Prayer is an essential part of the Religion classroom experience. The teacher should model a life of prayer as a faith leader and students should be able to identify with their Religion classmates in a prayerful and praying community. This may take a number of different forms and will vary depending on the group, but the following suggestions might be helpful for planning purposes:
· Begin each class with a prayer, possibly including one of the day’s scripture readings and intentions offered by the students.
· Introduce Lectio Divina as a way to pray both as a group and as a part of one’s personal prayer life.
· Celebrate important liturgical seasons and feast days with classroom liturgies.
· Spend time on Fridays reflecting on the upcoming Sunday readings to encourage greater attentiveness and participation at Mass.
· Plan trips to the school chapel or local parish to learn about and experience prayer. Where possible, invite a parish worker to speak to students about prayer practices (the Rosary) that have been important to Catholics throughout the years.
· Spend time both studying and praying with scripture. Jesus should be presented as the Son of God who became man, a friend, a teacher, the Risen Savior, and someone who can be both revered and emulated.
· Encourage students to keep a prayer journal that can be used throughout the course in connection with the themes being studied.
· Encourage and challenge students to attend Eucharistic Liturgies, particularly Sunday Mass, and to participate in this important communal prayer by volunteering for parish and school ministries where possible.
· Share stories of how you have been blessed by prayer. What prayer practices have been important in your own faith life? It may also be helpful to invite other students or teachers that are known to the class to speak about their own prayer lives.
· Pray through song by using appropriate liturgical and meditative music.