352 - Singing in prison


15 minutes Story planner

Acts 16
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 398
‘Paul and Silas in prison’ see Printables

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one to seven  . 

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever been inside an old jail? Perhaps you’ve visited one in a castle. Can you think what an ancient jail looked like: big heavy doors, long metal chains on the floor, perhaps even some wooden stocks?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources to help tell this story.

  • Pictures from a Bible Story picture book
  • A map showing Paul’s second mission trip (Early Church Flashcard number seven)
  • Speech bubbles (see Printables)
  • A short length of chain from a garden centre or DIY shop
  • A pair of stocks made from a cardboard box (see below)
Make the hole large enough for a child to easily get their feet in and out.

Make the hole large enough for a child to easily get their feet in and out.


4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Help the Jailor reach Paul and Silas.


You will need: a piece of thin rope or washing line approximately three to five metres long, a stopwatch on a phone, small fold-back bulldog clips, stone steps and figures (see Printables) and a list of questions (see Printables).

1. Lay the rope on the floor to form a spiral.
2. Set out the ‘stone steps’ as shown.
3. Clip the figures into the bulldog clips and place ‘Paul’ and ‘Silas’ in the middle of the spiral and the ‘Jailor’ at the start.
4. Explain that every time the children get a question right the Jailor moves on one stone step. If they cannot answer the question or they get it wrong the Jailor stays where he is.
5. Tell the children that they have two minutes to get the Jailor to Paul and Silas in the inner part of the jail.  
You might like to give extra time to younger children.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about the story. We imagine Paul and Silas inside the cold, damp cell singing songs of thanks and praise to you. 

Father we thank you that Paul and Silas worshipped you despite being locked up inside a prison. Please help us to remember that you always deserve our worship. Help us to remember that you deserve our worship wherever we are and however we feel. 

Father we imagine the tremendous noise as the prison started to shake. We picture the prisoners' surprise as doors flew open and chains rattled to the ground. We imagine Paul calling to the Jailor: ‘We are all still here’.

Father we thank you that on that evening the Jailor and his family heard the Good News about Jesus. We thank you that each one of them chose to say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness.  Amen

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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