Sharing Time: Prayer


“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

Prayer

When you need to know an answer to a question, whom do you ask? When you are hurt, who helps you? When you are sad, who comforts you? In the scriptures, we read of men, women, and children who prayed to Heavenly Father when they had questions or needed help or comfort.

Joseph Smith was 14 years old when he wanted to know which church to join. He prayed one morning in a grove of trees near his family’s farm (see JS—H 1:5–20).

Moses wondered about all of God’s marvelous creations. He asked questions about them on “an exceedingly high mountain” (see Moses 1:1, 30).

Enos had gone to the woods to hunt when he recognized that he needed forgiveness for his sins. Enos “cried unto [the Lord] in mighty prayer” (see Enos 1).

Daniel prayed daily, even though the law said that people who prayed would be thrown into a den of hungry lions (see Dan. 6).

Esther fasted and prayed before going to the king’s court to plead for her people (see Esth. 4–5).

Each of these people prayed for help. They believed that no matter where they were or what time of day it was, Heavenly Father could hear their prayers. The scriptures show that Heavenly Father did hear their prayers and that he answered them.

One day after hearing Jesus Christ pray, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Jesus taught them the Lord’s Prayer (see Matt. 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4). This prayer is a pattern for us to follow, too. Jesus also gave the disciples a promise that their prayers would be answered. He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matt. 7:7).

Just as Heavenly Father heard the prayers of the people in the scriptures, he hears our prayers today, and he answers them in ways that are for our good.

Instructions

Color the picture on page 13 by number:

1 = flesh

2 = red

3 = black

4 = pink

5 = blue

6 = purple

7 = green

8 = light green

9 = yellow

10 = light blue

11 = brown

 
Coloring page(click to view larger)

I Can Pray to Heavenly Father Anytime, Anywhere. Illustrated by Sheri Lynn Boyer Doty

Sharing Time Ideas

  1. 1.

    Share the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision (see JS—H 1:5–20; “Joseph Smith and the First Vision,” Primary 5 [manual, 1996] 1–6). Tell how James 1:5 helped Joseph realize that Heavenly Father will answer the prayers of his faithful children (see JS—H 1:11). Tell the children that one of the first things missionaries teach people interested in the Church is that they, too, can receive answers to their prayers. Sing the third verse of “On a Golden Springtime” (Children’s Songbook, 88; The Friend, April 1995, 13).

  2. 2.

    Read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13 [Matt. 6:9–13]. Explain that it is a pattern for how we pray. Help the children understand the principles taught in Matthew 6:5–8, 14–15 [Matt. 6:5–8, 14–15]. Bear your own testimony of the importance of prayer. Sing “I Pray in Faith” (Children’s Songbook, 14; Tambulilit, March 1991, 5).

  3. 3.

    Prepare a piece of paper for each child by dividing it into four equal sections and printing “Dear Heavenly Father” in the upper left quadrant, “I thank thee …” at the top of the upper right quadrant, “Please bless …” at the top of the lower left quadrant, and “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen” in the lower right quadrant. Ask them to draw pictures of things they are thankful for and what they ask the Lord’s blessings for in the appropriate places. (This activity could also be done on the chalkboard.)

[illustrations] Detail from The Garden of Gethsemane, by Carl Heinrich Bloch, original at the Chapel of Frederiksborg Castle, Denmark, used with permission of the Frederiksborgmuseum; Detail from Joseph Smith’s First Vision, by Greg K. Olsen, courtesy of the artist and Art Print Publisher, Millpond Press, Venice, Florida; Enos Praying, by Robert T. Barrett; Detail from Esther Prepares to Meet the King, by Robert T. Barrett