About the model

The co-created prayer model was designed to maximise the engagement of all involved in the prayer experience in a way that enabled the participant agency in their role. Initially designed for a staff group in a Catholic school to pray together in an authentic and meaningful way, the model has been used successfully over the last three years in Catholic schools with class, cohort and whole school groups. Additionally, it has been used with groups of adult participants such as early career teachers and leaders across different Catholic schools.

There are three phases: Prepare - Create - Share


The prepare phase involves the leader contextualising outlines about each group's role prior to prayer.

When the group is first gathered, the leader shares with participants the Scripture at the centre of the experience and how this connects to any themes they may be asked to explore. This shared understanding is important in leading the group to an authentic, connected and engaging experience.

The leader invites participants to join one of five groups to help co-create prayer and to consider where they feel their unique gifts would be best used:

  • Sacred Space

  • Sacred Word

  • Sacred Understanding

  • Sacred Prayers

  • Sacred Music

The leader then invites a participant in each group with good collaboration skills, to be the coordinator. When working with a larger number of students, teachers or support staff can be coordinators.

Depending on the age of the participants, time is then allocated for the teams to create.


During the create phase, the role of the leader depends on the age and the skill level of the participants. The leader may be needed to provide further understanding of the group’s role, to support in the creative process or to help manage group dynamics. The leader also facilitates between the groups – for example, does the Sacred Space team need to know how the Sacred Word team are planning to proclaim the Scripture?

Having a time frame and clearly communicating this to the groups is important for success. A recommended guide is as follows:

Adults: 15 – 30 mins

Secondary students: 30 - 45 mins (depending on level of engagement)

Upper Primary students: 30 - 60 mins

Early Years students - 15 - 45 mins (depending on level of support available)

The leader also has a role in connecting participants to appropriate and accessible resources for their group to use.


As the create phase draws to a close, the leader liaises with each group and gathers everyone together to prepare for prayer.
During the
share phase, the leader advises the group that they will act as a guide through the prayer, inviting the groups to contribute and taking away any concern about when it is each group’s ‘turn’. A shared outline of prayer is also made available to each group to help with this.

Following the prayer experience, the leader invites participants to reflect.

Reflection should be tailored to each context but could be guided by these prompt questions:

  • How did you feel about that experience of prayer?

  • What was most powerful for you in our Co-created Prayer experience?

  • What was something you noticed?

  • Was there anything you learned through this prayer?

  • Did our prayer leave you with any questions or wonderings?