To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
Through prayer we can talk with our Heavenly Father. We tell Him we love Him, we thank Him for blessings, and we ask for help for ourselves and for others in need. We end our prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayer is one of the greatest blessings we have while we are here on earth. (See Matthew 6:9–13; Alma 34:18–27; 3 Nephi 18:19–21.)
Bring a few small items or pictures that represent things we are thankful for (such as clothing, food, the scriptures, and so on) in a large bag. Write “We Thank Thee” on the bag. Bring another bag with items or pictures representing things we might ask for in a prayer (such as a happy family, strong bodies, love, and so on). Write “Please Bless Us” on this bag.
Mark page 106 in this manual so that you can turn to it easily.
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Show the picture of the boy Jesus praying (page 18). Tell the children that this is a picture of Jesus praying when He was a child. Show the picture of a child praying (page 18). Explain that when we pray we are talking to Heavenly Father; we begin by saying, “Our Heavenly Father.” Invite the children to say, “Our Heavenly Father.”
Tell the children that next we thank Him for our blessings. Have a child select an item from the bag labeled “We Thank Thee.” Say, “We thank Thee for our [name of item the child has selected].” Invite the children to say, “We thank Thee.” Repeat this activity until all the items are selected. Then tell the children that next we ask Heavenly Father for blessings, and repeat the activity with the bag labeled “Please Bless Us.” Invite the children to say, “Please bless us.”
Show the picture of Jesus on page 106. Tell the children that we end our prayers by saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Invite the children to say it with you.
Recite the following activity verse and invite the children to join you:
I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”; (raise one finger—keep fingers raised throughout the activity verse)
I thank him for blessings he sends; (raise second finger)
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need, (raise third finger)
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. (raise fourth finger)
[“I Pray in Faith,” Children’s Songbook, 14]
Remind the children that when they pray they are talking to Heavenly Father. Share your testimony that Heavenly Father hears our prayers.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the flip-book activity: Copy the illustration on page 19. Color if desired. Make a flip book by cutting along the solid lines and folding along the dotted lines.
For the coloring activity: Copy the illustration on page 19 for each child to color. Cut along the solid lines before nursery begins.
Repeat the instructions on page 16 about what we say when we pray, this time using the flip book you have prepared. As you explain each part of prayer, lift the corresponding flap or invite a child to lift the flaps. You could also use the flip book while you recite the activity verse on page 16. You may want to keep the flip book to use during the nursery class in future weeks.
Open the Book of Mormon to Enos 1 and tell the children the story of Enos praying. Below is an example:
One day Enos went into the forest (have the children hold up their arms and pretend to be trees) to hunt animals (have them pretend to shoot an arrow). While he was in the forest, he prayed to Heavenly Father (have the children kneel as if praying; finish the story while they are kneeling). Heavenly Father answered his prayer, and Enos was happy. He knew Heavenly Father would bless him.
Say, “I can pray to Heavenly Father.” Invite the children to repeat it with you, a few words at a time.
Let the children color a copy of the illustration on page 19. When they are finished, fold along the dotted lines.