“Heavenly Father, Are You Really There?” Liahona, Sept. 2008, F4–F5
When Jesus lived on the earth, many people came to listen to His words. They brought their children so Jesus could bless them, but the disciples told them to go away. Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14). Jesus loved the children and blessed them.
The Primary song “A Child’s Prayer” reminds us of that scripture story and teaches us about prayer.
Heavenly Father, are you really there?
And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?
Some say that heaven is far away,
But I feel it close around me as I pray.
Heavenly Father, I remember now
Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:
“Suffer the children to come to me.”
Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.
Heavenly Father loves you. You are His child. He wants you to pray to Him often—anytime, anywhere. The next verse of this song reminds you to pray.
Pray, he is there;
Speak, he is list’ning.
You are his child;
His love now surrounds you.
He hears your prayer;
He loves the children.
Of such is the kingdom,
The kingdom of heav’n.
(Children’s Songbook, 12–13)
You can use the prayer journal on page F4 to remind you to pray. Remove the page, and place it by your bed or in your scriptures. Color the picture, and write down the things you would like to thank Heavenly Father for when you pray. He loves you and hears every prayer. He blesses you with what you need.
Prior to sharing time, make three simple signs for children to hold: Ask, Seek, Knock. Begin sharing time by helping the children find Matthew 7:7, and read it together. Hold up the signs, and review the words with the children. Memorize the scripture together. Bear testimony that we learn about prayer from the scriptures. Display Gospel Art Picture Kit 305 (Enos Praying) and 403 (The First Vision). Share those scripture accounts about prayer (see Enos 1:1–18; Joseph Smith—History 1:14–20). Allow time for the children to share experiences they have had with prayer. Conclude by singing a song or hymn about prayer, and bear testimony of the power of prayer.
Show 3-53 from the Primary 3 picture packet, and share the story about Karolina’s prayer (Primary 3, lesson 26, pp. 123–24). Repeat the weekly gospel principle: “Heavenly Father wants me to pray to Him often—anytime, anywhere.” Scramble the words in these two phrases: “call upon his holy name” and “cry unto him.” Write the scrambles on the chalkboard, and ask the children to work together as classes to unscramble the phrases (see “Scrambles,” Teaching, No Greater Call , 184). Invite them to look in Alma 34:17–18 to help them find the answer. Explain that these two phrases are ways of describing prayer. Choose key words (“crops,” “fields,” “houses,” “household,” and so on) from Alma 34:17–27 that name some things to pray about. Write them on the chalkboard. Have the children find them in the scriptures, and discuss how this passage of scripture applies to their lives. Bear testimony of the power of prayer in your life.