Welcome to Lesson 1: The nature of prayer. Abdu’l-Baha tells us that prayer is a “conversation with God”.
We already mentioned that when we pray, we speak to God. When we love another, our greatest wish is to be close to the one we love and to express the love he feels.
To understand the nature of prayer and why we pray, we would need to also look at the effects of prayer. We can ask God for things that we want, and He will answer our prayers in accordance with Divine wisdom.
We can pray for things related to the specific circumstances of our lives and for the development of spiritual qualities, both in ourselves and in others.
We must understand that prayer is not just a time for us to make requests of God. Remember that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us, “In the highest prayer, men pray only for the love of God, not because they fear Him or hell, or hope for bounty or heaven. . . .”
What are some of the things we pray for?
WHO IS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ?
We will be using many stories to help us understand the virtues and concepts we are learning. Many of the stories will be about Abdu’l-Bahá. Let us learn a little about him.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá is the Son of Bahá’u’lláh. He is the Centre of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, the unerring Interpreter of His Writings, and the Perfect Exemplar of His Teachings. He was given many titles during His lifetime, including “The Master”; the one He preferred and took for Himself, however, was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Meaning of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
- Abdu’l means Servant
- Baha means Splendor or Glory. Baha is one of the names of Bahá’u’lláh
Abdu’l-Baha means “Servant of Bahá”—Servant of Bahá’u’lláh.
For the next 3 classes, we will memorize the following prayer
Would Anyone Like To Say A Prayer?
Send A Prayer To A Family Near You!
Download and print the memorization aid. Use it as part of a lapbook or glue it into your class notebook.
Download Filling the blank Memorization Aid here
Download the Prayer the Print Glue to your class notebook here
STRIVE THAT DAY BY DAY
I Want To Be Happy
Remember that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá tells us that prayer is “Conversation With God”
Through our prayers, we speak to God of our love for Him. We love God and our greatest wish is to be close to God and to express the love we feel. We know that even though God knows what is in our hearts, still we want to tell Him of our love for Him and thank Him for the bounties that He has showered upon us.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá lived in a state of prayer. His heart was always turned towards God. He often mentioned that there is nothing sweeter in life than prayer. When we converse with God each day, our love for Him grows stronger, and we feel closer to Him. Our hearts are opened, and enkindled with His love, and our souls become joyful. God loves us more than we can possibly imagine. So it is that we constantly receive His bounties as we pray to Him to guide us, protect us, and help us become worthy of His love. To aid us in our efforts to live our lives in a state of prayer, with our hearts always turned towards God, let us memorize the following quotation:
Listen to the Quote
Meaning of the words in the quote
She stood before the meeting with her head bowed and her eyes closed. Silence filled the room. Then she lifted her head and began to intone the verses of God in a melodious voice.
Bahereh taught her children to intone beautiful prayers at the beginning of each new day and in the evening before they slept.
WHO WANTS TO PRACTICE INTONING THEIR NAME? (have a few kids do this)
The grass in the field was very dry. In the intense heat of the summer, the dry grass kindled, and the fire spread to the edge of town.
After reading a few passages from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Florence felt the love of God kindled in her heart.
We enjoy looking at flowers because they are beautiful. We are attracted to their beauty.
When we feel God’s love, we want to be near Him. Our hearts are attracted to God by the power of His love.
WORKSHEET TO MEMORIZE PRAYER
DOWNLOAD IT HERE
STORY OF RÚHU”LLÁH
When Ruhu’llah was about seven years old, he travelled with his father to the Holy Land. There he had the great privilege of meeting Baha’u’llah, Who had brought to humanity God’s message for this day. Ruhu’llah’s heart became filled with love for Baha’u’llah, and he wanted nothing more than to serve Him. Upon returning home to Persia, he spent his time sharing with others news of Baha’u’llah’s coming. Ruhu’llah was truthful, honest, courteous and kind, and his words had great effect on all who heard him. He rose at every dawn to pray and, with his heart turned towards God, passed each day in servitude to Him.
One day, Ruhu’llah was summoned to appear before an official. At that time, many people were fearful of the new message that was being spread throughout the land. They clung to beliefs of the past, and the followers of the new Faith often became victims of harsh punishments. For this reason, Ruhu’llah’s father was in great danger. As proof that he had raised his sons in this new Faith, Ruhu’llah was asked to say a prayer in the presence of the official. This, it was hoped, would be enough to convince the official to condemn his father. Calmly, Ruhu’llah prepared his heart to offer supplication to God. Then, in a melodious voice, he chanted a Baha’i prayer with exquisite beauty. The official was deeply moved. He dismissed the matter immediately, saying he would not condemn a man who had raised a child so wonderful. And so Ruhu’llah’s father was saved.
Later, when Ruhu’llah was about twelve years old, he would once again set out with his father to visit the Holy Land. This time, he would be blessed to pass his days in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, who loved Ruhu’llah very much and especially enjoyed hearing him chant in his beautiful voice the many prayers he knew by heart. Ruhu’llah would leave the Holy Land ablaze with Divine love, ready to sacrifice his all for the Cause of God.
