I decided to go ahead and post ideas for the whole month all at once. So, I'm not going to include the ideas from the Primary Outline, hope you don't mind.
Week 1: I can pray to Heavenly Father.
The first counselor in Primary actually did this Sharing Time the week before Conference, so I am going to share her idea along with another one I had.
For her Sharing Time she compared prayer to making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich (she read this idea on Sugardoodle). The first piece of bread was for 'Dear Heavenly Father', the Jelly was for 'We Thank Thee', peanut butter 'We Ask Thee', and the other piece of bread was for 'In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen'.
She added to that idea a little bit. She decided to wear an apron with pockets. One of the pockets had pictures that had to do with things that we are thankful for. After she spread the jelly on to the piece of bread she had a child come up and pick a picture from her apron. Then they discussed what it was and why we are thankful for it. She continued to call on children until all the pictures were chosen.
She did the same with the things that we might ask Heavenly Father for.
The children really enjoyed making the Prayer PB&J.
For my idea you will need pictures for things that we might be thankful for and things that we might ask for. You will also need 2 buckets/containers labeled 'We Thank Thee' and the other 'We Ask Thee'.
Explain to the children that when we pray we need to begin by saying, 'Dear Heavenly Father'. After that we continue to thank Him for the many blessings we receive. After we thank Him then we can ask Him for things that we may need. To close we should say, 'In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen'.
After you have explained that to the children you can begin the game.
Have your buckets on a table at the front of the room. Have your pictures of things we prayer for in another container/bag, underneath chairs, hidden around the room, inside balloons, etc.
Tell the children that you have several pictures of different things we may pray for. Show them the buckets and read each one to the children. Tell the children that they are going to find/choose a picture and then decide whether it goes in the 'Thankful' bucket or the 'Ask' bucket (some items can go in both buckets).
Play until all the pictures have been placed in the appropriate bucket.
I have some pictures that you could use from a previous Sharing time.
Week 2: The scriptures teach me how and when to pray.
I saw an idea from a past issue of 'The Friend' and loved it, so I decided to use it for this week. I tried to combine it with ideas from the Outline also. Here it is:
Show the children a picture of ‘Daniel in the Lions Den’ (GAK 117). Ask if anyone knows this story? If someone says yes, ask the child to tell you what they know about the story. If not explain to the children that the man in this picture is Daniel. Explain to the children that Daniel was thrown into a den of lions because he prayed.
In the front of the room have several lions (pictures, stuffed animals, etc.) and a pair of large sandals. Tell the children that today they are going to be standing in "Daniel’s shoes".
Invite a child up and ask them to stand in Daniel’s shoes as you read the story. Tell the child to imagine that he/she is Daniel as you read the story.
After you have read the story aloud to all the children, ask the child standing in the shoes how he/she would feel if they were Daniel and were about to be cast into the lions’ den. Who would you ask for help? Explain that you could do just as Daniel did and ask your Father in Heaven for help.
Identify the doctrine:
Explain to the children that the scriptures teach us how and when to pray. Tell the children that you would like to share a scripture with them that talks about prayer. Ask them to listen for how we should pray and when we can pray. When they hear the answer have them fold their arms. Then read
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually.”
What did the scripture say....How should we pray? And when can we pray? Explain to the children that we can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere.
Just as Heavenly Father heard Daniel’s prayer, Heavenly Father hears our prayers today, and He answers them in ways that will be for the best. We need to remember to thank our Heavenly Father for all our blessings and ask Him for help when we need it.
Tell the children that we’re going to ‘Stand’ in Daniels’ shoes a little more. Explain to the children that Daniel knew the importance of prayer, so we’re going to stand in his shoes and learn how and when to pray.
Have a piece of paper or chalkboard split into 2 columns: How and When. In a bucket have several scriptures that teach/talk about how and when to pray (examples from the outline: 3 Nephi 18:19; 3 Nephi 19:6-8; 3 Nephi 18:15).
Have a child pick a scripture out of the bucket and read it aloud. Have them discuss what it teaches us about how or when we should pray. Write their answer underneath the appropriate column. Then choose another child to come to the front and pick another slip of paper.
You could also have different scenarios where the child would pray.
You were with your family shopping. You
stopped to look at something and when you
turned around your family was gone. You began to
get very scared. What could you pray about?
