What would you think if, whenever you saw a good friend, he always said exactly the same thing to you? Would you enjoy talking to him? Would you wonder why he couldn’t think of anything else to say? Would you wonder how good a friend he really was?
Heavenly Father is your friend. When you pray, remember that you are speaking directly to him. He is listening to you as carefully as if you were together in the same room. He wants you to pray thoughtfully and sincerely and tell him the important things you are thinking and feeling. If you use the same words and phrases each time you pray, you might not be thinking about what you are saying, and your prayers might seem insincere.
When Alma went on a mission to the Zoramites, he was astonished to find them offering insincere prayers. The people had build a high place that was big enough for only one person in the middle of their synagogue. They called it the Rameumptom, or the holy stand. Each person would take a turn to worship on this stand and recite a boastful prayer. When one person ended, the next person would go up onto the stand and offer the very same prayer, until all were finished. Then they would all go to their homes and not speak about God again until the following week. Alma knew these people didn’t really think about what they were saying as they talked to Heavenly Father. They prayed only to be heard by others. He felt sorry for them because their prayers didn’t help them to become better people. Alma tried to help them understand what Heavenly Father expected of them. (See Alma 31:12–23.)
When you pray sincerely and reverently, Heavenly Father will answer your prayers. Your faith will be strengthened and your testimony will grow.
These figures will help you to tell the story of Alma, the Zoramites, and the Rameumptom. Color the figures, glue them onto heavy paper, and cut them out. As you tell the story to your family and friends, remember that Heavenly Father wants you to pray sincerely to him.
Divide children into groups and have them discuss what makes a sincere prayer. They might talk about phrases they hear used too often. Talk about or draw pictures of appropriate things for which they might pray. (See Alma 34:18–27.)
Tell scripture stories of people who prayed sincerely, and how their prayers were answered, such as Enos, Daniel, Hannah, Nephi, Joseph Smith, etc.
Discuss the steps of prayer and the way we should address Heavenly Father to show our reverence for him.