Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Although Jesus was no longer on the earth, He continued to lead His church through revelation. As Peter prayed and sought wisdom, Heavenly Father answered his prayers. Peter learned that God loves all his children, and blesses those who follow Him and keep His commandments.
When Peter was cast into prison, all of the church prayed for him. Because of the faith and prayers of the church, an angel came to Peter and set him free. When we pray, Heavenly Father might not take away our problems, but He will help us through them. As we pray we should remember that Heavenly Father knows what is best for us.
Sometimes children and parents are apart for a time and can’t see each other. (Give an example: “Remember when Mommy went to the hospital to have the baby? or when Daddy was away on business.”) How can we talk to them, during these times, so that we can feel near to them and feel of their love? (Discuss ways to communicate, such as calling them on the phone, email, writing letters, etc.) Even though we can’t see our Heavenly Father, He is near and He wants us to talk to Him and feel His love for us. We can talk to Him anytime through prayer.
What should you do before you begin your personal prayers? (Discuss the obvious, kneel down, fold your arms and close your eyes.)
Another thing you can do before beginning your personal prayers is to ponder. To ponder means to think carefully about the blessings Heavenly Father has given you. Pondering can bring you a feeling of gratitude that will help you prepare to talk to your Heavenly Father.
Can you talk to Heavenly Father about anything? (Yes.)
When you pray do not hurry. Voice the feelings of your heart while speaking to Him with reverence. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for your blessings and ask Him for the blessings you need. Share with Him your feelings and the things that make you happy and the things that make you sad or frightened. Tell Heavenly Father of your love for His Son, Jesus Christ and ask for the Holy Ghost to be with you.
Can praying bring you a peace? (Yes.)
When you finish your prayer, sit quietly for a moment and think about Heavenly Father. Listen to the still small voice of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will give you a sweet and peaceful feeling. Always remember that Heavenly Father will answer your prayers in a way that is best for you.
Jenny buried her head in her pillow so Sarah wouldn’t hear her crying. “Why won’t He answer my prayers?” she questioned as she cried herself to sleep.
The next morning Jenny crawled out of bed and knelt next to it like she always did in the mornings to say her prayers, but she was angry and couldn’t make the words come out. “Heavenly Father doesn’t answer my prayers anymore anyway!” She mumbled as she rose to her feet and left her bedroom without praying.
Jenny found Mother flipping pancakes, her eyes were red and Jenny knew she had been crying. Mother smiled when she saw Jenny, “Good morning, Sunshine! Is Sarah still sleeping?” Mother greeted.
“Do you mind getting her up for me? Aunt Pat’s going to watch her for me this morning while I take Grandma to her doctor’s appointment—and I’m running a little late.”
When Jenny returned with her sister, they all sat at the table for breakfast. “Jenny will you say the blessing?” Mother asked.
Jenny didn’t want to tell Mother that Heavenly Father didn’t answer her prayers, instead she replied, “Sarah wants to say it. Don’t you Sarah?”
Sarah grinned. “I say prayer, Mommy?”
After school, Jenny looked around, but couldn’t see Mother’s car. “Jenny, over here!” she heard Aunt Pat call from her car. Jenny opened the car door and climbed in next to Sarah who was sleeping in her car seat. “Where’s Mommy?” Jenny asked.
Aunt Pat looked concerned. “She’s at the hospital with your Grandma,” she answered. “You and Sarah get to sleep over at my house tonight! Your clothes and your favorite DVDs are all packed.”
Jenny always loved sleeping over at her father’s sister’s house. Aunt Pat was her favorite, but today she was sad and wanted her Mommy. Tears welled up in her eyes as the car pulled out of the school parking lot. When they reached Aunt Pat’s house and Sarah was tucked into the spare bed to finish her nap, Jenny asked, “Is my Grandma going to be okay?”
“I don’t know Jenny, but I’m praying for her.”
“What good does praying do? Heavenly Father doesn’t answer!” Jenny spouted angrily.
Aunt Pat took Jenny in her arms and stroked her hair. “Oh, Jenny! I know it’s hard to understand, but Heavenly Father does love you and will always answer your prayers, but sometimes the answers aren’t what we want to hear,” Aunt Pat explained.
Jenny looked up at Aunt Pat. “What do you mean?” she questioned.
“When we pray to Heavenly Father, we have to remember that He knows what is best! There is much in life that is not easy, but Heavenly Father and Jesus are mindful of the things we must endure in this life. They will help us through these tough times if we ask.”
“But I have asked and Grandma hasn’t gotten better!”
“Jenny, I don’t know if your Grandma will get better,” Aunt Pat honestly answered the little girl. “Losing a loved one is really hard. Did you know that I was just about your age when I lost my grandma?
Jenny shook her head.
“I know how much you want her to get better, but death is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. What we need to remember is that families can be together forever.”
“So I shouldn’t ask Heavenly Father to make Grandma better?”
“You should to ask Heavenly Father to heal your grandma, but remember ‘Thy will be done’. There are other things you can also pray for, like asking Him to help ease her pain and to comfort her and your family. When my grandma knew she would soon be returning to Heavenly Father, she read me a scripture that brought me comfort. Would you like me to read it to you?”
Jenny wiped her tears with the back of her hand and nodded. Aunt Pat got her Bible down from the shelf and opened it to John 16:22, “‘And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.’”
Before going to bed that night Jenny knelt down and asked Heavenly Father to help her accept His will. As she climbed into bed a warm and comforting feeling filled her heart and she knew Heavenly Father loved her and did answer her prayers.
by Margie Nauta Lee
These lessons are perfect for Family Home Evening at the beginning of the week, or to recap the following Sunday. Or use portions of the lesson throughout the week to enhance your family scripture study.
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