02 November 2012

FHE - Prayer

"I can pray to Heavenly Father, and He will hear and answer my prayers."


Help family members develop a sincere desire to pray, and help them know that they will always receive an answer because Heavenly Father loves them.

Opening Song

"Sweet Hour of Prayer" (Hymns, no. 142).


Bishop H. Burke Peterson: "I want you to know that I know that whenever one of Heavenly Father's children kneels and talks to him, he listens. I know this as well as I know anything in this world—that Heavenly Father listens to every prayer from his children. I know our prayers ascend to heaven. No matter what we may have done wrong, he listens to us.
"I also believe he answers us. I don't believe he ignores his children when they talk to him." ("Prayer—Try Again," Ensign, June 1981, p. 73.)

Have someone in your family read aloud Matthew 7:11.
Q. What do you think this scripture means?
Now have the members of your family share their examples of when their prayers were answered.
Explain to your family that because Heavenly Father loves them he will always answer their prayers in the way that is best for them. Sometimes the answer will be yes; sometimes, no; sometimes, wait; and sometimes he will let us work it out ourselves. Explain that Heavenly Father knows what is best for us, and he will give us "good things" or the things that will help us the most, because he loves us.
Q. Have you ever felt that your prayers were not answered?
Explain to your family that sometimes we do not realize that Heavenly Father has answered our prayers, but later we see that he has given us an answer. Tell the story to illustrate (on following page)
Q. Have you ever prayed for something and not recognized the answer to your prayer until later?
Let the family members give examples.
Remind your family that Heavenly Father answers all their prayers and they can always trust him to know what is best for them (see D&C 88:64, D&C 112:10). 
Q. When, how, where, why do we pray?
 Have someone read aloud Alma 34:21, 26, 27
How to Pray: In Matthew 6:515, the Savior gave some directions and a model for prayer. Ask family members to suggest different ways people pray. Discuss how these ways fit with what the Savior taught. Discuss what language to use while praying, saying silent prayers, using memorized prayers or repetitious wordings, what we should and should not ask for in our prayers, and relying on the Spirit as we pray.

Brother Robinson had just moved his small family into their new cabin home near the forest where he worked. He was grateful for his daughter and his beautiful wife, who would soon have their second child.
The family knelt in prayer together one night around the dinner table. They thanked Heavenly Father for their blessings and asked for his protection.
As the family sat at the table together, they could hear the frightening sounds of the wind as it whistled through the trees in the nearby forest. Suddenly the wind uprooted a giant tree. Five different trees fell, one knocking down the other. One tree crashed through the roof of their small cabin, breaking the boards over their heads. One of the boards fell on Brother Robinson and cut his head.
Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but Brother Robinson's family had to leave their home and return to live with relatives in the city for the winter. Brother Robinson had to leave them and return to the logging camp to continue working.
(Do you think the family's prayer was answered? )
Brother Robinson recalled his feelings at the time, "My home was in shambles, and I was separated from my family. I felt as if the Lord had not heard our prayers, and I wondered how he could have allowed this to happen to us."
Brother Robinson continued, "Later I realized how wrong I was in thinking that the Lord had not heard our prayers, for the snowstorms were so terrible that year that many families were snowed in all winter. We would have been left to ourselves with no help or supplies and no doctor to deliver the baby. I could have lost my wife or our new baby girl—or both! I realized then that the Lord had heard and answered our prayer for our protection."
(Explain that sometimes, like Brother Robinson, we do not recognize answers to our prayers because we do not see everything as clearly as our Heavenly Father does.)

Closing Song
 “A Prayer Song” (Children’s Song Book # 22)

As a family, memorize Doctrine and Covenants 10:5. Memorize a few words at a time and have each family member repeat them. Follow this by lining up and having each member of the family, in order, say the word that comes next until someone misses a word. Do this several times; by the end of the activity most of the family will remember the scripture very well.
For young children: color prayer train and talk about how to say a prayer, attach train to wall for a visual reminder
For older children: have them write down prayers and then listen to answers. When they receive the answer to their prayers they can write down the answer or that it was answered and then visually see that the Lord does answer prayers.
Other song choices:
"We bow our heads" (Children's Song Book pg. 25A)
"I pray in faith" (Children's Song Book pg. 14)

