Beginning with this lesson and continuing through the next six lessons, the children will be memorizing the prayer below. After starting the class with prayers, you will need to explain to them the meaning of the words and sentences in the prayer and then help them memorize the first couple of phrases.
“O my Lord! O my Lord! I am a child of tender years. Nourish me from the breast of Thy mercy, train me in the bosom of Thy love, educate me in the school of Thy guidance and develop me under the shadow of Thy bounty. Deliver me from darkness, make me a brilliant light; free me from unhappiness, make me a flower of the rose garden; suffer me to become a servant of Thy threshold and confer upon me the disposition and nature of the righteous; make me a cause of bounty to the human world and crown my head with the diadem of eternal life. Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Seer, the Hearer.” Listen HERE (same as below).
B. Songs (including a review of previous songs)
There’s a New Wind Blowin’ listen HERE.
There’s a new wind blowin’ across the sea
There’s a new wind blowin’ a callin’ me
It’s a new way for a new Day, gonna set all men free
It makes you strong as a mountain
You move like the sea
With wings like a bird flying
It sings of love and one world
And one mankind
With no more war we will
All have peace of mind
Alternative song - Stefan Brown's Paper Cranes song (can't find online music track yet...)
Mankind is one sun – mankind is one
Paper cranes with perfect wings
Flying to the sun – flying to the sun
Look around you, what surrounds you?
Is it love we feel?
There’s a knowing and it’s growing
Peace can be real
No confrontation or legislation
Is gonna put it right
When we discover we have a lover
Like a thief in the night
Is there a future for the children?
Will they be lost in the night?
For those who care enough to listen
Mankind will unite
Below are some ideas you can use to introduce the quotation that the children will memorize in this class.
God’s love is always with us. He will never leave us alone and promises to help us throughout our lives. Though we do not know what will happen from one day to the next, we remember that the gifts and bounties of God are all around. And so we are hopeful when we look to the future, confident that we will receive a share of His infinite blessings. With hearts full of hope, we constantly anticipate the outpouring of God’s bounties upon us. To help us remember the importance of the quality of hopefulness, let us memorize these words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:
“Be thou ever hopeful, for the bounties of God never cease to flow upon man.” listen HERE.
1. Ming planted a seed in a sunny spot and watered it each day. She looked forward to seeing it grow. Ming was hopeful the seed would one day become a strong plant.
2. Matt’s good friend Antonio moved to another town. Matt missed his friend, but he was hopeful that they would see each other again soon.
1. Every night when Lilian prays she thinks about the many things she is fortunate to have. She thinks about her parents, her friends, her teachers, and even the bed in which she sleeps. Lilian is always thankful for the bounties she has been given.
2. Rajesh has many friends and relatives who love him and help him grow. Rajesh is grateful for the bounty of their love and support.
1. When Tahir turns off the tap, the water stops coming out; the water ceases to flow.
2. Even on cloudy days, the rays of sun warm the earth. The sun’s rays never cease to reach the earth.
There was once a man with no home, who lived alone on the banks of the River Thames in London. He was very sad and had lost all hope for happiness in life. One day, he walked past a shop and a photograph in a newspaper caught his eye. It was the face of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The man stood frozen, staring at the face. He had never seen ‘Abdu’l-Bahá before and did not know who He was, but he was certain that he must meet Him. The address of a house was given in the newspaper, so the man started walking, hoping to find Him there. It was a very long distance—thirty miles—but he kept walking until he reached the house.
The man was tired and hungry when at last he arrived, and the lady of the house kindly invited him in, gave him some food, and let him rest for a while. As he rested, he told his story to the woman and then asked her whether ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was there.
“Will He see me?” he asked. “Even me?”
Just as the woman replied that she was certain ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would see him, the Master Himself appeared at the door. The man stood up, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stretched out His arms to greet him. It was as though the man was an old friend whom ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had long been expecting. He welcomed him with love and compassion and asked him to sit down next to Him.
Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who always knew how to bring lost joy back people’s hearts, began to speak to the man. He encouraged him to let go of his sadness, reminding him that he was rich in the Kingdom of God! As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá showered the man with compassion, His comforting words began to heal his heart and give him strength. Little by little his sadness drifted away. Before he departed, the man told ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that he would not let his poverty bring him sadness anymore; instead he would find work in the fields and save his money so that he could buy a bit of land, on which he would grow violets to sell in the market. His despair had been changed into hope.
One day a woman came to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with her sorrows. As she told her story,‘Abdu’l-Bahá tried to calm her and said, “Don’t be sad now, don’t be sad.”
The Woman said, “My brother has been in prison for three years. He should not have been imprisoned because it was not his fault. He was weak and followed others. He will be in prison for four more years. My mother and father are full of sorrow all the time. My brother in law used to take care of us, but he has just died.”
The Master could see the whole human story. Here was a family which was experiencing every form of misery-they were poor, they were weak, they were sad, disgraced, and without any hope whatsoever.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “You must trust in God.”
“But,” the woman cried, “the more I trust, the worse things become!”
“You have never trusted,” said ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
“But my mother is reading the Bible all of the time,” she said. “She does not deserve that God should leave her so helpless! I read the Bible myself; I say the 91st Psalm and the 23rd Psalm every night before I go to bed. I pray too.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá looked at her lovingly and said, “To pray is not to read the Bible. To pray is to trust in God and accept His Will. You must be patient and accept the Will of God, then things will change for you. Put your family in God’s hands. Trust in God and love His Will. Strong ships are not conquered by the sea; they ride the waves! Now be a strong ship, not a battered one.”]
Have the children form a circle around you. To introduce the game, ask the children to imagine that they are in the desert longing for a rainstorm. Then start rubbing your palms together and instruct the children to begin making the same motion, but only in turn as you look at each one of them. After you have gone around full circle and all the children are rubbing their palms, tell them they should continue doing so, until you look at each one with a new motion. You could snap your fingers as the next motion and then clap your hands, slap the tops of your legs, and stomp your feet. The sound made by all the children together should resemble the first few sprinkles of rain in the beginning and a great storm by the end.
- There's a lot of negative things happening in the world and on the news
- There is hope of the future because of the kids we are raising.
- Explain to the kids that they are the future. They are the future politicians, missionaries, parents, doctors, teachers, and leaders in our world.
- Parents, are doing best to raise them to love God, love people and develop their virtues
- We then made a hope collage out of children’s faces: look through magazines and cut out pictures of kids, glue down the images onto a piece of paper. After the collage was created, cut the paper into quarters - to cut into four letters – H-O-P-E. You can glue these letters to another piece of paper or hang the individually as a reminder that kids are part of the hope of the future.