This Bible lesson will help the children see the importance and power of praying for one another. It is based on the Bible story in Acts 12 where God rescues Peter from jail while the other disciples were praying for his safety. This lesson was first taught in Children’s Sunday School but could easily be modified for Children’s Church or other learning contexts.
Bible Story: An Angel Breaks Peter Out of Jail
Scripture: Acts 12:1-17
Target Age Group: Age 7 – 12 (U.S. 1st – 6th Grade)
Original Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 20 minutes
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Supply List: Pictures of Peter bound in jail; Angel opening prison doors; angel escorting Peter to city gates; Peter at house where other disciples are gather (or any pictures available from these passages). Try searching Google images for these names
- When this lesson is finished, the children will demonstrate their knowledge regarding Peter’s rescue from prison.
- Children will express what Peter learned about the Lord from being in prison and being rescued.
By having the children retell the story and point out the important points at the end of the lesson.
Learning Activity #1
Active Listening: Divide the children into two groups and have the first group listen for Peter’s response to his release from prison. Have the second group listen for the response of the other disciples to Peter’s release from prison.
Immediately following the story ask two volunteers to retell the story, one from each of the listening groups about their part of the listening assignment.
Learning Activity #2
Agree/Disagree: read the following statement and have the children take turns stating whether they agree or disagree with the statement.
- Herod had Peter arrested and put in prison for three days. Disagree. It was only overnight because the angel released him later that same night.
- Peter thought he was dreaming his release from prison. Agree.
- The angel told Peter he wasn’t dreaming. Disagree. Peter realized it after the angel left and he found himself standing at the gate leading into the city.
- Peter’s chains fell off when he stood up. Agree.
- Peter slept between the four guards who bound him. Disagree. He only slept between two.
- When Peter realized he was free, he went to John’s house. Disagree. He went to Mary’s house.
- Rhonda recognized Peter’s voice at the door. Agree.
- Mary and the others immediately believed that Peter was at the door. Disagree. Peter had to continue to knock for them to believe Rhonda and open the door to him.
- Peter left after telling Mary and the others how he got out of prison. Agree.
Learning Activity #3
Open Discussion: Have the children sit in small groups and lead them in a discussion about praying. Take prayer requests from the children about things that they are concerned about for those they love and for themselves.
Help the children understand that the Lord usually answers prayers one of three ways: yes, no, and wait. Help them express their feelings about why it’s so hard when they get a “no” or “wait” answer. Talk to the children about the fact that a “no” or “wait” is because the Lord always knows what is best for us and it might not be the right time for us to receive it.
Help the children take the “yes”, “no”, and “wait” answer into the story of Peter and those praying for him and talk about how those three answers of prayer apply to this incident in Peter’s life.
As the children retell the story and discuss how God worked in regards to prayer, prompt them with questions and see how well they caught the point of this lesson.
Connection with the Gospel:
This miracle shows the way the Lord frees anyone from a prison they might be and how important it is for us to pray for others who might be in trouble.
Connection with Life:
Ask for volunteers to share a time they prayed for someone and how the Lord answered their prayer. Begin with a recent time the Lord answered a prayer for you and if you can share it about a way the children can see that the Lord answered the prayer for someone they know; such as someone in they knew who the Lord recently healed.