READ: While they were staying with Lydia in Philippi Paul and his friend Silas went out into the city to find a place to pray. While they were walking a young girl who was enslaved followed behind them, shouting at everyone that Paul and Silas were sent by God. She was known to be a fortune-teller, and her owners made money from her visions. Paul was exasperated at her endless shouting, for this was not the way he intended to share the good news of Jesus. He turned to face the young girl and he healed her. Once healed she could no longer tell fortunes, which made her owners very angry.
Her owners grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the city leaders. Together with the crowd, they hit Paul and Silas with rods. The two were thrown in prison, with their feet in chains.
Around midnight Paul and Silas were singing hymns and praying. All the other prisoners were listening to them sing and pray. When suddenly there was a great earthquake. It was so strong that the shaking opened the prison doors and loosened all the prisoners’ chains. The jailer woke up and saw the doors to the prison open and he was afraid that he would be punished if the prisoners had escaped. Paul shouted out to the jailer that they were still all there. The jailer was so grateful, that he asked Paul to tell him more about Jesus and what he needed to do to be saved. He was so grateful he took Paul and Silas to his own home and washed their wounds. The jailer wanted to follow Jesus, so that very night he and his entire family were baptized. (Acts 16:16-34)
WONDER: I wonder how did Paul and Silas listen to the Holy Spirit?
I wonder how it feels to be led by the Spirit?
I wonder why Paul and Silas decided to sing and pray in prison?
I wonder what the other prisoners thought when they heard Paul and Silas sing and pray?
I wonder how the jailer felt when he learned that all the prisoners were still there?
SAY: Today we have heard three stories of bondage and freedom. The young girl who was a slave is freed from her forced work of fortune-telling. Paul and Silas are freed from prison. And the jailer finds freedom in following Jesus.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for always being near us, in good times and in bad. Help us to trust in you and your love for us. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered, or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.