I enjoy simple prayer. In this endeavor, I look to two important women as mentors. Anne Lamott, who tells us that if you are not sure what or how to pray, a great place to start is with “help,” “thanks,” or “wow.” And from a wee further back in history is St. Therese of Lisieux, who encourages us to see the simplicity of life, and thus the grace of God, in all people and all things at all times.
Children have such a straightforward view of life. Because of their uncomplicated understanding of the world, I see the atrium as a place of great opportunity for the children to deepen their relationship with God. It is a place that validates their need to be in relationship with God, and it gives them the space and the time to communicate with God. In the atrium, the children remind us how simple it is to be in prayer. We adults can take witness from their example.
At the end of our atrium time each week, we all gather around the altar. In the True Vine atrium, the children plan the prayer service. Their little minds, inspired by the Holy Spirit in the world around them, prepare the altar and choose the readings and songs. As the children gather as a group around the prayer table, their responses to this time is as unique as they are themselves. Some are restless, some are focused, some are verbal, some are silent. But however they come to the altar, God is there to meet them. Wherever they are. Always. Always. Always. It is so simple.
Below are pictures of the children’s prayer table from recent weeks.