Week 3 Heavenly Father knows me. He will answer my prayers in ways that are best for me.
** Have a child come up to the front of the room. Ask them where they would like to go, anywhere in the room! Take them by the hand, take them where they want to go. Invite another child to do the same but this time take them to a picture of Christ up in the room.
Read quote by President Hinckley, " The Lord has said, ‘Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers’ (D&C 112:10). What a tremendous promise is given in this statement. If we are without conceit and pride and arrogance, if we are humble and obedient, then the Lord will lead us by the hand and answer our prayers. What greater thing could we ask for? There is nothing to compare with this."
Invite yet one other child and this time lead him to the chalkboard. At the chalkboard have a picture of a child praying (GAK 605) and the lesson's theme written covered by a large piece of paper. Have the child remove the paper.
** Is there a doctor in your ward or branch? Invite them in for a quick 5 minutes. Have a child come up and tell the doctor how to do brain surgery. Hmmmm… that’s tricky. Have another child come up and tell the doctor what medicine he should give a person with the flu. Ask the doctor how long he went to school. How long has he been a doctor? Ask the children if he probably knows more about being a doctor than they do. So it is with Heavenly Father. We should never tell Heavenly Father what to do. We must always ask politely, with reverence and be open to however He sees fit to answer our prayers.
** Divide the children into groups of 3 or 4. Ask them to find out some interesting things about each other. Then have them come up to the front, introduce each other and say one thing they learned about each other. Ask them if they know each other better now? After everyone has shared, ask them if they think they know someone in the room really well... perhaps a brother knows his younger brother really well.
How do you get to know a person? You need to talk to them and spend time with them. Heavenly Father has done this and knows each one of us better than we know ourselves!! When we talk and spend time praying to Him, He will answer our prayers in ways that are best for us.
Read Isaiah 55:8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
** Feeling ambitious?? Need a change of pace?? Bring in some shoe boxes (or you could use sturdy paper plates), paper, scissors, glue sticks, crayons… the works. Have the children make dioramas (a 3-D display work of art) of a place they can pray to Heavenly Father. Challenge them to go to this place and give sincere, humble prayer and see what happens! Bear testimony that Heavenly Father knows them and will answer their prayers in ways that are best for them.
-Give a 5 minute warning when you want to end the activity. Then again give a 1 minute warning. Now everyone has 10 seconds to put their box under their chair and show me what a reverent person looks like. I don’t need anyone to count, just look at my fingers and listen to my voice.
-Scrap patrol, if some children finish early have them go on scrap patrol with small garbage cans to help clean up.
-Have some pre-cut and drawn things for the sunbeams to glue to boxes, like windows, trees, bed, chairs, people-trace a small cookie cutter person, table… (And remember for it to be 3-D diorama style these things will need small tabs to be folded on and glued)
-Say this at the beginning, say it during the middle and end - Let the children know IF THEY DON’T FINISH IT’S OK!! I’m sure working on it at home would greatly please Heavenly Father as you will be keeping the Sabbath Day holy thinking about the wonderful blessing of prayer!!
-Have soft piano music in the background and remind the children to keep voices low enough to where we can hear the beautiful music.
-Have all the adults walking around and helping. Hold up boxes while others are working and compliment. Keep your compliments specific (E.G. Tim’s prayer box is very colorful! I can see all the colors of the rainbows, isn’t that beautiful! Vs. This is a nice box. Another example- Gayle has been working and concentrating so hard on her prayer box. You can definitely tell, look at all the details she put on the blanket. What dedication! Vs. Isn’t this a pretty blanket?) When you compliment in this way you are showing the children you really care and that you are willing to give proper attention to their diligence.
-Ask the bishop if you could display the boxes in his office for a week or two. As the children take the challenge seriously they can report back to him on Sunday and talk about what happened, he can then give them their prayer box back. But PLEASE make this just an option for the children, some will more than likely want to take their box home, never force anybody!!
Week 4 Answers to my prayers come from Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost, the scriptures, and others.
** Also, another answer to prayers is described in Gospel Principles, "Often God gives us the power to help answer our own prayers. As we pray for help, we should do all we can to bring about the things we desire. (p. 44)
** Have a panel of children. Give them each a name; Enos, Daniel (Daniel 6:1-23), Zenos (Alma 33:3-6), Nephi (1 Nephi 17:7-8), Brother of Jared (Ether 3), Moses (Moses 1), Joseph Smith (D&C 122). Let the children look up scriptures related to that person and let the other children come up with questions to find out who these people are. Try to work in questions like, what did you pray for? how were your prayers answered? what did you see during your prayer? did you hear a voice during or after your prayer? After each prophet is discovered talk about how their prayers were answered.
** Have a talented singer from your ward or branch come in and start off the lesson by singing Joseph Smith's First Prayer (Hymn Book page 26).
On a table up front have a variety (that means at least 20 different things) of pictures, scriptures written on paper, stories about Joseph from the friend magazine. Do your research, you will be blessed! (Start by searching the friend magazine using key words Joseph Smith Prayer, look in the topical guide, try the institute manual Church History in the Fullness of Times) Have the children divided into small groups of 4-5. On the blackboard put: How was Joseph Smith's prayers answered. Give the children 7-10 minutes and some chalk. As they find answers invite them up to the blackboard to write down what they think. For younger children have them have an adult help or they can draw a small picture. Put a teacher with each group and have a rule where only 4 people can be at the chalkboard at a time.
With the remaining time have the children then talk about what they learned or found out. Did Joseph have any experiences where his prayers were answered by the holy ghost, scriptures or other people?
** There are 2 parables in the New Testament where Jesus Himself teaches about prayer.
The Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-8) and The Selfish Judge (Luke 18:1-8)
Have the children write down an experience they have had with prayer and how it was answered- was it by the holy ghost, scriptures or other people?? The younger ones can draw pictures. Put together a modern day parable book and then read it to the children. If they can't remember examples in their own life, have a couple back up experiences in your life or other's lives that you can talk about and have them write down or draw. Give the book to a new convert or to the missionaries who are teaching someone.
** Have an envelope. I just received my power bill. How will I pay it? Explain that I can mail back payment, pay on the computer, go to the power plant and pay it. Take a vote, how would the children pay the bill? It's nice to have choices.
Have a stuffed dog. I need to take my dog for a walk. I could walk down the street, take him to the marina or I could take him to the park. Take a vote, how where would the children take the dog. It's nice to have choices.
Have a picture of someone praying. This person is saying a prayer. How does Heavenly Father answer prayers? Heavenly Father has choices too when it comes to answering prayers. He can answer them with the Holy Ghost, scriptures or through other people.
Have different case studies/examples/short stories of people and prayer. Give the children a piece of paper folded in thirds with a drawing of scriptures, people and the word Holy Ghost on each third. As you tell each case study, have them decide how the prayer was answered and show you by folding the paper to the answer they think.
For a few stories see here, here, here, and here. A case study could include, Mary was very nervous about a math test coming up. She knew all her multiplication facts except for 9 times 9. She said many prayers, but to her it didn't seem like it did any good. She still always forgot the answer. That night at FHE they studied D&C 81. It talked about the mansions Heavenly Father has prepared for us. It really touched her heart. Then all of a sudden, she knew the answer. 9 times 9 was 81!!!