Thanks for joining us again as we do Children’s Worship from home!
Note: Please let us know about how your family is enjoying Children’s Worship! Take some pictures of your family participating in Children’s Worship or share a story. You can post to the Gold Avenue Church Facebook page or send by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Activity One: Do the introduction with your child(ren). Watch the video
Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts
Activity Three: Respond to the story by doing the activity.
Activity Four: Bless your children
(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)
The political climate in Judea during the time of the early church was precarious: King Herod was ruling over Judea as a Roman representative. At the time the church was growing and many people were becoming followers of The Way, pockets of Jewish “zealots” were forming in opposition to the Roman rule of Israel. Herod wanted to stop anything that could escalate an already volatile situation. The apostolic leaders were viewed as having the most potential to begin an uprising, so Herod started taking measures that would—by human perceptions—destroy further growth of the church. He began by killing the apostle James (brother of John) in what appeared to be a systematic plan to eliminate the remaining apostles.
Shortly after James’ death, Peter was seized and imprisoned during the Passover Festival. Four sets of four soldiers were placed as guards for this one man. Wanting to appease the Jews during the celebration of their festival, Herod waited to hold a public trial until after the celebrations. Not only would this give the Jews their festival, but it would allow Herod a larger crowd during the trial and execution and make an example of Peter’s death.
As soon as Peter was taken to prison, a group of believers gathered in a home to pray earnestly for him. God then sent an angel to release Peter from jail and lead him to safety. Peter came to where the believers were meeting and knocked on the door. Peter being released seemed so unlikely, it was easier for them to believe he had died and his angel or ghost (as was a customary belief within the Jewish culture) had come to tell them. After realizing it was in fact Peter, the faithful group rejoiced.
“In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter” (Acts 12:18). It was customary that should a prisoner escape, the supervising guard or soldier would then take the punishment intended for the accused. The unnoticed disappearance of one man while being guarded by so many soldiers was very unlikely. Hearing the news of Peter’s escape, Herod commanded a search be made to locate him. When he was not found, the guards were put to death and Herod left for Caesarea.
Activity 1: STORY
Friends, our God is amazing! Not only is He strong and mighty, but He also loves each of us. He hears our prayers and cares for us. And not only that, but He responds when we pray to him. Respond means “to give an answer.” Before we continue, let’s stop and ask God to teach us more about His love. Lead children in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
Today in The Big God Story, God sent an angel to free Peter from jail. He responded to the prayers of His people.
I wonder … How did Peter feel when he saw the angel in his cell?
I wonder … What did the people pray for Peter?
I wonder … Whom can I pray for today?
After discussing the Wonder Questions, take a moment to pray with your group.
Friends, God heard the prayers of His people when they were praying for Peter. And God responded. He loves His children and loves when we talk with Him. He will always respond. Let’s spend some time praying together, just like the church did in today’s part of The Big God Story.
These questions can easily extend into the rest of the week. Look for opportunities to bring conversations about how God Responds into your everyday life as a family.
Friends, God hears each of our prayers. When He responds, it may not be in the way we expect. In fact, it might be quite different than we imagine! But we know that God loves us and responds to the prayers of His people. Let’s make a prayer chain to help us remember to pray for whatever or whoever God tells us and wait for God’s answers.
Make a Prayer Chain
Materials You Need to Make a Construction Paper Prayer Chain
a stapler, glue, or tape
dark coloured markers
Just be sure your paper chain strips are wide enough to write on, and not too narrow that you can’t read them, or too wide that they become giant, droopy paper ovals.
How to Make a Construction Paper Prayer Chain
- Have each child write the things and the people they would like to pray for on their strips of paper. (One prayer request per paper strip.)
- You can guide them to include both things they are thankful for, and things that need prayer (like a sick relative, an upcoming test, etc.).
- Have older kids tape, glue, or staple their chains together. For younger kids, you may need to turn the strips of paper into a chain for them. (Just staple one end of each strip to the other end, and then loop your 2nd chain through your first before stapling, and your 3rd through your 2nd….)
Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING
End this time together with a blessing over your whole family:
Encourage children to put their hands out in front of themselves in a posture of receiving, demonstrating a readiness to hear God’s Word. Give them a moment to settle their minds, then read 1 John 5:14–15 over the group: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Children, may you know that God hears your prayers. May you know His power and strength to do far more than we can even imagine.
At Home Weekly Study Page
Here is a page that can be used during the week to prepare for the next lesson! Please check it out and use it along side your existing family devotions.
At Home Weekly Lesson 12