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P7 - Prayer and Decision

These exemplar narratives follow the core learning chosen by the John Ogilvie cluster group/working group, and the Our Lady's/Cardinal Newman cluster group/working group and contained in the diocesan planning exemplars:
P7 Prayer and decision short version (click to open)
P7 Prayer and decision long version (click to open)


Click here for a podcast, aimed at teachers, which is An Introduction to the Psalms

Exemplar narrative 1:

St Joseph’s, Blantyre:

N.B. A lesson may last for more than one teaching session.

Part 1: Prayer in the Bible

Lesson 1: 

Discussion about prayer, different times when we pray.

Activity: working in groups children take one of the following:

Mary’s Prayer, the Magnificat  (Luke 1: 46-55)

Zachariah’s prayer- the Benedictus (Luke 1: 67-69)

Simeon’s prayer (Luke 2: 29-32)

Jesus prays filled with the Spirit (Luke 10: 21-22)

Children read and discuss the prayer in their group then present, in a way of their choice (e.g. drama, art, ICT presentation) the main ideas and or message within the chapters to the other groups.

After whole class discussion on how these help us to pray today, finish with hymn ‘Seek  ye First’

Lesson 2:

Open lesson with ‘Seek ye First’

Discuss, how to pray, lead on to read Luke 11: 1-4, The Lord’s Prayer. Discuss meanings and really look at the words, these are said so very often, but encourage reflection of each individual line and what we are actually asking when we pray how Jesus instructed us to pray. Children write their own version of the Lord’s prayer using their own words but maintaining the message and meanings Jesus gave us.

Finish lesson reading some of these messages and presenting them to the class altar on cards.

Part 2: Christianity and Choice

Lesson 3:

Using ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’ from Thinking Stories (or another story which demonstrates choices in life) discuss the choices made by the mother in the story. Consider * her priorities

*her happiness/ contentedness

Children in groups/pairs reflect and offer a different version of the story where the mother makes more positive decisions for her family: children present the feelings the mother may have both now and previously using thought bubbles round pictures of the mother. 

Compare and discuss how choices can take us down different paths. 

Develop this theme into RE, discussing free will, and how we choose to follow Christ’s teaching and are not forced- we make choices and may choose to distance ourselves from God. Offer link that  this choice, taking us from God and ultimately eternal estrangement from Him  is ‘Hell’.

Part 3: Prayer and Action in Christian life

Lesson 4

Homework /ICT Activity before lesson: Research the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, patron saint of the Missions- Focus particularly on how she prayed and the importance of prayer to her.

Children look, in groups (using ICT/reference books), at different Religious Orders e.g.Augustinians, Benedictines, Capuchins, Carmelites, Charity, Cistercians, Columbans, Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, Marists, Mercy and Vincentians. Consider the role of prayer in the life of those in religious orders and report back to the class.

Read Luke 10: 38-42, Discuss then reflect on the paths chosen by Martha and Mary in the narrative- highlight the importance of talking to God and listening too- how we need to teach ourselves to do this.

Finish with hymn ‘Listen, let your heart keep seeking.’

Lesson 5

Children write their own prayers and create artwork (e.g. stain glass window) to reflect the discussions on Missions.

Part 4: Prayer and Me

Lesson 6

Open with discussion recapping different times when we may pray and how we pray.

Read: Jesus prays before choosing his disciples (Luke 6:12-16) and Jesus prays alone (Luke 5:15-16).

Children given time to reflect on Jesus speaking to his Father at important times and the mystery of the Father and the Son’s relationship with each other. 

After discussion about important times in our lives e.g. moving to High School, Confirmation, allow children  to pray and reflect using background music and the alter with their own prayer offering cards as a focus.

Finish with hymn ‘Take me Lord, Use my Life’.

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