Rainbow Prayer Rubric

Hello, parents and faith formation leaders!

This summer I spent a lot of time thinking about helping our older elementary kids lead chapel. Having discussed some prayer rubrics with colleagues in The Episcopal Church and the PCUSA, I decided to create a “Rainbow Prayer Rubric ” using wooden rainbow blocks as a visual aid. Below are the instructions to equip young people to create their own intercessory prayers of the people.. A printable template and sample prayers for each category are available in my Etsy shop.

I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth. – Genesis 9:13


The rainbow is an enduring symbol of God’s promises, a visible reminder that God wants all people to have what they need to live in health and peace. Sometimes there are so many things to pray for it is hard to find the words, but a pattern can help us. Intercessory prayers are part of worship in churches around the world. Trusting that God hears our prayers, the nesting rainbow helps us to construct a prayer that encompasses our joys and concerns. Each color corresponds to a topic of focus of prayer, beginning with prayers as big as the universe and ending with what is closest to our hearts. Using this rubric, groups and individuals of a variety of ages can form prayers to be used in chapel, at the dinner table, or many other group settings.

Ideas for using the nesting rainbow to create prayers:

  • Divide up each of the colors/categories among the group to create each line of the prayer. If this is an unfamiliar exercise, ask participants to write one sentence that begins with “For…”
  • Have younger children choose from the selection of pre-written prayer sentences corresponding to each color.
  • “Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer” or a similar response is said after each section (color) of prayer. Choosing the response can be done by the purple individual or group.
  • When it is time to pray, you may have the participants speak the lines of prayer in color order, with the response in between. Or, you may have participants write their line of prayer on the final page of this document for one person to lead.

The categories in the rubric:

Red: God’s creation

Orange: The whole church everywhere

Yellow: People around the world

Green:The communities we live in

Blue: Those who are hurting

Purple: For the silent prayers of our hearts. The person writing this part of the prayer chooses the response to the intercession, for example, “Lord, hear our prayer.”

May this tool enrich your prayer and faith formation. Blessings, Christine

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