The Heart of the Matter REFLEC TION BY STEVEN ELL AIR hen I first began teaching, I would invite the class to take several minutes for silent prayer before we began. Shortly after I started this, individual students would approach me privately and ask, “But what am I supposed to do during this time? I mean, I’m not sure I know how to pray.” Most students revealed that they had little or no experience of prayer outside of the traditional prayers they were taught to memorize or prayers that were written down in a book or liturgy guide. Then I discovered that most teachers weren’t very comfortable with prayer either, and that teaching prayer as an essential part of any curriculum was extremely rare. We have an incredibly rich opportunity before us as religious educators. We’ve become experts in teaching the intellectual or “head” dimensions of pra pray 38 Inspire! Volume 1 / / Spring 2019