HOW TO PRAY
This lesson will be on the topic of how we pray.
We first need to have an attitude of reverence: what does that mean? When we start to pray, during, and after our prayer, the way we conduct ourselves should be as though we are in the presence of God.
O Lord! I am a child; enable me to grow beneath the shadow of Thy loving kindness. I am a tender plant; cause me to be nurtured through the outpourings of the clouds of Thy bounty. I am a sapling of the garden of love; make me into a fruitful tree. Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful, and Thou art the All-Loving, the All-Knowing, the All-Seeing.‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Send Your Prayers to a family near you!
AIDS TO MEMORIZE THE PRAYER
O SON OF LIGHT
THE GREATEST LONGING OF EVERY SOUL
YA BAHA BY CHRISTINA, JULIA & JEFFREY
When we pray, we must always remember that we are in the presence of God, the Almighty, and show humility before Him. In prayer, we express our deep love and respect for God and act with reverence. We sit quietly in a prayerful posture and take a few moments before beginning to pray, in order to cleanse our minds of the things of this world. Some people like to fold their arms or clasp their hands together. Many people close their eyes so they are not distracted by things around them. The prayers that we recite every day can be chosen from those we know by heart or from those we find in prayer books. Once we have finished reciting a prayer, we remain still and silent, reflecting on its words. When another person is praying, we feel as though we are praying ourselves. We listen closely to the words the other is saying and maintain a reverent attitude.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá encouraged the Bahá’ís to keep their thoughts centered solely on God when praying. He urged them to forget the things of this world, what is going on around them, and even their own selves. To those who saw ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in prayer, it seemed as if He had been carried away to another world. He was free of distractions, completely absorbed in conversation with God. As we focus our thoughts on God and pray to Him with reverence, we, too, feel our hearts overflow with His love. To help us remember how we conduct ourselves during prayer, let us memorize the following words of Bahá’u’lláh:
“O Son of Light! Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it.”Bahá’u’lláh
- Being in the countryside makes Iona feel at one with nature. When she is in the countryside, Iona communes with nature.
- When Hugo prays, he feels close to God. Through prayer, Hugo communes with God.
- At the beginning of each school year, the principal spoke to all the students in the school and reminded them that they should pay attention in class, do their homework, and read as much as possible. The essence of her advice was that they should study hard.
- Ethan always thought about how to serve others and dedicate himself to helping people. Service was the essence of Ethan’s life.
RECORD THE MEANING OF WORDS FROM THE QUOTE
RECORD ANY WORDS YOU DO NOT KNOW HERE
During His travels in America, ‘Abdu’l-Baha once accepted to teach a very devoted Baha’i how to pray. He told him to come to His residence at daybreak the next day. The believer’s heart was filled with joy. He rose at dawn and rushed to the residence of ‘Abdu’l-Baha. When he entered the room of the Master, he found Him already in prayer. Realizing that he could not ask the Master any questions, he decided to do the same. So, he kneeled on the floor and began to pray. He prayed silently for his relatives, his friends, and himself. When he finished, he looked up and saw that ‘Abdu’l-Baha was still deep in prayer. So he decided to pray some more. He repeated all the prayers he knew over and over. Still, there was no movement from ‘Abdu’l-Baha.
Now, the believer noticed that one of his knees was beginning to ache and that his back was feeling uncomfortable. Next, he heard the birds singing outside. Glancing around the room, he observed a large crack in the wall. Then he looked at the Master again, and all of a sudden, the expression on ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s face created in him a strong desire to pray. He forgot everything else. The only desire in his heart was to be close to God and to converse with Him. He began to pray in a way that he had never prayed before. The Master had taught him how to pray.
At that very moment, ‘Abdu’l-Baha arose, approached him with a smile, and said: “When you pray, you must not think of your aching body, nor of the birds outside the window, nor of the cracks in the wall! When you wish to pray you must first know that you are standing in the presence of the Almighty!”
As always, this period of the class begins with activities that are intended to help the children develop skills and abilities to participate effectively in creative drama.
Start by asking the children to stand in their imaginary squares. To make sure that their squares are well defined, have each of them walk along the border or his or her own square.
