FHE: Prayer

by | Sep. 08, 2017

Lesson Helps

Conference Talk: Perhaps the most important reason we should pray is because the Lord has told us to. Prayer is a way to communicate with our Heavenly Father. When he sent us to earth, he gave us the opportunity to live by faith, and one of our principal ways to receive instruction, counsel, and direction is through prayer (Gene R. Cook, Raising Up a Family to the Lord, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993]).

Song: "I Pray in Faith," Children's Songbook, p. 14.

Scripture: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,"  (Matthew 21:22).

Object Lesson: Materials Needed: An electric blow-dryer, an electric clock, an electric radio or CD player, and access to an electrical outlet. Application: Discuss what each item is used for and demonstrate how they work. Point out that each is carefully designed to fulfill a certain purpose. However, the ability to do that is dependent on one important thing: power. Without electrical power the items would be of little worth. Compare this to our lives and the power that prayer can give us to serve Heavenly Father (Beth Lefgren and Jennifer Jackson, Building Blocks for Better Lessons, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1998], p. 49).

Story: While our family was living in Montevideo, Uruguay, we were out for a drive one day when we passed a dog pound. Our children had been after us for some time to buy a dog. . .  We debated the issue for some time and finally went inside, where we were surrounded by scores of dogs of all kinds. After looking around, we finally found her—a mongrel pup with curly golden hair. She seemed to have been made just for our family. We bought her and headed home amid great noise and excitement. Our oldest son, then 8 years of age, soon became the one who took care of her. She responded to all of the family, but most of all to him. He fed her, took her on long walks, listened to her howl at night, and did all the rest that comes with the proud ownership of a puppy. He named her Dixie. Dogs seem to exist just to wag their tails and make people happy, but Dixie did much more than that. She soon became an important part of the family. One afternoon when I came home from work, I was met by our oldest boy, who was crying. Dixie had been lost most of the day and could not be found. The search had gone on for two or three hours. My wife had driven several of the children, who had been praying most of that time, to look throughout the neighborhood and in the surrounding blocks. By the time I arrived home, they had lost nearly all hope, as thievery ran high in that area, and the chances were good that someone had stolen our pretty little pup. However, the faith of our oldest boy was not diminished. He tearfully told me that he had prayed and prayed, but that the Lord had not yet helped him find Dixie. Yet in confidence and faith he said, "Dad, I know if you will pray with the rest of the family, all together in family prayer, Heavenly Father will show us where Dixie is." As we headed for the living room to have a prayer, my own faith needed strengthening. How I prayed that the Lord would answer this boy and strengthen his faith in prayer!

Because the situation was serious, and because it offered an opportunity to teach our children about the power of prayer, each family member (all six of us), from the oldest to the youngest, prayed aloud that the Lord would show us where Dixie was. The oldest boy, guided by the Spirit, prayed that wherever Dixie might be, she would be protected and that if someone had taken her and would not give her back, they would love her and take good care of her. After the prayer, we talked about the need to do all in our power to find Dixie if we expected the Lord to help us. The whole family got into the car, and we began backing out of the driveway to begin another search. As the car reached the street, we saw a neighbor girl running toward us. To our great joy, she was yelling, "I have Dixie!" The dog had been trapped in the neighbors' garage all that time. As many little arms reached for her, my wife and I had much gratitude in our hearts that the Lord had honored our prayers, even in the moment when our prayers were being offered. As things quieted down and we brought Dixie into the house, one of the younger boys said how grateful he was and that we ought to thank Heavenly Father. Thus again, on bended knee, the entire family offered individual thanks to the Lord for having answered our prayers (Gene R. Cook, Raising Up a Family to the Lord, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1993]).

Activity: 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 (Max H. Molgard and Allan K. Burgess, The Best of Fun for Family Night, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 42).

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