There are two types of activities related to drama in these lessons. The first set of activities is concerned with the development of skills and abilities.
To acquire the discipline yet freedom of movement needed to participate in creative drama, the children must learn to control their actions within a defined space. The following activities will contribute to the development of this ability.
- Have your children stand about two meters apart from one another. Each child should imagine that he or she is standing in a square measuring about one and a half meters by one and a half meters. Ask them to draw with their eyes the boundaries of their imaginary squares. Then, have each of them walk along the border of his or her own square.
- Next, tell them to imagine that there is a rope about half a meter above the ground stretching across the middle of each of their squares. Ask them to jump over it, crawl under it, walk along it, hop along it, and go around it without leaving their squares.
The children also need to learn to cooperate and work together. The following activities will help them develop some of the corresponding activities.
- Divide the youngsters into pairs. Think of a very heavy object that is familiar to them and ask each pair to pretend that they are carrying it together.
- Then ask the pair to pretend they are digging a well together.
- Now tell them to imagine that one of the children’s mother has invited a guest over, but the guest has arrived early before the mother has returned home from work. One child in each pair is the guest. The other child invites the guest in and offers him or her something refreshing to drink while they wait for the mother.
The second type of activity is related to the theme of the lesson, the state of prayer. Tell the children that they are going to improvise a situation about the state of prayer.
- Begin by having the children return to their imaginary squares. Once they are in position, explain to them that, although we pray to God with words, other things, or their very existence, we are asking for God’s blessings and bounties. In this way, all created things are praying to God. A plant, for example, needs rain to grow. By its very existence, the plant prays, “O God! Send me rain!”
- Now, tell the children to pretend that they are in a field of corn or another crop with which they are familiar. For some days there has been no rain on the field How do they look? Days pass, but there is not a could in the sky. The plants droop more and more, day by day. Silently, they are praying. Then, suddenly, there is a clap of thunder in the distance which grows louder and louder. You can use your hands or some instrument to make the clap of thunder. Then start slowly tapping on something, pretending to be rain. Gradually tap faster and faster. The rain has come, and little by little, the plants raise their drooping leaves.
There are many craft and activity suggestions for you to consider. When you choose what you would like to do with the class, make sure all the required supplies are available for the children.
To make the prayer hand you will need
- Cardstock is about 6 in x 11in
- printed prayer or quote
Fold the paper in half so your paper is 6in x 5.5 in. Place the child’s hand on the fold. Use a pencil to trace the hand. The fingers can be together or apart. Try to get as much of the fold as part of the drawn hand as possible as this gives more space for the prayer to be stuck. Cut out hand shape. Open and glue the prayer to the hand. (alternative or addition is to write who you will pray for on the fingers.) Decorate
Call and talk to God
Decorate this phone and remember that prayer is a conversation with God
How to make the POPUP card
- Download the template
- cut out the base, there are 2 per page
- cut out the cover
- Print and cut out the prayer
When you are cutting out the pieces, the straight lines are cut lines and any dashed/dotted lines are to be folded. The folded lines are only on the card base in the middle.
Once the pieces are cut out, take the base and push the partially cut middle out. This is the only tricky part if you are not familiar with popups. take a look at the photo below.
Glue the quote and the cover. Done.
Make A Door Hanger
Print and cut the round template.
The base can be cut from cardboard. to do this print the base and use it as a template to cut the cardboard.
The top part is decorated and stuck to the base.
A string is threaded through the hole and then the craft can be hung on a door.
Note that you can use a piece of ribbon and glue it in between the base and the top to form a loop and hang it on the door.
Print and Cut the straight template or use the 9-pointed strar one below. Add your own message and decorate
Decorate the Prayer
Decorate the frame of the prayer or use the blank template to write your prayer in the shape and decorate it.
You can also use any shape you like. My daughter and I did this activity years ago from Varga Magazine. We used the shape of a bird.
DOWNLOAD BIRD SHAPE HERE
LAPBOOK General Information
As mentioned in the welcome lesson for Grade 2. We will be making a lapbook for each lesson. The pieces we put into a lapbook are called mini books. Lapbooks help to keep information organized and help the kids memorize. Plus they a typically lots of fun to put together. You can choose to use all the suggested mini-books for a lesson or you can just combine lessons into one lapbook
For each lapbook you will need a file folder and any of the mini-books that are suggested . For information on Lapbooks take a look at this short video below (not my viedo)
Lapbook for lesson 1
There are 2 versions of lesson 1 here. Both have elements for lessons 1 to 3 in one lapbook. The first one has small images and mini-books. the second is simplified, larger and fewer pieces
Print, cut out and decorate the pieces. You can finish the lapbook over a period of days or all at once. OR Choose to do one or two items from each of the 3 lessons and assemble them into one lapbook
Please note that you don’t have to create the lapbook. You can use the mini books and glue them into a notebook or just keep them as they are.
Download all the elements for the lapbook here
A Closer Look
This video takes a closer look at the lesson 1 files for simple lapbook