Primary Singing Time Ideas for Teaching A Child’s Prayer

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These singing time ideas for teaching the A Child’s Prayer will help your Primary fall in love with this memorable Primary song!  There’s a variety of singing time ideas here to accommodate your Primary’s learning style and needs!

My tried-and-true favorite is using a match-up activity that helps your Primary put the double melody together!  

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas

Teach the Primary song, A Child’s Prayer using these various singing time methods (click on the link to jump to that section):

  1. Match-Up
  2. Review Cards
  3. A Children’s Songbook
  4. Handbells
  5. Prayer Phones
  6. Simplified ASL
  7. Sharla Dance
  8. More!

A Child's Prayer Lyrics and Sheet Music

Find the sheet music to A Child’s Prayer on the Church’s website.  There’s nothing more humbling than a child’s prayer and the lyrics to this Primary song convey that so well:

1. Heavenly Father, are you really there?

And do you hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?

Some say that heaven is far away,

But I feel it close around me as I pray.

Heavenly Father, I remember now

Something that Jesus told disciples long ago:

“Suffer the children to come to me.”

Father, in prayer I’m coming now to thee.

2. Pray, he is there; Speak, he is list’ning.

You are his child; His love now surrounds you.

He hears your prayer; He loves the children.

Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heav’n.

A Child's Prayer Flip Chart

Find A Child’s Prayer lyrics in a printable flip chart format so you can easily post the words in your Primary!

Camille's Primary Ideas: posting words for singing time, singing time flip charts

A Child's Prayer Song History

This information comes from Stories from The Children’s Songbook by Sister Pat Graham.

Janice Kapp Perry, the author/composer, said, “We are all human and occasionally wonder, in difficult times, if the Lord is really there to hear and answer our prayers.”
 
Concerning the loss of the use of her left hand, she continued, “During one of my times of frustration over a seemingly unanswered prayer, I wrote a song called ‘Lord, Are You There?’ and later decided to write a children’s version, which I entitled ‘A Child’s Prayer.’The struggle resulted in a heart-felt plea and reassurance that speaks to children and adults.
 
The Correlation Committee expressed some concern about the lack of prayer language in the text of the song. As we discussed options, we found “Thee” and “Thou” seemed too formal and not at all childlike (Heavenly Father, art thou really there? And dost Thou hear and answer ev’ry child’s prayer?).
 
Sister Perry had a strong feeling that the words were as a child would express them, and that the song was more about a small child praying than about teaching prayer language.
 
The decision was made to leave it as it was.
In her book Songs From My Heart, Sister Perry relates a time when the words of the song calmed her spirit. She and her husband were involved in a serious car accident in which the front of her throat was badly ruptured and bleeding internally.
 
To assess the damage, the doctor told her to lie absolutely still for thirty minutes for a CAT scan. Janice could barely breathe or swallow and searched for something to calm herself She closed her eyes and repeated these words over and over for the duration of the test: “Pray, He is there; speak, He is listening. You are His child, His love now surrounds you.”
 
With surgery and rest she was eventually healed. At a critical time, she received comfort through her own song.
 
When the Tabernacle Choir recorded the song, Sister Perry was asked to write additional lines for the beginning and the end.
I also HIGHLY suggest you watch this video of Sister Perry:

What IS a Double Melody?

Did you know that A Child’s Prayer is a double melody? All that means is the song has 2 different melodies that can be sung simultaneously (or at the same time).

Don’t let that verbiage scare you because it’s really easy and beautiful!  However, I do recommend that you have a helper (whether that be a co-music leader, primary teacher, presidency member or very confident primary child) when conducting both melodies.  It’s nearly impossible for you to do both at the same time!

A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas

1. Match-Up

This match-up activity for teaching A Child’s Prayer is what I use to teach this Primary song in singing time!

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea

When teaching A Child’s Prayer, I recommend matching up the parts of the verses to each other.  Learn the parts to each song then move on to the fun part … putting them together!

2. Review Cards

Camille's Primary Ideas: Singing Time Review cards

Review cards are my FAVORITE way to practice double melody songs!  You basically create 2 random groups depending on what category the kids fall in.  Once you have your groups, sing the parts together.  Then repeat with new groups.  It’s such a simple way to repeat over and over again without ever getting bored!

3. A Children's Songbook Companion

A Children’s Songbook Companion contains a singing time lesson plan for every single song in the Children’s Songbook including A Child’s Prayer.

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas using bells and practicing parts

Access this in my Resource Library.  Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.

4. Handbells

Double melodies mean the accompaniment must match both melodies as well!  My bell chart for A Child’s Prayer uses chording to accomplish just that.

This post explains everything you need to know about using handbells in Primary

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea using Handbells

Access these printables at my Resource Library.  Instructions for accessing the Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.

Merry Bells

Or another handbell option for A Child’s Prayer is Merry Bells.  There are several options to choose from:

  1. Play Along DVD Primary Songs
  2. Digital Download Multi-Note Harmony
  3. Digital Download Single-Note Melody
  4. Printable Handbell Charts

Make sure to use coupon code CPI for 10% off your entire order!

Merry Bells Primary Sing Along DVD

5. Prayer Phones

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas

Add another element of fun and use prayer phones! What better way to ask, “Heavenly Father, are you really there?” then with an actual phone? Thus relating praying to our way of communicating with Heavenly Father. 

Added bonus is children are able to hear their voices in their own ears, enhancing their singing abilities!

Here are Kim’s details if f you’re not on FB:

(Whisper) Prayer Phones for A Child’s Prayer. “Heavenly Father, are you really there?” Jr. Primary held these to their ears and sang into the phones. When you sing into the mouth end, you hear your voice clearly on the ear end.
 
They were perfect for this song because of the visual of speaking directly to Heavenly Father and asking questions, but also because of the two parts and they could follow their leader and hear themselves and the other part was muddled so they weren’t as distracted by the other group’s part.
 
They work beautifully! Kids love them. I handed the teachers each a bag of phones and inside that Ziploc I included a smaller Ziploc with a couple of Clorox wipes. When teachers collected them, they quickly wiped off both ends of the phones, put them back into the large bag. Cleaned and ready to go for next time.
 
Easy to make with 3/4″ PVC pipe cut to 3.5″ lengths with 90° elbows attached to both ends. I covered the center part with duct tape, but you wouldn’t need to.
Or simply purchase these whisper phones (Amazon affiliate link):

6. Simplified ASL

Simplified ASL is always a great route when teaching a new Primary song.  Holly’s video includes an explanation of the signs:

Then sing along with her here for practice before teaching:

Then make sure to check out my post for teaching sign language in singing time!

7. Sharla Dance

Sharla Dance has some great paper plate actions for A Child’s Prayer.  Some are catered to younger children and some to older children.

Each melody has different actions, so when the groups sing together, they each have their own actions.  It’s a great visual to what you are trying to accomplish musically!

8. More Singing Time Ideas

Primary Singing has several ideas for teaching A Child’s Prayer.

Camille's Primary Ideas: A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas

LDS Primary Printables also has more singing time ideas.

Leave your A Child's Prayer Singing Time Ideas

How will you teach A Child’s Prayer in singing time?  Leave a comment with your suggestions and ideas!

Check out this quick tutorial video for accessing the Resource Library:

These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > A Child’s Prayer.

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