Abraham & Prayer Knotts
This week for Family Home Evening, we learned about the prophet Abraham and Prayer. It was quite amazing to learn a few new parts to the story that I didn't entirely remember from before. The first new thing that we learned from this story was that Abraham was not his name at first. His name was Abram...and his wife's name was Sarai. Then once he received the Priesthood he was given a new name by the Lord which was Abraham, and his wife was Sarah. It reminded me so much of what we know and do in the temple. Yet again proof that our temples are truly the Lord's House, and our goals should all point to the eternal covenants that we make within the walls of His holy home.
We talked about prayer. The power that Abram’s prayer had, while he was laying on the altar, and his father and a priest were about to sacrifice him to the false gods that they worshiped. The kids recognized that we often pray much harder in times of need, and I posed the question, “What if we always prayed like that?" It caused them to stop and think for a bit. It made me think about times in my life I have prayed the hardest. I also realized that the harder we pray, the more beneficial it is to our lives. The problem is that we usually only pray our hardest when we are desperate. I would love to up my prayer game. The question is can I motivate myself without a trial? This is something quite interesting to talk to your family about. I once heard a cool quote from Ezra Taft Benson, "Either we can choose to be humble, or we can be compelled to be humble." I think the same might be true for prayer. We can choose to pray or the Lord might compel us to pray.
I also never before thought about how hard it would be for Abraham to even begin to sacrifice his son. He had to mentally agree to follow the Lord’s command and then take action. I imagine how hard it would be to begin the sad walk there with his son. Did you know it took him 3 days to travel to the Land of Moriah? For 3 days being petrified of the thought of what you would have to do. I never thought about how traumatized he must have been from his own experience, and then to cause his son to have this same experience must have been some major PTSD. What an amazing obstacle to over come. Think about something in your own life that has terrified you, or caused you mental harm. Imagine your children having to go through that because of you. I think that would be nearly impossible to agree to that like Abraham did. And of course there is always the question of WHY. Which is something that I am sure the Lord is use to hearing from us.
After we talked about the story, we watched a quick cartoon video to recap the events. Then we did a fun activity with string, involving the power of Prayer. I gave two kids a long piece of string and told them they had to try to tie it in a knot. There were a few rules once they touched the string they couldn't touch it anywhere else. They had to keep their hands in the same spot on the string. Another rule was they couldn't let go until they made a knot.
It was quite funny to watch them not be able to complete the task. They of course got all tangled up. They were very confused and didn't know how to make a knot without letting go of the string for at least a moment. The big kids loved the challenge and so they wanted to keep trying. Eventually, everyone wanted their own string and wanted to be able to try it on their own. So each kid was involved and very invested in how this miracle would be able to be accomplished. Eventually, I decided it was getting late so I had them all sit down and watch me!
First I reminded them that our lesson tonight was about Prayer. Prayer is not something that we do occasionally, but we should do it daily. I explained that if we pray like Abraham, miracles can happen in our own lives. So I laid the string out on the floor and then folded my arms. With my arms folded I picked up the string. One hand at a time. Then as I unfolded my arms back through each other the string automatically tied itself in a knot. I did not let go of the string and yet the knot appeared. They all laughed with amusement and then tried it themselves. My husband was also quite impressed which is always an added bonus. My little ones I had to help a bit because they were not folding their arms completely, but over all they got the idea. Prayer brings Miracles.
It was a great FHE lesson. One that I will most definitely do again when the opportunity presents itself. It's simple, effective, and gets everyone's attention, both young and old. Afterwards we practiced some other fun knots. My boys enjoyed it because they love to fish....so they got some extra knot tying practice. I gave my 9 year old with long hair....three strings and told her to practice her braiding skills. She will need to know how to do her hair soon, and can use some extra practice. Then for my 7 year old, I put the string under her foot and had her practice tying a bow like the one you would use for your shoe. Everyone was having fun with string....and I felt like the lesson was a success.
It was a fun Family Home Evening Lesson, that started with Prayer and Miracles and ended with some life skills that may help us in the future. What is even better is it all connected to Come Follow Me. It's not always easy planning lessons to go with what we are learning. Figuring out something that will be engaging and meaningful to all ages is quite tricky, but this lesson was definitely one that everyone enjoyed. Simple, Engaging, Meaningful Family Home Evening Lesson Done!