Jesus promised us that in this world we will have trouble (John 16:33). That is no surprise to most of us, but we often find it difficult to praise God in the midst of our troubles. What troubles are you facing this week? Be encouraged by the example of Paul and Silas in jail as you do these activities with your kids this week.
This week your child learned that God wants us to trust and praise Him in all circumstances. Paul and Silas rescued a girl who had been tormented by an evil spirit. There were men who were not happy that Paul and Silas helped her because they had been making money from her. They had Paul and Silas beaten and thrown in jail. In jail, Paul and Silas began singing praise songs to God as the other prisoners and the jailer listened. Suddenly, an earthquake shook the walls of the prison and the doors opened. The jailer was terrified because he thought all his prisoners had escaped and he would be in terrible trouble, but Paul and Silas had not tried to escape. They demonstrated love to the jailer by staying there. The jailer asked them what he could do to believe in Jesus. He and his family became Christians and were baptized, and Paul and Silas were set free. (Acts 16:16-36)
"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."
Remind your child how even when Paul and Silas were put in jail, they still gave their praises to God. Wrap your child in toilet paper (like a mummy) and tell him that he is trapped in jail like Paul and Silas, then sing a song of praise together. Get a spoon and a pot and tell your child that when he hears you bang on the pot he can try to break free from jail just like Paul and Silas broke free after the earthquake. Say a prayer of praise and thanksgiving together once he breaks free. Talk with your child about Paul and Silas using these questions:
Why did Paul and Silas go to jail?
What did they do in jail?
How did the chains fall off the prisoners?
Did Paul and Silas trust Jesus?
After they were free, what did the guard do?
Look in the mirror with your child and make the following expressions: mad, sad, happy, angry, etc. Have your child copy you or show you what they think a face for each emotion should look like. Talk about each face as you make them. When do you feel happy? Sad? Mad? God wants us to be joyful in everything and give thanks. Tell your child that even though Paul and Silas were in jail (and didn’t do anything wrong), they were happy and praising God.
Grab a sheet and cover a table. Have your child pretend to be Paul and Silas in jail by sitting under the table. Sing “Jesus Loves Me” as a praise song to God with your child. Say “EARTHQUAKE” and stomp on the ground, then quickly pull off the sheet to simulate the earthquake.
Pray a short, simple prayer to the Lord that He has the power to change lives. Thank Him for how He has saved you and changed your life. Thank Him for His Son and the sacrifice He made.