Family Night is a family activity that can be held once a week. Set aside one night when your family can all be together. Teach your children important values and how to be better family members, people, citizens, friends, and neighbors. The dedicated time together is the most important thing. Once a month, I will share a Family Night lesson on the blog to help get your creativity rolling and to inspire us all to try a little harder to be a little better.
Tonight’s Family Night Lesson is about prayer- teaching prayer pretzels to the kids makes it easy for them to learn how to hold still and practice reverence. I have very fond memories of myself as a young girl kneeling in prayer surrounded by my family. My father would call us into the living room each morning by playing the Family Prayer song on the piano. He would play it with gusto! My siblings and I knew when the happy tune reached our rooms that it was time to gather for prayer. Whenever I hear that song, it fills me with the warmth of the love I felt then and continue to feel when I am with my family in prayer. There is a reason why we are commanded to pray and rewards for our obedience.
I have included an excerpt of my father playing the Family Prayer song here, so you can use it in your own home. Just click HERE to access it.
Lesson: Binding a Family Together with Prayer
What is Prayer?
Since the beginning of time, Heavenly Father has commanded His children to pray. Prayer is communication between Heaven and Earth. When we pray, we get to talk with God. He listens to our words. He responds. This relationship is personal and individual.
How do we Pray?
During prayer, we are connecting ourselves to Heaven, therefore, we should always do it with reverence. Fold your arms, close your eyes, and bow your head. If possible, kneel. Acting in this way shows humility. Our actions are a sign to God that we respect Him, love Him, and worship Him.
Try this simple activity to get your young children ready for prayer. Say, “Arms Out!” Let them stretch their arms out wide and wiggle them. Then say, “Fold them like a pretzel.” Have the kids wrap their arms tight like a pretzel. Then, they are ready to be reverent!
Our prayer should begin with addressing God. At our home, our prayers typically start with the phrase, “Dear Heavenly Father.” This opens the conversation.
Then, take time to thank Him for all of the blessings you enjoy. It might be necessary to make a mental list of things you are grateful for before you begin your prayers to prepare yourself. All that we have is a gift from God. It is important to give thanks back to Him.
Ask the Question: What blessings are you grateful for?
Our Heavenly Father wants to bless us. He wants us to be happy. We can take time in our prayers to ask for the things that we need or desire.
Ask the Questions: Have you ever asked Heavenly Father for help? How did it make you feel? Did you receive an answer?
Close your prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Christ is our mediator. We pray in His holy name.
When do we Pray?
Our Heavenly Father is always aware of us. We are His children. He knows what we are doing and how we feel. When we pray, we take time to remember Him. We can connect with God anytime. He is always available. In fact, we have been commanded to, “Pray always.”
We can pray when we get up in the morning, before a big test, at the beginning of a road trip, to bless our food at mealtime, at Church, when we feel lonely or sad, and before bed each night. Whenever you feel like saying a prayer, you can!
Ask the Question: When do you say prayers? Have you ever said a special prayer in your heart during a time of need?
One of the best times to pray is during Family Prayer. Having a prayer together as a family is so important. I like to think of Family Prayer like magic glue that bonds each member of the family together. When a family prays together and for each other, relationships are built that are impossible to break. Love grows. Plan a time as a family that works for your schedules and needs. Make daily Family Prayer a priority in your home. Take turns being the person to offer the prayer. Make sure everyone is included.
A modern day prophet named President Kimball gave a promise to families that participate in regular family prayer. He said, “Prayer in the home and prayer with each other will strengthen your union. Gradually thoughts, aspirations, and ideas will merge into a oneness until you are seeking the same purposes and goals. Like iron links in a chain, this practice [family prayer] will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty.”
Activity: The Prayer Pretzel
Read the attached story, “The Legend of the Pretzel.” Talk about how the pretzel got it’s shape. Ask your children what kind of rewards they have received from using prayer in their lives.
Make your own prayer pretzels as a family. They are quite simple. I followed a recipe that I found online here. It had great reviews, so we gave it a try!
Let your children participate in folding the pretzels into their special shape. Remind them that the pretzels represent children praying and that we are always rewarded when we pray to our Heavenly Father.
Conclusion: The Rewards of Prayer
Prayer is a powerful tool that we can use to talk to our Heavenly Father. We can pray whenever we need to connect with Him. To help you remember to pray each night, download the printable Prayer Pretzel poem here. Read it often to remind you to pray. Heavenly Father will bless you with special rewards and blessings if you do.