If you have never run an outdoor prayer space, you might not know all the wonderful things it can do for children and young people, for the school and for your local community. As the weather warms up and the sun begins to shine more regularly, there is no better time to think about running an outdoor prayer space in your local school.
Here are 10 reasons why you might want to run an outdoor prayer space:
- Most of us feel better in all sorts of ways when we have spent time outdoors. It has been scientifically proven that we feel calmer, happier, less stressed, and more creative when we are outdoors in natural environments.
- Lots of people who believe in God say that they feel close to God outdoors.
- People who don’t believe in God, often say that the outdoors is where they feel most spiritually alive.
- All of us have experienced moments of awe and wonder in outdoor environments.
- The outdoor environment can bring a much-needed perspective into our lives – a sense of our smallness, and the greatness of our planet/universe/God/the divine.
- The outdoors already looks good – it’s a ready-made prayer space. There is no need to spend ages making the space look good.
- The outdoors is full of stimuli that we can tune into and connect within our prayer space activities e.g. trees, plants, flowers, clouds, weather, birds, animals, and insects.
- Most children and young people are spending less time outdoors than in previous generations – they are suffering from ‘nature deficit disorder.’
- Over the last 40 years, there has been a growing disconnect between people and nature. There is a need to reverse this trend and connect back to nature.
- The children and young people will love being taken out of the classroom and spending time outdoors. Children love learning, playing and being outdoors!
(Top 10 Reasons by Jane Gillis of Bristol Schools Connection who is an experienced Prayer Spaces Practitioner. You can find our training session video on outdoor prayer spaces here.)
Adapted from the article in PSIS UK website by Jane Gillis and Ebony Fennell