Identify the doctrine: Hold up the scriptures and ask the children to tell you some of the things we learn about in the scriptures. Tell the children that one of the things we can learn about in the scriptures is how to pray.
Encourage understanding and application (hearing a scripture story): Tell the story of Alma and Amulek teaching the Zoramites (see Alma 31; 33–34). Invite the children to pantomime the correct way to pray. Ask the children what the story teaches about prayer. Make a list on the board of the children’s answers. Invite the children to discuss how the story applies to them.
Identify the doctrine and encourage understanding (reading scriptures): Tell the children that they can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere. Have them look up Alma 33:3–9. Read the verses together and have the children raise their hands each time they hear a place where Zenos prayed. Write these places on the board. Help the children understand what these places would mean to them today by creating wordstrips for the modern-day equivalents of them (for example, a place where you have felt lost or alone for “wilderness”; yard, playground, or park for “field”; and our classes and meetings at church for “congregations”). Ask the children to match the wordstrips to the corresponding words on the board.
Encourage application (discussing prayer): Divide the children into groups and ask them to share experiences when they have prayed in the places Zenos mentioned.
Identify the doctrine (playing a game): Before Primary, write on the board, “Answers to prayers come from Heavenly Father in many ways,” and cover each word with a separate piece of paper. Have a child remove one piece of paper, and ask the children to guess what the sentence is. Repeat until the children discover the sentence, and ask them to read it together.
Encourage understanding (reading scriptures): Tell the children that Joseph Smith prayed to know which church to join. Read together Joseph Smith—History 1:17 to find how his prayer was answered (through a visit from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ). Tell the children that Alma prayed that his son, Alma the Younger, would learn the truth. Read together Mosiah 27:11 to find how Alma’s prayer was answered (an angel appeared to Alma the Younger). Explain that most answers to prayers come in other ways. On separate pieces of paper write the following scriptures that describe ways prayers may be answered: D&C 6:22–23 (through peaceful feelings); D&C 8:2 (through thoughts in our minds and feelings in our hearts); Mosiah 27:36 (through the actions of other people); and 2 Nephi 32:3 (through the scriptures). Place the pieces of paper in a container. Have a child draw one and read it. Look up the scripture reference, read it together, and ask the children what each scripture teaches about how Heavenly Father answers prayers.
Encourage application (hearing stories): Invite four guests to share a story illustrating one of the ways that prayers are answered. The examples may come from personal experiences, Church magazines, or the scriptures. Invite the children to ask their families at home about times when their prayers have been answered.
To help the children learn “A Child’s Prayer” (CS, 12–13), consider the following:
Ask the children to imagine being away from their family for a long time and finally coming home; they open the door and are surrounded with comfort and love. Explain that praying is like opening a door to Heavenly Father; He is really there to comfort and love us, and He wants to hear and answer every child’s prayer.
Ask the children to listen for the words “there” and “prayer” as you sing the first two lines of “A Child’s Prayer.” Have the children touch their ears when they hear the words. Invite them to sing those lines with you. Continue with the rest of the song, having the children listen for the rhyming words in each line.
Sing the second verse a phrase at a time, and ask the children to repeat each phrase when you point to them. Then divide the children into two groups and ask one group to sing the first part of each phrase (for example, “Pray”) and the other group to finish the phrase (“he is there”). Invite all of the children to stand to sing, “Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heaven.”