Other Ideas: 
  • Talk about prayer from the bible dictionary (under prayer) about talking to Heavenly Father because we are his literal children.
  •  Choose four children to help you with this activity.  Make a small train track from masking tape and for the children to stand on. The children represent a train. Give each of the children a part of prayer train; however, do not give it to them in order.  Give the first child the train, "We thank thee...", the second child, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen", etc.  See if anyone can help you put this train in the right order.  As each child is asked to stand in their correct place, review the importance of the order of prayer.  Ask the children if they would ever go to their mom and start out a conversation by saying, "Because I want to mom!"  What would your mother say?  Probably, "What do you want?"  When we speak to our parents, we show respect; however, we show an even greater level of respect by following the steps of prayer.  
  • STORY: Let me tell you a story...it might sound familiar, but then again, it might not.
    A little steam engine had a long train of cars to pull.  She went along very well till she came to a steep hill. But then, no matter how hard she tried, she could not move the long train of cars.  She pulled and she pulled. She puffed and she puffed.
    Have you ever had a hard day and you huff and puff?? Do you ever just want to talk to someone about your day?  Let's see what happens...

    She backed and started off again. Choo! Choo!  But no! the cars would not go up the hill.  At last she left the train and started up the track alone. Do you think she had stopped working? No, indeed! She was going for help.
      "Surely I can find someone to help me ," she thought.
    Who could the Little Engine ask for help? Maybe a friend?
    Over the hill and up the track went the little steam engine. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo!
    Pretty soon she saw a big steam engine standing on a side track. He looked very big and strong. Running alongside, she looked up and said: "Will you help me over the hill with my train of cars? It is so long and heavy I can't get it over."  The big steam engine said he couldn't help.
    The Little Engine decides to ask another friend for help....do you think they'll be able to help her?

    She went on, Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!  Soon she came to a second big steam engine standing on a side track. He was puffing and puffing, as if he were tired.  "That big steam engine may help me," thought the little steam engine. She ran alongside and asked: "Will you help me bring my train of cars over the hill? It is so long and so heavy that I can't get it over."  The second big steam engine answered: "I have just come in from a long, long run. Don't you see how tired I am? Can't you get some other engine to help you this time?
    Instead of asking friends for help this time, the Little Engine decides to ask for help from Heavenly Father.  How do we speak to Heavenly Father?  (Through prayer).  Does Heavenly Father listen to everyone's prayers or just certain people?  (Everyone) Well then let's see what happens to Little Engine.
    After a while she said a little prayer.  She said, "Dear Heavenly Father..." (show picture of Train 1), "I thank thee (show picture of Train 2) for the strength thou hast given to me so far.  The journey is so long and so heavy I don't know if I can make it.  I ask thee (show picture of Train 3) to help me over the hill with my train of cars.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen (show picture of Train 4)."
    The little steam engine felt so happy inside.  She knew Heavenly Father was saying, "Yes, indeed!  I would love to help you...thank you for thinking of me!  But I need you to do your part...will you try?"
    "Yes, I'll do my best," said the little steam engine, and off she went. Choo, choo! Choo, choo! Choo, choo!  So the little steam engines started back to where the train of cars had been standing. Slowly the cars began to move. Slowly they climbed the steep hill. As they climbed, the little steam engine began to sing:  "I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can! I-think-I-can!  And together they did! Very soon they were over the hill and going down the other side.
    Now they were on the plain again; and the little steam engine could pull her train herself.
    The Little Engine knew that Heavenly Father had helped her through a tough situation, one she couldn't have done by herself.  What would be a good thing to do at this point?

    She offered a quick prayer of thanks.  She said, "Dear Heavenly Father..." (show picture of Train 1), "I thank thee for helping me when I didn't have the strength (show picture of Train 2).  I ask thee to continue to be with me (show picture of Train 3).  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen (show picture of Train 4)."  And she went merrily on her way, singing that together she knew-they-could, she knew-they-could, she knew-they-could, she knew-they-could.
    When we call upon Heavenly Father to help us, we become a team.  He asks us to do our part and He will do His. 

Peanut Butter Yummies
1 pkg. graham crackers, finely crushed
1 pound powdered sugar
2 cups peanut butter
1 cup butter, divided
1 cup your favorite jam
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and 2/3 cup butter by hand until blended. Press into an 8×8-inch square pan. Spread jam and crumb mixture. In small saucepan, combine remaining 1/3 cup butter and chocolate chips; heat until melted. Spread over jam. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve in small piece. 

Other refreshment options:
TRAIN TREATS:  (Here are several possible edible train creations for refreshments). 

1.  Marshmallow Trains - Use pretzel sticks to hook the "cars" together and peanut butter to glue cheerios on as wheels and other features. 

2.  Graham Cracker Trains - Make these flat on a paper plate.  Use frosting to connect the sides and decorate. 

3.  Hostess Twinkie Trains - Attach cookie wheels (Oreos) with frosting. 

4.  Edible Train
(Click here to see picture): Make a delicious train out of cookies, snack cakes and other goodies! (Source: www.tosmagazine.com

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