Gethsemane by Bulgrarian Artist Julia Stankova (for more of her artwork JuliaStanokva.com)
The greatest prayer ever given and answered.
Monthly Theme: Prayer Is Reverent Communication between God and Me
Monthly Scripture: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” James 1:5
Week 1 I Can Pray to Heavenly Father.
* Bring in a glass bottle (or jar). A long time ago people stranded on islands, would take glass bottles and write messages on paper. They would then seal the letter in a bottle and throw it out to sea in hopes that what they had to say would be found.
Do you think this is a very good form of communication? Why or why not? What are some ways we communicate in today's day and age?? Are they good forms of communication, why or why not? What is the only perfect form of communication?? PRAYER!!! No matter where, when, or why... Heavenly Father ALWAYS hears His children's prayers and will answer.
Have 10-12 plastic bottles with paper that has a question about prayer on it. Have them scattered throughout the room and invite a reverent primary friend to come up and find a bottle and answer the question. If there is time remaining, invite the children to write some things they can pray for this week on a piece of paper. Bring in enough dry, plastic water bottles for them to put their paper in and take home.
We are never stranded, we are never on a deserted island alone!! Help is always available when we pray to Heavenly Father. He will hear us!! Sing A Child's Prayer (CS pg. 12) to end.
* I love The Friend. It always has such great stories! HERE is a captivating story about a little girl who learned the importance of prayer after facing PIRATES!!!!
After reading the story, with possibly a patch on your eye and a sword on your belt... invite the children to share their thoughts about the story. Have 2 ship pictures on opposite sides of the room. One picture will have small post its with even numbers 1-10, and the other picture will have post its with odd numbers 1-10. Have a long strip of tape (a plank) to one ship. Have a strip of cloth to tie 2 children's legs together (to make a pirate peg leg/3 legged race type thing). You will need corresponding questions (or scriptures or songs for the whole primary to sing) for the numbers about prayer.
(This is the ship Brooklyn and would have been similar to what the Hudson looked like)
Invite a reverent friend to walk the plank and choose a number or choose a friend to become a peg-legged pirate and choose a number on the other ship. Then have them answer the question or read a scripture.
Do we have to shiver our timbers or live in fear, ARGH!!!!??!!!? NO!!! Heavenly Father is always a prayer away and will give us the strength and comfort we need!!
* Prayer Partner Tag. This is NOT a running activity, even though it has the word tag in it!! Also, we want to have the spirit with us in primary, so everyone please be positive and cheerful when you are tapped. Group primary friends in partners. They are going to have 1 minute-ish to share a story from their OWN LIFE about a time they prayed. Go ahead and think carefully about what you want to share. Now tell your partner. Did you feel the spirit when you prayed? Did something special happen? When time is up you are going to say find a new partner by tagging/tapping their shoulder. If someone taps you, sit down. Repeat YOUR story to your new partner (or if you can think of a new one, you can share that too!). Do this about 7 times. Afterwards, have someone reverent share a story FROM ONE OF THEIR PARTNERS that they really liked with the whole primary.
If a child cannot think of a personal experience with prayer, invite them to share one they remember from the scriptures.
Week 2 The scriptures teach me how and when to pray.
* HERE is a link to lds.org that has scripture retellings in an easy to read format. There are many that talk about prayer, you can print out about 5. I would have teachers read one to their class, then switch teachers!!! Rotate the teachers between classes to share the story with the new class. Take about 2 minutes for the teacher to read, if they are done early invite the children & teacher to talk about their favorite stories from the scriptures about people who prayed.
* HERE is a link to lds.org with scripture cut out figures. Print out about 5 of the stories and attach to popsicle sticks (the Rameumpton one is great!!) Divide into groups. Have the children choose a person who can tell about the story. Have other children hold the sticks, what can those people say to add to the story?? Prepare in the groups and then share with the whole primary. If you are able to, maybe set up a puppet theater (A box with a square hole would work) and have the children with the sticks behind it.
* Have a tic-tac-toe square drawn on the board. There should be 9 spaces. In each space write a person from the scriptures that prayed. (For example: Enos, Jesus in Gethsemane, Abish, Alma the Elder, Nephi, etc.) Invite a primary friend to place an X on a story they can tell the primary about and how that scripture story taught us about prayer. Repeat with another player and an O.
Invite the children to play this game at home for a Family Home Evening!!
Weeks 3 & 4 Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.
* I LOOOOOOOOOVE THIS Friend story!!! And the reason I love it is because there have been a lot of times I've prayed for something and didn't get what I wanted. But I'm grateful for this, because I know Heavenly Father knows best!! Share the story and do an art project together...
HERE is an easier turtle project for Junior primary
HERE is a more challenging (but VERY doable) turtle project for Senior primary
The projects linked involve watercolors, but you can skip that and just have the children color with crayons or markers. Practice drawing before hand so you know how to instruct the children. Use the chalkboard to show them the steps of the drawing. On the bottom of their art, if they know how to write, invite them to write - Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers!!
* HERE is a great sharing time from The Friend. It has step by step pictures on how we can receive answers to prayers then gives many case studies/examples for children to decide what step was used.
* THIS talk is quite powerful and full of good doctrine. He Knows You by Name Sister Elaine Dalton May 2005
"Did you know that Heavenly Father knows you personally—by name? The scriptures teach us that this is true. When Enos went into the woods to pray, he recorded, “There came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” Moses not only prayed but also talked to God face-to-face, and God said to Moses, “I have a work for thee, Moses, my son.” The Lord knew Jacob’s name and changed it to Israel to more accurately reflect his mission on the earth.Similarly, He changed the names of Paul and Abraham and Sarah. In Doctrine and Covenants, section 25, Emma Smith is given a blessing for her comfort and guidance in life. The Lord begins this blessing by saying, “Hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, while I speak unto you, Emma Smith, my daughter.”
You may not have heard the Lord call you by name, but He knows each one of you and He knows your name. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said: “I testify to you that God has known you individually … for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!"
In larger primaries, sometimes the children can recognize each other, but don't know everyone's name!! Isn't it amazing that Heavenly Father has so many children and can remember every single one?!?!? Line up 10 children up front. Invite them to share their name and favorite animal or color. Choose a person from the primary who can remember every person up front and what they said. Have a few questions, scriptures, or songs prepared on the topic of prayer. In between each naming round, ask the prepared questions. Is there a superstar that can name everyone in Primary??? Wow!!! End with the quote, "You may not have heard the Lord call you by name, but He knows each one of you and He knows your name." And He will hear and answer your prayers!!!
* Sweet Hour of Prayer!!! Read the 2 verses of the song. Or pass out some Hymn books and sing together!!
Play build a cupcake! Draw some cupcakes at home and cut them into 3 parts- cupcake liner, frosting, cherry or chocolate on top. Here is an easy step by step chart to help.
Cupcakes and sweet, and prayer is even sweeter!!! Why?? Because the sweetness of prayer is more than sugar, it's a peace and calm. It's a way to feel happiness, comfort, and joy! Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.