October: Prayer Is Reverent Communication between God and Me

2011 Outline for Sharing Time: I Know the Scriptures Are True, (2010), 20–21


Supplement the ideas provided here with some of your own. Plan ways to identify the doctrine for the children and help them understand it and apply it in their lives. Ask yourself, “What will the children do to learn, and how can I help them feel the Spirit?”

Week 1: I can pray to Heavenly Father.

boy praying

Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Ask a parent and child to stand in front of the children. Invite the child to ask his or her parent a question, and have the parent answer. Then ask the parent to leave the room and close the door. Ask the children how they can communicate with their parents when they are not with them (for example, writing a letter or talking on the phone). Explain that God is our Father and we are His children; because we are not in His presence, He has given us a way to talk to Him. Ask the children if they know how we talk to God. Have the children say after you, “I can pray to Heavenly Father.”

flip book

Encourage understanding (coloring): Sing “I Pray in Faith” (CS, 14). Make a copy of the flip book on page 19 of the nursery manual, Behold Your Little Ones, for each child. Invite the children to color the pictures. (Older children could write on the flaps some things they are grateful for and some things they could ask Heavenly Father for. You could then invite them to share their ideas with the whole Primary.) Have the children sing the song again while reviewing their flip books.

boy in wheelchair

Planning activities that involve the children in a variety of ways enhances understanding and application. For example, in this activity the children see, sing, color, write, hear, and share.

Week 2: The scriptures teach me how and when to pray.

Identify the doctrine (memorizing a scripture): Help the children memorize the following sentence from Alma 13:28: “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually.” Discuss what the scripture teaches about how and when we should pray.

Encourage understanding (reading scriptures and hearing a scripture story): Help the children understand that we can pray to Heavenly Father silently in our hearts anytime, anywhere and that we should thank Him for our blessings and ask Him for help. Write the following scripture references on the board: 3 Nephi 18:19; 3 Nephi 19:6–8; 3 Nephi 18:15. Also write the words how and when on the board. Invite the children to look up each scripture and discuss what it teaches us about how or when we should pray. Tell about Alma and Amulek teaching the Zoramites how to pray (see Alma 31; 34:17–27; see also Primary 4, lesson 21). You may want to ask a few children to act out the story as you tell it.

Encourage application (sharing feelings and singing songs): Invite several children to share how they feel when they pray. Ask the children to suggest some Primary songs that teach about prayer. Sing a few of the songs, and invite the children to suggest simple actions to replace one or two words in each song. For example, instead of singing the words “pray” or “prayer,” they could fold their arms.

Weeks 3 and 4: Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.

Identify the doctrine (reading scriptures): Have the children look up 3 Nephi 14:7 and James 1:5. Invite them to look for what the scriptures teach about prayer. Read the scriptures out loud together, and let the children share what they learn. Invite the children to say “Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers” with you.

children in groups

Stations are places where smaller groups of children participate in various learning experiences (see TNGC, 179). In large Primaries, stations can be as simple as teachers moving between groups of children.

Encourage understanding and application (listening to stories): Divide the children into groups, and have them take turns visiting the following stations (see TNGC, 179). At each station, have a teacher explain one way Heavenly Father answers our prayers and allow the children to share how their prayers have been answered. You may want to plan two of the stations for one week and the other two stations for the next week.

  • Station 1: Sometimes prayers are answered by thoughts or ideas that can come to our minds and hearts (see D&C 8:2). Share an experience when this happened in your life, or tell the story of Enos (see Enos 1:4–5, 10; see also Behold Your Little Ones, 17).

  • Station 2: Heavenly Father can use others to answer prayers. Share an experience when someone else has answered your prayers, or tell the story of President Thomas S. Monson answering Ben and Emily Fullmer’s prayer (see Conference Report, Oct. 2003, 63; or Ensign, Nov. 2003, 58–59).

  • Station 3: Answers to prayer can come from the words of Christ, which are found in the scriptures (see 2 Nephi 32:3). Share an experience when you have had a prayer answered as you read your scriptures.

  • Station 4: Answers to prayer can come from the teachings of the latter-day prophets (see D&C 1:38). Show the children an issue of the Ensign or the Friend, and tell them that they can find the teachings of the prophets in the Church magazines. Share an experience when you have had a prayer answered as you have listened to general conference or read the words of latter-day prophets.