To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
The Savior said, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your [families] may be blessed” (3 Nephi 18:21). By praying together, families can grow closer to Heavenly Father and to each other and invite the Holy Ghost in the home (see D&C 19:38).
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Invite the children to say the words “family prayer” a few times. Tell them you are going to learn a song about family prayer. Form a circle with the children, and have everyone hold hands. Sing or say the words to “Family Prayer” (Children’s Songbook, 189) and help the children do the actions with you:
Let us gather in a circle (walk around in a circle)
And kneel in family prayer (stop walking and kneel; have the children repeat “family prayer” after you)
To thank our Heavenly Father (fold arms)
For the blessings we all share.
Show the picture of a family praying (page 54). Help the children identify the different members of the family, and point out that they are kneeling and that their arms are folded, their heads are bowed, and their eyes are closed. Tell them that this family is having family prayer. Invite the children to say the words “family prayer.” Invite them to kneel, fold their arms, and bow their heads. Explain that when we have family prayer, we talk to Heavenly Father. We thank Him for our blessings, and we ask Him to help and bless our family.
Recite the following activity verse and invite the children to join you:
This is my mother, who helps me at play. (raise thumb)
This is my father, who works all the day. (raise second finger)
This is my brother, so strong and so tall. (raise third finger)
This is my sister, who likes to play ball. (raise fourth finger)
And this is me; I’m happy to say (raise fifth finger)
Together our family kneels down to pray. (close fist)
Display the picture of Jesus Christ on page 106. Open the Book of Mormon to 3 Nephi 18:21 and say, “Jesus said, ‘Pray in your families.’ ” Invite the children to repeat this sentence with you, a few words at a time.
Invite the children to say, “I can pray with my family,” a few words at a time.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the finger-puppet story: Copy and cut out the finger puppets on page 59. Color them if desired.
For the bag game: On four small bags write “We Are Thankful for Our Blessings.” In each bag place a picture of something we are thankful for (such as food, clothing, a house, a family, and so on). If you’d like, you can use copies of the illustrations on page 55 or elsewhere in this manual.
For the coloring activity: Copy the illustration on page 55 for each child to color. Bring scissors and tape.
Use the finger puppets to tell the following story about a family prayer:
Here is a family. This is the father, and this is the mother. Here are the sister and the brother. This is Peter, the little brother (point to the puppet of the baby). One day Peter was playing and hurt his eye (invite the children to cover their eye with their hand). Father and Mother took him to see the doctor (take the puppet off the finger and lay it on the floor). Peter’s family knelt in family prayer (invite the children to kneel). They asked Heavenly Father to bless Peter. Heavenly Father heard their prayer. He helped Peter get better (put the puppet back on the finger). Then Peter and his family had family prayer again to thank Heavenly Father for blessing Peter.
Place the bags on the floor. Have everyone hold hands, form a circle around the bags, and walk in a circle as you sing “Family Prayer.” Then stop walking, and let a child choose a bag and show the picture inside. Say, “We are thankful for [name of item pictured].” Praise the children for their participation. Repeat until every child who wants a turn has had one.
Let the children color a copy of page 55. When they are finished, cut out the strips, and link them together with tape to make a chain for each child to take home.