Last year I decided to teach "I Pray in Faith" during Thanksgiving time. It is not a song we would normally think of for a song of gratitude, but if you think about it, prayer is an important way that we can talk to our Father in Heaven and share all that we are thankful for. I like throwing something else in the mix than the typical thankful songs that remind the children of things they are thankful for, like one that also teaches how they can show their gratitude.
This can also be tied in with this week's theme of I can be a missionary by setting a good example by being an example of prayer. Another way to tie it in is you could point out that missionaries have prayers with their investigators. This helps to teach the investigators about the importance of prayer, many of which may not even know how to pray. Maybe you can think of something even better to tie it in.
"I Pray in Faith" lends itself nicely to a Sing-a-Story and that is how I introduced it. The children were just glued to the presentation, were amazingly reverent and picked up the song quickly because they were engaged in what was going on and were comprehending the importance of prayer and how to pray. Mind you, the script is a pretty simple story line, but simplicity in understanding helps to make things easier to learn. If you are not sure what a Sing-a-Story is, click here for an explanation and click here for an example of another way to present a Sing-a-Story with an Easter theme.
The Easter example link above uses narrative stories, pictures and several songs that correlate with the stories and pictures. For "I Pray in Faith", the Sing-a-Story is a song specific skit singing the words of the song as part of the script. This helps the children to hear the words to the song in a purposeful manner and let's them focus on the words and their meaning. When you present this, make sure you bring out the actor in you and act the part throwing in some fun "drama" to make it interesting and engaging to the children. All you need are a few simple props, someone to help act as your BFF (best friend forever) in the skit and some courage if you are a little shy to have that attention on you as you sing your parts. Oh, you will also need your pianist to help out too.
Here are the props you will need:
- 2 chairs
- 2 dolls
- 2 bathrobes to be placed on the back of the chairs
- A large, cushy pillow or two to kneel on if you and your BFF have tender knees like me (optional)
Here is the script. I will include a link to a downloadable pdf version at the bottom of the post.
“I PRAY IN FAITH” SING-A-STORY SCRIPT
PIANIST: Softly play melody of first verse as the girls come in.
Really have fun with this skit and act it up.
Girls come in through the door holding their dolls and walk to the front of the room while laughing, jabbering and giggling like girlfriends do. Sit down in chairs as if on the edge of your bed or plop on the floor and start playing with the dolls.
I’m so happy that you could sleep over tonight?
Me too! We should do a sleep over EVERY weekend!
That would be soooooo cool! But I bet our moms won’t let us do that. [Yawn] I’m really tired. We better get ready for bed before my mom gets MAD at us.
BFF [sighing & rolling eyes back]
Yeah, you're right.
Girls get ready for bed by taking shoes off and putting on the bathrobes.
[Shake hands by face while opening eyes wide.]
Hey, before we go to sleep, let’s tell some scary stories.
[Clap hands in excitement.]
Ooooo, that would be so fun,
but I need to do something first.
[Kneel on a pillow or the floor and fold your arms and bow your head in prayer. BFF sits on a chair holding her doll with a curious look on her face at what you are doing.]
PIANST: Play melody of the first 9 measures during the “praying” part.
During the following dialog, sing the song parts A cappella, which is easier to do or have the pianist play each phrase as you sing.
BFF [whispers after music stops]
Hey, what’s that you are doing?
I kneel to pray everyday.
I speak to Heavenly Father.
You speak to Heavenly Father?
YOU [singing & nodding head in a yes manner]
He hears and answers me
When I pray in faith.
Oh! I see. Well how do you pray?
I begin by saying “Dear Heavenly Father”;
Then what comes next?
I thank Him for blessings He sends;
Hmmm, that sounds like a good thing.
What else do you do?
Then humbly I ask him
for things that I need,
What do you say when you are done with your prayer?
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
That is cool!
Will you teach me how to pray too!
Yes! I’ll teach you. You need to remember though;
the most important thing about prayer is to
make sure you PRAY IN FAITH.
Your BFF kneels next to you and
both of you begin to “pray.”
PIANIST: Play melody of first verse as they pray.
|I Pray in Faith|
ASL & ACTIONS (Remember you are doing these the opposite of the children so they can mirror you.)
I kneel to pray [ASL: Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.
every day [ASL: day] With your left hand and finger pointing upward, rest your left elbow on the back of your right hand then lower the left hand until your arms are together. The moving hand represents the sun moving across the sky and the horizontal arm represents the earth.
I speak [ASL: talk] Alternate the index fingers on both hands back and forth from the mouth to represent people talking.
to Heavenly Father [ASL: God] With fingers together, point up to heaven then bring downward over the center of the face as a sign of respect.
He hears [ASL: hear] Point to the ear.
and answers me [ASL: me] With index finger, point to your chest.
When I pray [ASL: Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.
in faith [ASL: faith] by pointing to your temple then bringing your fists together or just bow your head on the word "faith".
I begin by saying [ASL: begin] Stick the index finger of the left hand between the first two fingers of the right hand and twist. Or you could just hold up the #1 finger and point to it with the pointer finger of the other hand.
"Dear Heavenly Father" [ASL: God] With fingers together, point up to heaven then bring downward over the center of the face as a sign of respect.
I thank him for blessings he sends: [ASL: thank] Bring the palm of the hand close to the mouth and extend the hand back out, almost as if you are blowing a kiss, but without the pursing of the lips. Do it about three times until you finish that phrase.
Then humbly I ask him for things that I need [ASL: ask/request] Bring the palms of the hands together out in front of you pointing outward, then bring the hands towards the body still clasped as if in prayer.
In the name of Jesus Christ [ASL: Jesus] With the middle finger of the left hand, point to the center of the palm of the right hand and vice-versa. This represents the nails that were pierced through Jesus' hands.
Amen [ASL: Amen/Pray] Bring the palms of the hands together in a prayer gesture and bring inward to chest in two small circular motions.
Don't forget to point out to the children that these are the four important parts of prayer and their order. You could also explain to them that when you say "Amen" after someone has said a prayer, it means that you agree with the prayer.
Believe me, an engaging Sing-a-Story is well worth it. Whenever I've done some version of a Sing-a-Story, it has always been amazing how the children are mesmerized by it and how you can feel the spirit as they absorb and understand the gospel message. Go ahead. Give it a try!!!
I Pray in Faith Sing-A-Story Script-Nalani
I Pray in Faith Viz-Nalani