- Running a Youth Group
- How To
- 5-10 minutes
A fantastic way to help set an atmosphere for a prayer is by having a prayer focus. Here we run through a couple of useful things to consider when putting one together.
All these items are optional depending on the display you make: Candles, Bible, Crucifix, Coloured Cloths, Icons, saint statues and anything else you may like to use.
The first thing you want to do before you start making a prayer display is decide the theme of the prayer. Depending on the theme, different colour cloths and items may be best to use.
Perhaps the most useful item to have when making a prayer focus is different coloured cloths. By arranging them in different patterns, splodges and shapes you can create different items and styles that will draw the eye and focus the young people on the prayer and theme at hand.
Candles are great for creating atmosphere. They are so linked in our mind with prayer that particularly when you are with primary school young people you can create a real sense of peace and prayer just by lighting a candle. Fire is also a great symbol of the Holy Spirit and candles are a great way of reminding us of the Holy Spirit’s role in our prayer.
Having an open bible on the display symbolises how the word of God is open to us. Practically speaking, when you need to quote scripture, with the open bible on the display it makes it easily at hand to pick up and read. The bible is also the combination of stories, histories, wisdom and poems that explain our relation and salvation with God. The open bible is a great way of reminding us of the Father’s role in our prayer.
As Catholics the Crucifix is both a reminder and a challenge of how much we are loved and called to love by God. It is a fantastic reminder of how far God will go for us and helps remind us of Jesus and his role in our prayer.
Icons are pictures that tell thousands of words. For some groups they can prove a fantastic focus where they can think far deeper on a certain theme because of the icon.
Statues of saints are great ways of making saints more relatable. They show how the saint would have looked and help bring the saint to life for people in the group.
Anything else you may like to use
While everything above may prove particularly useful in making a display, anything you think will enhance a prayer focus is worth using. Stones, mirrors, string and bowls of water are just a few examples of countless inventive things I’ve see people use to create a fantastic prayer focus that has helped draw the young people into a healthy and productive prayer mindset.