Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to pray to Him. We can pray to Him anytime, no matter where we are. He hears and answers our prayers.
Charlotte Clark was just six years old when her family left Nauvoo, Illinois, to travel west to the Salt Lake Valley. It was a long, long way to walk. Charlotte walked so much that she wore out her only pair of shoes. Every night when Charlotte knelt to pray, she asked Heavenly Father for a pair of shoes.
One day Charlotte and her sister were picking berries when Charlotte saw a pair of shoes. She and her sister ran back to their mother and father, saying, “Heavenly Father sent me shoes, and they fit perfectly!” Charlotte’s father was concerned that the shoes belonged to someone who had lost them. He told Charlotte that if the shoes belonged to someone in their wagon train, she should return the shoes to their owner. Charlotte’s family showed the shoes to everyone, but no one claimed them. Charlotte’s prayer was answered.
Heavenly Father answers our prayers. The answers may not always be what we expect, but He will answer in the way that is the best for us. We can pray to Him anytime, anywhere.
To remind you of the parts of prayer, cut out the shapes on page 16 on the heavy dark lines. Fold on the dotted lines, and glue the larger shape to make a flattened tube. On the narrow strip, write on the lines provided some things you are thankful for and some blessings you pray for. Slide the narrow strip inside the folded piece. You could place this reminder on your pillow to remind you to pray before you go to bed. At night, place it beside your bed to remind you to pray in the morning.
Note: If you do not wish to remove pages from the magazine, this activity may be copied, traced, or printed from the Internet at www.lds.org. Click on Gospel Library.
(Note: All songs are from Children’s Songbook unless otherwise noted; GAK = Gospel Art Picture Kit, TNGC = Teaching, No Greater Call.)
1. Show a picture of our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. Ask, “Who knows his name?” We can show our respect when we address or talk about our prophet. How should we address him? (President Hinckley.) How do we address our bishop? (Bishop ____.) Our teachers? (Brother or Sister ____.) We can show our love and respect for Heavenly Father when we speak with Him through prayer. When we pray, we can show reverence for Heavenly Father by using proper prayer language. When Jesus was visiting the Nephites, He knelt and prayed to Heavenly Father. He showed His love and respect by addressing His Father with the proper prayer words. Read together 3 Ne. 19:20–21: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen” (v. 20; emphasis added). We can follow Jesus’s example by using words that show Heavenly Father that we love and reverence Him. We can use the words thee or thou instead of you, thy instead of your, and thine instead of yours or your. To practice using prayer language, make simple signs with the words thine, thou, thy, and thee. Sing each line of the song “Tell Me, Dear Lord” (p. 176), and let the children echo it back. Assign each line to a group of children, and give them the corresponding sign. Then have each group stand and sing their line. Switch signs and sing again. Repeat, learn, and sing “I Thank Thee, Dear Father” (p. 7). Encourage the children to show love and respect for Heavenly Father by using prayer language.
2. Use a reader’s theater (TNGC, p. 177) to tell the story of Daniel. Before Primary write a simple script using Dan. 6 as a guideline. Use words directly from the scriptures to tell the story. Participants include a narrator, Daniel, King Darius, assorted presidents and princes, and lions. For example, the presidents and princes would say from verse 8, “Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing.” Daniel would say from verse 22, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths.” Sing verse 8 of “Follow the Prophet” (pp. 110–11). Discuss how the scriptures record the stories of others who have had prayers answered. Divide the Primary into groups, and give each a scripture reference about people whose prayers were answered, such as Hannah (1 Sam. 1:8–20), Zacharias (Luke 1:5–13), Nephi (1 Ne. 17:8–10), Enos (Enos 1:1–6), and Alma the Elder (Mosiah 27:8–14). Have the children read the stories and then share with the group how Heavenly Father answered the prayers. Testify that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers today.
For younger children: Have the adults read the scriptures aloud to the children in their group and decide how they will role-play the examples to the rest of the Primary.
3. Invite two or three people from the ward to dress as pioneers and tell true stories about how Heavenly Father answered the prayers of the pioneers. Tell the stories in first person (TNGC, p. 165, 179). Use personal family history stories, or choose from the following: Friend, July 2001, 40–42; July 2003, 4–6; July 2003, 30–33. Bear testimony that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers.
4. Invite each Primary teacher to come prepared to share a simple experience of when his or her prayers were answered. You could also invite older children to be prepared to tell the suggested stories from the Friend. The leaders of the Church today confirm that prayers are answered. Tell, or have an older child tell, one or more of the following stories from the Friend: Artel Ricks’s story in “You Are a Child of God,” by President Gordon B. Hinckley, May 2003, 3–4; “The Lifeline of Prayer,” by President James E. Faust, July 2003, 2–3; “A Growing Testimony,” by President James E. Faust, Apr. 2003, 2–3. Sing “I Pray in Faith” (p. 14). Invite the children to gather in small groups around their teacher. Have the teacher share his or her experience with prayer, and invite the children to share their own experiences, if they have some. (Remind them that some experiences are too sacred to share.) Return the children to their original places, and invite each group to share experiences with the whole group. Take responses as time permits. Sing “A Child’s Prayer” (pp. 12–13). Bear testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers.
5. Song presentation: “Tell Me, Dear Lord” (p. 176). This song is actually a prayer with a melody. When we pray to Heavenly Father we use special words, or “prayer language,” to show Him honor and love. Ask the children to listen for those words as you sing the song. Write on the board as the children recall the words thine, thou, and thy. Refer to these words as you continue teaching the song. As you teach the first line, direct the children’s thinking by asking, “In whose way are we asking that our prayers be answered?” Sing the first line. Invite the children to respond to the question (“thine own”—the Lord’s). Sing the first line together. Continue teaching the song the same way with each line. Say, “We are asking for guidance in something today. What is it?” Sing the second line, have them echo and respond (“what thou would’st have me say and do”). Ask, “What do we want Him to teach us?” Sing the third line. Have them echo and respond (“to know and love thy will”). Ask, “What do we need help in understanding?” Sing the last line. Have them echo and respond (“thy loving word”). Sing the whole song, share D&C 112:10, and testify that prayers are answered.
6. Friend references: “I Can Pray to Heavenly Father Anytime, Anywhere,” Aug. 2003, 24–26; “My Prayer Was Answered,” Nov. 2004, 10–12; “Keep Praying,” Feb. 2004, 32–34; “David’s Prayer,” Aug. 2004, 4–5; “Heavenly Father Answers Prayers,” Oct. 2003, 8–9; “Prayer in the Woods,” Dec. 2004, IFC.