You parents tell you that your family will be
moving. You are scared to leave your home
and your friends. What could you pray about?
I think the children would really enjoy standing in Daniel's shoes. And to make it really fun make the Primary room look like the Lions' den.
Week 3&4: Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers.
I have a few different ideas that you could use for this week. They go along with the outline, but I have a few different ideas to use instead of different stations.
This would be great for Sr. Primary since they can read.
Crossword puzzle: for each clue have a story or scripture that talks about different ways our prayers can be answered. Have the children listen as you read the scripture or story for the answer and then have them fill in the blank.
You could use the scriptures and stories that are provided in the Outline.
The words that you use for the crossword puzzle could be:
This would work great for Jr. Primary
Have the children look up 3 Nephi 14:7 and James 1:5. Invite the children to listen for what the scriptures teach about prayer.
Read the scriptures aloud together and let the children share what they learn.
I found this cute poem from a past 'Friend' and thought it would be great for this week's lesson. Read it to the children and have them do the actions.
Heavenly Father always listens (place hand over ear)
When I kneel and pray. (kneel and fold arms)
I know He pays attention
To everything I say. (point to mouth)
He doesn’t always answer
In ways that I can see; (point to eyes)
Bu I just know that what He does
Is what is best for me. (point to yourself)
I thought this might work instead of the stations, if stations don't work for you:
Have a picture of a heart, people (group of children, adults, etc.), scriptures, and the Prophet.
Then on a chalkboard/bulletin board have 4 envelopes with a sign on the front of each that says: 'Heavenly Father hears and answers my Prayers'.
Something like this. You could even have your sign say: Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers by...
You don't really need to have them numbered, but you can if you would like.
Inside each envelope you will have a scripture or story that talks about the different ways our prayers are answered.
You can use the ones from the outline:
1. Answered by thoughts or ideas that come to our minds and hearts: D&C 8:2; Tell the story of Enos
2. Answered by others: Tell story of President Monson answering Ben and Emily Fullmer's prayer (Ensign Nov. 2003, 58-59).
3.Answered by words of Christ, which are found in the scriptures: 2 Nephi 32:3; share a personal experience.
4. Answered by teachings of the latter-day prophet: D&C 1:38; Show the children The Friend or Ensign, and tell them that they can find the teachings of the prophets in the Church magazines. Share a personal experience where a prayer was answered by the words of the prophet.
You will choose a child to come to the front and pick an envelope. You will read the scripture or story aloud and then ask them how the prayer in the scripture or story was answered. They will then need to find the picture that goes with that story and place it underneath/beside the 'Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers by...' sign.
Continue doing this until all stories have been read and you have discussed the different ways our prayers can be answered.
You can have the pictures hidden around the room, underneath chairs, etc.
A Halloween Idea:
I was trying to think of a way to put a little Halloween flare to this Sharing Time and the thought of Pumpkins came into my head. I thought of a 'Prayer Pumpkin.' :)
You could get a large pumpkin and hollow it out. Then cut a hole in the top (but keep the top as a lid) and then cut a hole in the back.
On the front of the pumpkin have a sign that says 'Prayer Pumpkin'.
On another table have 4 buckets or containers with the pictures from above (heart, people, scriptures, and the Prophet.)
For your stories/scriptures cut out 4 paper pumpkins and write the scripture reference or title of story on the pumpkin.
Begin by showing the children your 'Prayer Pumpkin' and explain that today they are going to learn about the different ways our prayers can be answered. Using the hole in the back of the pumpkin place your first 'story pumpkin' inside the large pumpkin.
Invite a child to come up to the front and remove the top of the pumpkin and reach in to get the first story. Once they have the story pumpkin have them hand it to you. If it's a scripture reference you could ask the children to look it up. Read the story aloud and then ask the child how the prayer was answered. Have them place the paper pumpkin inside the appropriate bucket.
Then continue with the next story by placing it in the pumpkin by using the hole in the back.
I thought this would be really fun to do the Sunday before Halloween. I know the children would love putting their hand into a pumpkin. :) But they'll still be learning that our Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers.
So there are my ideas, I hope they can help you out. And if I happen to come up with another idea I will be sure to post it. Have a wonderful week and a great Sharing Time!
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