Jessica's First Prayer by Hesba Stretton.


Jessica, an inquisitive barefoot girl, took an interest in the coffee stall run by Daniel. Following Daniel into a strange building she began an adventure that will change her life. One of Hesba Stretton's most popular tales, this heartwarming story was first published in 1867.—Curiosmith (2010)

One of the most tender, touching, and withal gracious stories that we ever remember to have read. A dear little book for our children. We are not ashamed of having shed tears while reading it; in fact, should have been ten times more ashamed if we had not. The sweet portrait of the poor child Jessica is a study, and old Daniel is perfect in his own way.—The Sword and Trowel (1905).




  • Chapter 1 — The Coffee-Stall and Its Keeper
  • Chapter 2 — Jessica's Temptation
  • Chapter 3 — An Old Friend in a New Dress
  • Chapter 4 — Peeps into Fairy-Land
  • Chapter 5 — A New World Opens
  • Chapter 6 — The First Prayer
  • Chapter 7 — Hard Questions
  • Chapter 8 — An Unexpected Visitor
  • Chapter 9 — Jessica's First Prayer Answered
  • Chapter 10 — The Shadow of Death


  • Jessica — a young inquisitive barefoot girl.
  • Daniel Strandring — a man who owned a coffee stall and was an usher at the church.
  • Jessica's mother — a former actress who became destitute.
  • Minister – the minister of the church.
  • Winny — daughter of the minister.
  • Jane — daughter of the minister.

Important Scriptures and Principals:

  • Do not show favoritism or treat people in shabby clothes poorly. James 2:1-4—My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
  • Repent from love of money. 1 Tim 6:10—For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
  • Turn from your sins and trust in Jesus for forgiveness. Acts 2:38—Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
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