Monday, February 28, 2011

Preschool Bible Lesson - Power of Prayer: Peter Escapes from Prison

9:45     sign-in, free play
10:05   opening prayer, introduction: chains
10:15   Bible lesson in flannel
10:30   Bible lesson game: Garden door craft
10:45   Snack
11:00   Bible lesson game: Quiet escape
11:15   Bible story retold: Rhoda the Servant Girl
11:20   coloring sheet
11:30   closing prayer, free play time
11:45   pick-up

 Bible Story: Peter in Prison
A few years after Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, the disciples were teaching others about Jesus and about Jesus’ teachings. The disciples were getting together people who believed in Jesus into groups called churches.
The leaders of the Jews got mad at this. They talked to King Herod and asked Herod to kill all the disciples. Herod wanted to please the Jewish leaders so he agreed. Herod captured Simon Peter and put him in prison. Herod planned to kill Peter at the end of the Passover feast.
Peter was kept in prison with 16 guards, four at a time guarding him.  All of the church prayed for Peter. They prayed that God would free him.
On the night before Peter was to die, he was sleeping with a guard chained to each of his hands. Two more guards were watching the doors. Suddenly a bright light shone in Peter’s cell and an angel of the Lord stood by him. The angel touched him on the side to wake him up and said “rise up quickly”.
As Peter stood up, the chains silently fell from his hands. The angel told him to get dressed.
Peter did what he was told and followed the angel. They passed by the first guard and then the second one. No one tried to stop them. They came to the big gate of the prison and it opened as if moved by an invisible hand. They went out of prison, into the city and onto a street. The angel left Peter as suddenly as it had appeared.
By this time Peter was fully awake and said “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hands of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
Peter thought about what to do and went to the mother of his friend, Mark. Many people were praying for Peter at her house. Peter knocked on the garden door.
A little servant girl named Rhoda answered the door and heard Peter’s voice. She was so excited that she forgot to open the door. She ran into the house saying “Peter is here! Peter is here!”
None of the people who were praying for Peter’s freedom believed her. They thought she was just hearing things. Peter kept knocking. Rhoda insisted that it was Peter, so the people went to the door and opened it. To their surprise they saw Peter was standing there.
He told them all that had happened to him and told them to send word to the other disciples and apostles. Then Peter went to a place where Herod and his men could not find him.
That night the church learned a great deal. They learned that God does answer prayers. They had prayed for Peter’s freedom and God, himself, sent an angel to answer that prayer.
Remember, God does know what we need before we ask, and he will answer. Sometimes the answer is “yes”, sometimes the answer is “no” and sometimes the answer is “later.” And like Rhoda, we need to believe that God will answer our prayer.

Bible Craft: Garden Door Craft

Garden Door Craft

8 ½ x 11 piece of cardstock with a door cut to swing out
6 craft sticks
Foam garden shapes such as trees and flowers
Paper with a man on it
Craft glue

Have the children glue the paper with the man on it to the back of the cardstock so that man faces door when door is opened. The children can glue craft sticks to the front of the door. Decorate the cardstock to make it look like a garden by using crayons and stickers.

While children are making this craft, they can also be told about how Jesus knocks on the door of our hearts wanting us to let him in. (Behold! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelations 3:20)


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