Jesus taught us what it means to truly forgive. The primary song Help Me, Dear Father reminds us to ask Heavenly Father in prayer to help us live nearer to Him by forgiving others and truly repenting.
**This post contains affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission from sales at no cost to you. But know that I wouldn’t recommend this product if I didn’t LOVE it!
I love what is suggested in Teaching No Greater Call about tying the intangible to the tangible:
“Tie the invisible idea … to some tangible object the student already knows about and then build from that knowledge.”
Forgiveness and repentance are very intangible concepts. Applying them to something tangible helps give meaning and adaptation to these hard concepts.
That’s why I fell in LOVE with this idea HERE that Melanie shared in the comments about relating forgiveness and repenting to bandages! What child doesn’t know what a bandage does? And relating that bandage to healing the soul through forgiveness and repentance is so PERFECT!
So to start teaching Help Me, Dear Father, show a regular bandage to the primary. Ask if they know what it is. Then ask what does it do and take answers. Write them on the board. Answers can include things like:
- Helps heal wounds
- Protects from germs and bacteria
Then tell the primary that Heavenly Father has provided bandages for our soul. These spiritual bandages do the same thing for our spirit that regular bandages do for our body! They heal and protect our soul!
Write the name of the song, Help Me, Dear Father on the top of the board. Post these 2 bandage printables underneath:
Print and cut apart. Access my printables at my Resource Library. Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
Then pass out 2 “bandages” to each child to put on the backs of their hands. One hand for “freely forgive” and the other for “truly repent”
These are also available in my Resource Library. This document is meant to be printed on return address labels (Avery 5260 and Avery 5160). You can get these at Walmart, office supply stores or on online (Amazon affiliate link):
In a pinch, print on regular paper, cut them out and tape them on kids’ hands using Scotch tape! Or, write “freely forgive” and “truly repent” using a Sharpie marker on real bandages to pass out!
Tell the children that the song, Help Me, Dear Father talks all about these spiritual bandages! You and the teachers sing the song, posting words like I do HERE.
Have the primary raise their “freely “forgive” bandage when they hear those words (in the first verse). Then to raise their “truly repent” bandage when they hear those words (in the second verse).
Sing the first verse again (have them raise their hands when the bandage words are sung), asking children to listen for who they should freely forgive [all who may seem unkind to me]. Write down the answer on the board under the “freely forgive” printable.
Quickly discuss that forgiving others heals our soul. To forgive means to change angry feelings toward others to kind feelings. If we forgive others, we don’t try to hurt them or get even. We treat them with kindness.
Then sing the second verse again (have them raise their hands when the bandage words are sung), and ask children to listen to how they can truly repent [making things right and changing my ways]. Write down those answers on the board under the “truly repent” bandage.
Quickly discuss that repenting is another way to heal our soul. To repent means to admit you did something wrong and correct the mistake. Then try not to do it again.
Forgiving and repenting will help us feel nearer to Heavenly Father and make us happy.
Invite the children to sing with you and the teachers (again, raising hands when the bandage words are sung).
Then display a picture of the Savior on the cross and share the following passage with your primary:
Near the time when Jesus would be crucified, the soldiers did unkind things to him. They hit him, whipped him, spat on him, put a crown of thorns on his head, and called him names. Then the soldiers led Jesus to a hillside called Calvary and nailed him to a cross. Jesus wasn’t angry with the soldiers for what they did to him. He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do…”
Jesus was the greatest example of forgiveness. He taught us to pray and to ask “Help me dear Father” (A Children’s Songbook Companion p. 134).
And because of His atonement, we can repent and one day return to live with Him and Heavenly Father again.
Bear testimony that we should try to be more forgiving to those who are unkind to us. Challenge the primary to try to repent of things they do wrong.
This song has such a bouncy feeling. To provide movement, I suggest passing out shaker eggs and doing the following:
- Shake to the rhythm (the notes) of the song
- Shake to the beat of the song (3/4)
- Teach the children to lead 3/4 time by drawing a triangle on the board and using their eggs to lead the song
I also have a bell chart for the alto notes:
This is also available in my Resource Library.
I also have a home-centered lesson plan for this song HERE. It has a fun YouTube video of puppets demonstrating forgiveness and repenting!
Check out this quick tutorial video for accessing the Resource Library:
These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > Help Me, Dear Father.
8 thoughts on “Help Me, Dear Father”
I would love your printouts. We are new to Primary. Thank you so much!
I’ve added you to my email list so you now have access to my Resource Library. It will be emailed to you. I’ll also send you the direct link to the printables for this song. I hope that helps :). Welcome to singing time!!
Hello! Is there a way that you could change the small bandaids to fit on Avery 5160 labels, and save a new file to email me? I have a bunch of that size labels, but none of the ones you have it set for! 🙁 my email is email@example.com if you are able to do that!
I was looking up the size of the 5160 and they appear to be the same as the 5260. The only difference is the quantity of pages that come in each. So I’ll update my post. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I’ll be honest – the thought of resizing that document was making me cringe as that was a bugger to make! Phew!
Hi Camille. Sharol Omer here. I would like to post the lyrics of the songs as you do. I am very impressed with the idea of having the teachers and older children always being on board with singing WITH me. How/where did you get the actual hanger-thingy-mabob upon which to post them? And how did you ever get the words so huge, on huge pieces of paper? It even looks like they’re in huge plastic page covers? What? Where? How?
Love your comment … had me rolling! The hanger-thing-mabob is just a 3-ring binder (1-inch, I think). And the words are just printed on regular sheets of paper in regular sheet protectors. I’ve got all the details along here along with all the songs to print if that helps:
Posting words has probably been the #1 thing that has helped me get the entire primary (including teachers) to sing. Especially when we are singing random songs that we’re not working on for the program. Which for me, is a lot of the time.
“If that helps?”….Are you kidding?! You just saved my emotional life! Thank you. And don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll still need plenty more help!
Your comment just made my day – thanks for making me smile!