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The Prayer Game

Created by Jennifer Kavanagh
Design by Brian Homer

The Prayer Game

Initially, I found the concept of a prayer ‘game’ a bit disconcerting. However, this resource from Jennifer Kavanagh can be a valuable tool to explore how we pray. The game is begun with each player being dealt four cards. On each card is a word or phrase – such as ‘intercession’, ‘living in the Presence’ and ‘silence’. The remainder of the cards is placed in the centre of the playing surface. The top card in this pile is turned over to begin the ‘discard pile’. Through a sequence of choosing and discarding cards (outlined in the enclosed instructions), players each reflect on whether the cards they hold “represent prayer” for them. After they are satisfied with their four cards, they have the opportunity to share with one another the reasons for their choices. For me, it helped to think of this more of an exercise than a game. It can be tricky choosing what to ‘discard’ as many options seem valid! However, it is interesting to discover which words or phrases really chime in with your own ideas of prayer. It can surprise you: I was quite moved by one phrase, which related to my current circumstances, even though I would not have thought of it myself. I chose it as one of my four cards. A creatively-minded person would be able to use these cards in a number of ways. The pack is useful for groups reflecting on their prayer lives and even browsing through the pack as an individual may bring new thoughts and ideas to mind.

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