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A Prayer and a Surprise


In the years after Jesus, the first Christians taught people about Jesus. They started churches and prayer groups. They were excited about their faith, and nothing would stop them from sharing the good news.

But many of the leaders were jealous of this growing faith. They told the Christians to stop teaching. Stop preaching. Stop praying.

But nothing would stop the Christians from their faith.

In this story, Peter had been put in jail for teaching about Jesus.

Part 1: Who was Peter?

Peter was a fisherman. In those days, a fisherman would learn fishing from his father and grandfather and uncles. He might not have gone to school and might not know how to read or write, but he would know all about the water and about boats and about fish.

One day, Peter and his brothers met Jesus. Jesus asked them to leave their boats and follow him. They became Jesus's helpers, and learned how to work with him, teaching, healing people and helping people.

Peter had been a good fisherman. Now he was a great teacher and leader.

Part 2: Peter in Jail

Now, several years later, Peter was in jail because the leaders were jealous and angry. It wasn't fair to put Peter in jail. But he was there.

Meanwhile, a group of Christians were having a prayer meeting in the home of a man named John Mark. They were on the second floor of the house, sitting in a room praying.

They prayed: "Oh Lord God, please help Peter get out of jail."

As they prayed, a miracle happened. The door of the jail was opened. An angel told Peter he was free. The angel said he could go to John Mark's house.

Part 3: Rhoda Opens the Door

As the people were praying in the prayer meeting, they heard a knock at the door downstairs. A woman named Rhoda, who was a young servant girl, went to answer the door.

She opened the door. It was Peter at the door! He was free! She was so surprised that she closed the door on him and ran upstairs, shouting "It's Peter at the door!"

The others didn't believe her. "Rhoda, who is at the door?" they asked. "It can't be Peter. Peter is in jail."

"It IS Peter at the door," she insisted.

"Fine, let's go see," said one. They went downstairs and opened the door. There was Peter standing there, patiently.

"Come upstairs," they said! "We are so happy that you are here!"

Later, they told Peter they were sorry for leaving him standing at the door. "That's okay," he said, and laughed. "We have all had moments when we just couldn't believe our eyes."

Discussion: Sometimes a Bible story can make you laugh. What's funny about this story? What's serious? When you pray, do you expect the prayer to be answered?

Craft: Make a story booklet telling this story.

View as Word document (booklet form): Peter and Rhoda

August 2014