music, Handel’s Messiah, movement and dance, the yoga ‘salute to the sun’ position, Jesus Christ Superstar musical, movies about biblical events, inspirational movies about the human spirit and role models such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi. See the movie on the Camino Pilgrimage, ‘The Way’ with Martin Sheen.
How does song, movie and dance show glory for our creative selves and our Lord creator?
Mantra and Meditation as prayer
Affirmations, mantras, inspirational quotes, meditation, mindfulness
Poetry and Literature as Prayer
Biblical verses, especially the Book of Psalms, books of great spiritual masters and church leaders, general books that evoke positive feelings and a sense of gratitude for our lives, ancient books, poetry from King David and Solomon, the mystic Sufi, St Theresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen
Anzac Day as Prayer
Commemorating sacrifice and mateship during times of war. Write the remembrance day poem and ways it can be regarded as prayer.
3. How to pray:
Lectio divina – Latin for ‘Holy Reading’
To learn to pray at a deep level, we must first understand how to begin this practice.
The 4 Rs: Reading. Reflecting. Responding. Resting.
Refer to resources.
4. Prayers of the Saints
Choose a prayer from your favourite saint and discuss language, imagery, metaphors. For example, Saint Francis of Assisi – The Canticle of the Sun – a beautiful prayer that glorifies all animals and nature. (Pg 140 Youcat Youth Prayer Book).
Lesson Plan & Bonus Worksheet for Lent & Easter
The lesson plan for Prayer & Meditation is available from the button below.
The bonus worksheet is available from the button below.
Bonus Worksheet: Prayers during Lent & Easter