Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Alternate Activity 1: Writing Family Prayers

Part of Families

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint and markers
  • Paper and pencils

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Five Elements of Prayer (below) on newsprint.

Description of Activity

Introduce this activity by saying, "In this program we've done a lot of different kinds of representations, from photography and sketching to writing and drama. Another kind of representation-a form of writing-is prayer writing. Writing a prayer can be a good way to express feelings, hopes, and emotions. Prayers are actually quite simple to write. They have some predictable elements that make them easy to write, but they require thinking through our hearts instead of our heads. We are going to try this kind of writing now." Invite questions, and be open. Although one manner of writing prayers is suggested here, participants may choose a different format.

Display your newsprint copy of the elements of prayer or read the elements and have a participant list them on newsprint. Review the elements of a prayer with the group.

Five Elements of Prayer

By the Reverend Gary Smith, who acknowledges-with thanks-Professor Walter Cook.

  • Salutation: To whom is the prayer addressed-Spirit of Life, God, Goddess, Love, etc.
  • Condition: I'm (or We're) feeling sad, happy, humble, angry, and so on.
  • Please give me: Hope, patience, someone to love, and so on.
  • Please give us: A peaceful world, help us work together for healing
  • Thank you: Gratitude and thanks

Invite participants to write a prayer that is somehow related to the project they have been doing. They may wish to focus on families or photography, emotions, food, point of view-whatever is in their hearts. Tell participants that you hope to include the prayers in the Meet the Creators portion of the final project. Give participants paper, pens/pencils, and quiet space in which to work.

Including All Participants

If you decide to use this and any other writing done by participants, consider typing and printing the writings from a computer. A co-leader or youth volunteer can do this at home. This will eliminate issues with misspelling and difficult to read handwriting.