Ask your students to raise up their arms, stretch them to the sky, and then relax. They should do this three or four times.
For this next exercise, move out of their imaginary squares. Tell them that they are to walk around randomly in the area where the class is being held, making sure not to bump into one another. While they are walking, you will call out a series of commands that they should instantly obey. The commands, which you should demonstrate to the children, are as follows:
FREEZE: Stop all movement instantly, and stand perfectly still
TURN FREEZE: Turn halfway around and then freeze instantly
JUMP FREEZE: Jump in the air, turn halfway around, and then freeze
TWIST FREEZE: Jump in the air, turn around in a full circle, and then freeze.
Explain to the children that, once they have frozen, they should hold their positions until you give them the signal to move again. It is suggested that you ask the children to practice each of the four commands while still standing in their imaginary squares. Then begin. You should feel free to call out the commands as many times as you wish, in any order.
Now, move on to the activities related to the theme of the lesson, which is about how we pray. For this part of the lesson, you will need a prayer book/ Explain to the children that they will carry out a series of exercises that will help them understand what it means to treat a special object with reverence. We can show reverence, tell them, in the way we position our bodies, in the way we position our bodies, in the way we move, and in the way we use our voices.
- Begin by asking the children to return silently to their imaginary squares and to stand in a reverent posture. After a few moments, have them move into a reverent sitting position.
- Now, tell the children to imagine that they are holding a baby bird in their hands. Ask them to show that they are handling the bird gently and carefully.
- Next, tell the children to imagine that they are servants standing before the throne of a mighty kind Ask them to show you how they would bow down before the king with respect and obedience.
- Finally, hold the prayer book for the children to see. Explain that this object is special because it contains the Word of God revealed by His Manifestation that we can read when turning to Him in love and devotion. Tell them that each child will have the chance to hold the prayer book, which they must handle with gentleness and reverence. Ask the children to stand up in their squares. Give the book to one of the children and ask him or her to pass it to the next child, who should pass it to the next, and so on. As they pass it, one should say, “It is your turn to hold the special book.” After handing the book over, every child should return to his or her imaginary square and sit in stillness and silence with their eyes closed. The last child standing should return the book to you and then also sit.
- After a few moments, you can gently thank the children for handling the prayer book with reverence. Tell them that when they feel a tap on their shoulder and hear the words “thank you”, they may stand up, then gently tap another child and say “thank you”. You may start by tapping one of the children and softly saying “Thank you”. The last child to be tapped may say “Thank you everyone!” as he/she joins the rest of the class.
If you have not had a chance to make the crafts from lessons one and two, the crafts are below.
Prayer is a conversation with God.
Let us make a phone call and talk to GOD. What would you say?
Download the phone template here and decorate as you please
Paper Prayer Beads
Make prayer beads out of paper. Use any paper you have on hand including magazines. Cut narrow triangle strips (see template) and wrap them TIGHTLY on a straw. Glue and let dry.
Decorate a prayer Mat
Design your own prayer mat
Make a sword with the story in an accordion fold attached
From support materials for LESSON 3:
Use different colors to make a spiral of color reminding us that we
need to turn toward God. See PDF here
FOR SIMPLE LAPBOOK
The last item in the SIMPLE lapbook is an expandable house.
This is super easy to make and is based on the gentleman learning to pray. Have the kids draw the bird, the crack in the wall, or anything that they think might distract them while praying.
See the video example BELOW on how to put a simple doll house together. Remember, I have all the pages for you, just cut them out and glue them! My house is also in black and white and simple with no popup pieces.
My video :
3-D Paper House: Print, Cut, and Glue
DOWNLOAD THE FILE WITH THE 4 ROOMS: KITCHEN, DINING ROOM, LIVING ROOM, AND BEDROOM
DOWNLOAD 3D HOUSE WITH INTERACTIVE PIECES
If you want to put the door hanger with a quote or prayer or the phrase ” I am saying my prayer” you can do that for the lesson 3 lapbook. You can also put both the door hanger and the house in the lapbook, but use the round door hanger template so it will all fit.
Here are the door hanger files
- regular door hanger
- 9-pointed star door hanger
- small round door hanger (glue a piece of string in between the circles so that it can hang on the doorknob)