Paul and Silas in Prison

This is a simplified version of the Bible story found in Acts 16:16-40, written for children to understand. For the original version, please refer to the Bible passage.

A man named Paul and his friend Silas were walking to a place to pray. They met a slave girl who was very troubled and had a bad spirit inside her that made her able to tell the future.

This girl’s owners were making a lot of money from her fortune-telling, but Paul did not like the bad spirit inside of her. The slave girl cried out to Paul and Silas, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”

Paul turned to the girl and commanded the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” The girl was immediately freed from the spirit of divination and became free.

The girl’s owners were very angry that they had lost their source of money. They grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them to the leaders of the city. The owners said that Paul and Silas were Jews who were causing trouble in the city by talking about things that were against the law.

The leaders and the people in the city were very angry at Paul and Silas, so they had them beaten with sticks and thrown into a prison cell. The jailer was told to keep them locked up safely, so he put them in the darkest part of the prison and locked their feet in stocks.

Late at night, Paul and Silas started singing hymns and praying to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was a big earthquake, and the prison shook so hard that all the doors opened, and the chains fell off of the prisoners!

The jailer was so scared that he thought all the prisoners had escaped and was about to kill himself, but Paul told him not to hurt himself because they were all still there. The jailer was amazed and asked Paul and Silas what he needed to do to be saved.

Paul and Silas replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

So the jailer took them to his home and washed their wounds, then he and his family were baptized and became believers in Jesus too!

Meanwhile, the magistrates who had ordered Paul and Silas to be beaten and thrown into prison realized that they had made a mistake. They sent a message to the jailer, telling him to let Paul and Silas go.

But Paul refused to leave quietly. He said, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.”

The magistrates were afraid when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, so they came and apologized to them. They took them out of prison and asked them to leave the city.

So Paul and Silas went out of the prison and visited a woman named Lydia and other people who believed in Jesus. They encouraged them and left, spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere they went.

Biblical Lessons

  • We should always be ready to share the gospel, even if it means facing persecution or opposition.
  • God can use anyone, even someone who has been oppressed or mistreated, to bring about His purposes and glorify His name.
  • We should always trust in God, even in the midst of difficult circumstances, because He is faithful to His promises and will never leave us nor forsake us.
  • Forgiveness is a powerful tool in bringing about healing and restoration, as seen in how Paul and Silas were able to forgive their captors and share the gospel with them.

Related Stories

The Conversion of Saul

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

Peter’s Miraculous Escape from Prison

The Lame Beggar Healed

Ananias and Sapphira