Sharing Time:

Ponder, Pray, and Listen

By Karen Ashton

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    “Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself” (Alma 5:46).

    Heavenly Father hears and answers the prayers of his children. You are his child. He loves you and will hear and answer your prayers.

    Before you begin to pray, take a few moments to think carefully about the beautiful blessings Heavenly Father has given you. This careful thinking is called pondering. Pondering about Heavenly Father’s blessings to you will bring a feeling of thankfulness, or gratitude, into your heart. This feeling will help you prepare to talk to him.

    As you begin your prayer, let the feelings of your heart come through your voice. Speak to Heavenly Father with great love and reverence. When you speak from your heart, he will listen. Tell him how much you love him. Thank him for your blessings, and ask him for the blessings you need. Let Heavenly Father know how you feel about his Son, Jesus Christ. Share with Heavenly Father the things that make you happy and those that make you sad or frightened. Ask for the Holy Ghost to be with you. You can talk to Heavenly Father about anything. When you pray to him, take your time and do not hurry.

    When you finish your prayer, sit quietly for a moment and “listen” by thinking about Heavenly Father. Praying can bring a sweet, peaceful feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. Heavenly Father will answer your prayers in a way that is best for you. As you pray, you will feel his love for you, and your love for him will grow.


    Color the “morning” and “evening” sides of Figure 1 and the faces in each box on Figure 2. Carefully cut out both figures, and also the windows in Figure 1. Fold both pieces along the dotted lines, with the pictures on the outside. On Figure 1 glue Tab A to the base to form a three-sided holder. Now insert the two-sided piece (Figure 2) through the holder. This little prayer reminder can sit next to your bed or on your pillow. Each morning and evening as you slide the picture piece through the holder from right to left, it will remind you to ponder, pray, and then listen.

    Prayer reminder

    Illustrated by Beth Whittaker

    Sharing Time Ideas

    1. Explain to the children that the Lord has commanded us to pray (see 3 Ne. 18:18–21). Tell them that their prayers will be most effective if they will ponder before praying and listen for an answer or a prompting after praying. Explain that an important part of praying is listening to or feeling the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Write the words ponder, pray, and listen on the chalkboard. Have the children sing these songs and decide which part of the prayer process each talks about: “I Pray in Faith,” Children’s Songbook, page 14 (pray); “I Feel My Savior’s Love,” Children’s Songbook, page 74 (ponder); “I Love to See the Temple,” Children’s Songbook, page 95 (listen).

    2. Help the children prepare a kit for giving a family home evening lesson on prayer. The kit might include: (1) These words written on a card: JESUS CHRIST SAID (3 Ne. 18:18–21). (2) Two envelopes glued on a piece of paper. In the top envelope, place 14 beans, beads, kernels of corn, or pieces of paper. Each morning and evening when the family has family prayer, an object is moved from one envelope to the other; thus, each week the family transfers the 14 objects from one envelope to the other. (This activity would work using any two containers.)

    3. Invite two or three families from the ward or branch to share with the children a time when their prayers as a family were answered. Encourage the children to ask their families when their prayers have been answered. Provide opportunities for the children to share these experiences in Primary.