To help each child understand that regular family prayer helps keep a family close to Heavenly Father and to each other.
A Book of Mormon.
Cutout 1-26, father; cutout 1-27, mother; cutout 1-28, young girl; cutout 1-29, missionary-age boy (similar cutouts can also be found in Primary Visual Aids Cutouts set 1).
Picture 1-10, Family Prayer (62275); picture 1-15, Blessing the Food; picture 1-44, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (Gospel Art Picture Kit 316; 62380).
Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Ask the children to tell about something they do with their families. Give each child a chance to respond. Then show picture 1-10, Family Prayer.
What is this family doing?
Explain that when we pray as a family, we are doing something that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to do. Praying as a family is called family prayer.
Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to pray with our families
Show picture 1-44, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere. Tell about Jesus Christ visiting the Nephites and commanding them to pray, as described in 3 Nephi 18:17–21. Show the children the Book of Mormon and read 3 Nephi 18:21 aloud. Help the children understand that Jesus wants us to pray with our families. Just as the Nephite children were blessed through family prayer, so can we be blessed through family prayer.
We can have family prayer every day
Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to pray with our families every morning and every night. Usually the father or person in charge of the family asks someone to say the prayer. Anyone in the family can say a family prayer.
When should we pray with our families?
Who can say a family prayer?
Sing or say the words to
What do we say in family prayers?
Explain that we say the same kinds of things in family prayers as we say in our own prayers in the morning and at night. But in family prayer we talk about things that concern the whole family, not just ourselves.
Review the things we say when we pray by singing or saying the words to the second verse of
(© 1987 by Janice Kapp Perry. Used by permission.)
What do we say at the beginning of a prayer?
What do we say at the end of a prayer?
What should everyone else do while the prayer is being said?
Explain that saying “amen” at the end of a prayer means that we agree with what was said in the prayer.
Show picture 1-15, Blessing the Food. Explain that we also pray as a family when we ask for a blessing on our food.
What do we say when we ask for a blessing on the food? (We thank Heavenly Father for the food and ask him to bless it.)
Who can say a prayer to ask Heavenly Father to bless the food?
Sing the second verse of “I Pray in Faith” again.
We receive many blessings by praying together as a family
Using cutouts 1-26 through 1-29, tell a story about a family praying together for a family member who is serving a mission. You may want to use the following ideas:
Catherine was a young girl. She loved her family and knew they loved her. Sometimes her big brother Paul told her stories from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Paul was studying these books because he wanted to go on a mission and tell other people about them.
One day Paul received a letter. When he opened the letter, he was excited. “I’m going on a mission!” he said. A few weeks later, Paul was finally ready to go. Before he left, the family knelt for family prayer. Catherine’s father thanked Heavenly Father for the many blessings their family had and for Paul’s opportunity to go on a mission. He asked Heavenly Father to bless Paul, to keep him safe, and to help him be a good missionary. The prayer made Catherine feel happy inside. She knew that Heavenly Father would help Paul on his mission. Catherine and her family prayed for Paul every day while he was on his mission.
Explain that families can pray together for someone who is sick, for help with a family problem, for a missionary who needs Heavenly Father’s help, and for many other reasons. Explain that we can pray about anything that is important to us. Use Alma 34:19–27 to help the children understand when to pray.
Read 3 Nephi 18:21 aloud again. Remind the children that Jesus promised we will be blessed if we have family prayer.
Express your testimony of family prayer. You may wish to talk about a time when family prayer strengthened your own family.
Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.
Do the following activity verse with the children:This is my mother, who helps me at play (raise first finger);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 (extend thumb)Together our family kneels down to pray (close fist).
Toss or hand a soft object such as a beanbag or ball to the children, one at a time. After the children catch the object, ask them to name something they could thank Heavenly Father for when they say a family prayer. After each child has had a turn, repeat the activity, having the children name things they could ask Heavenly Father for when they say a family prayer.
Give each child a piece of paper and crayons or pencils. Let the children draw pictures of their families praying. Label each picture I am happy when my family prays together.
Sing or say the words to
“A Song of Thanks” (Children’s Songbook, p. 20) or “A Prayer Song” (Children’s Songbook, p. 22).
Additional Activities for Younger Children
Help the children repeat this verse, line by line:We love Heavenly Father;We thank him when we pray.Heavenly Father loves us;He hears the things we say.
Tell a story of a family praying together and receiving the needed assistance. For example, the family could be lost and then find their way; they could lose something and then find it; or someone in the family could be sick and then be made well. Suggest that in addition to praying for help, the family should remember to offer a prayer of thanks after receiving the help they needed. Remind the children that Heavenly Father is happy when we thank him for the blessings he gives us.
Sing or say the words to the first and third verses of
“Thanks to Our Father” (Children’s Songbook, p. 20).
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