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Song: "Secret Prayer" (Hymns, no. 144)
Scripture: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22).
"Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good..." (D&C 90:24).
Conference Talk: "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer" by Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, April 2007.
Materials needed: A hand eggbeater (or whisk) and an electric mixer.
Procedure: Ask the family, if they were to mix up a cake batter, which tool they would rather use. Suggest that they could get the job done with the hand mixer, but it would take a lot more time to get the batter smooth. (Perhaps demonstrate this while preparing treats for afterwards.) It would also prove to be very tiring. The electric mixer would be much easier to use. This is because they would be using an additional power source to help with the work.
Point out that oftentimes we try to do things on our own without enlisting the help from our Heavenly Father. He is there for us anytime we are willing to plug into the power source. We will find the burden to be lighter when we seek the guidance and strength of the Lord.
(Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, More Power Tools for Teaching, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1991], p. 103).
President James E. Faust shared several stories of the power of prayer in his talk, "The Lifeline of Prayer", given in April 2002. Read the following examples of faithful prayer, then share as a family times that prayer has helped you in your own lives.
The Savior told us, “Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.” In our day, the Church urges us to have family prayer every night and every morning.
I once heard of a Primary teacher who asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night.
“Yes,” he replied.
“And do you always say them in the morning, too?” the Primary teacher asked.
“No,” the boy replied. “I ain’t scared in the daytime.”
Fear of the dark should not be our only motivation to pray—morning or night.
Family prayer is a powerful and sustaining influence. During the dark days of World War II, a 500-pound bomb fell outside the little home of Brother Patey, a young father in Liverpool, England, but the bomb did not go off. His wife had died, so he was rearing his five children alone. He gathered them together at this very anxious time for family prayer. They “all prayed … earnestly and when they had finished praying, the children said: ‘Daddy, we will be all right. We will be all right in our home tonight.’
And so they went to bed, imagine, with that terrific bomb lying just outside the door half submerged in the ground. If it had gone off it would have destroyed probably forty or fifty houses and killed two or three hundred people. …
The next morning the … whole neighborhood was removed for forty-eight hours and the bomb was finally taken away. …
On the way back Brother Patey asked the foreman of the A. R. P. Squad: ‘Well, what did you find?’
Mr. Patey, we got at the bomb outside of your door and found it ready to explode at any moment. There was nothing wrong with it. We are puzzled why it did not go off.’” Miraculous things happen when families pray together.
This activity can be messy, but it's very fun and teaches about how helpful a third party can be when we're trying to do something difficult.
Directions: Blindfold one family member and have them try to feed aplesauce to another blindfolded family member. Once it's made clear how difficult this is, have a third person who is not blindfolded give directions to both parties.
Explain how this is similar to prayer. We can try to do things on our own, but it's much better to have our Heavenly Father (who sees and knows everything) give us clear directions.
(If this activity is too messy for you, you could instead set up a small obstacle course and have a blindfolded family member try to navigate it alone, and then have the rest of the family give them directions. Or a simple game of "Simon Says" would also teach good listening skills.)