“Sharing Time: Prayer Language,” Friend, Apr. 1991, 36
Have you ever wondered what you might say or how you would address a very important person, such as a king, queen, or president of a country? You would want to show by your speech that you respected and honored this ruler. You might practice saying “Yes, sir” or “No, ma’am” and review the proper way to shake hands, bow, or curtsy.
There is someone, more important than anyone on earth, with whom you can talk anytime you choose. He is your Heavenly Father, and you speak with Him through prayer. Just as you would try to be polite and courteous to an important ruler, there are ways to show that you love and respect Heavenly Father. When you pray, you can show that you reverence Heavenly Father by using proper prayer language.
When Jesus was visiting the Nephites, He knelt and prayed to Heavenly Father. He showed His respect by addressing His Father with the proper words: “Father, I thank thee that thou hast given the Holy Ghost unto these whom I have chosen, …
“I pray thee that thou wilt give the Holy Ghost unto all them that shall believe.” (3 Ne. 19:20–21, italics added.)
You can follow Jesus’ example by using words that show Heavenly Father that you love and reverence Him. Use the words thee or thou instead of you, thy instead of your, and thine instead of yours or your.
To help you remember the proper words to use when you pray to Heavenly Father, remember this verse:
Thee, thou, thy, and thine
Are special words that say
I love my Heavenly Father
And respect Him when I pray.
These songs are prayers to Heavenly Father. Fill in the blanks using reverent prayer language. If you know the songs, you can sing them to check your answers.
“Tell me, dear Lord, in ________ (your) own way I pray,
What __________ (you) would’st have me say and do today.
Teach me to know and love ________ (your) will, O Lord;
Help me to understand _________ (your) loving word.”
(See “Tell Me, Dear Lord,” Children’s Songbook, page 176.)
“Thank ___________ (you) for the world so sweet;
Thank ___________ (you) for the food we eat;
Thank ___________ (you) for the birds that sing;
Thank __________, (you) God, for ev’rything!”
(See “A Song of Thanks,” Children’s Songbook, page 20.)
“I thank __________, (you) dear Father in heaven above,
For ___________ (your) goodness and mercy, _________ (your) kindness and love.
I thank ___________ (you) for home, friends, and parents so dear,
And for ev’ry blessing that I enjoy here.”
(See “I Thank Thee, Dear Father,” Children’s Songbook, page 7.)
Make a copy of a prayer found in the scriptures, such as 3 Nephi 13:9–13 [3 Ne. 13:9–13], and leave blanks for the words thee, thou, thy, and thine. Let the children look up the scripture and fill in the blanks.
To help children become accustomed to using proper prayer language, find scriptures that include thee, thou, thy, and thine. Have the children look up a verse to find a specific word. For example: Alma 33:11, second word—thou. Have the children read or write the sentence in which the word is found.
Discuss with the children the importance of praying sincerely and thoughtfully.