May 16, 2023 – Acts 16

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. – Acts 16:25

“Lock him up!” The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape, so Paul and Silas quickly found themselves sitting inside the inner dungeon of a prison far from home, isolated from family and friends with their feet securely chained to the wall.

What now? Should they panic? Shout? Fight? Give up?

What would you have done if you were in their situation? Better yet, how do you respond whenever you feel trapped? Maybe not trapped (literally) in a foreign prison, but trapped emotionally in a fearful situation or in a failing relationship?

Do you give up? Speak up? Shut down? Fight back?

What if instead of shouting, you decided to sing a song of praise? Or instead of panic, you prayed a prayer of gratitude?

As odd as it may seem, that’s exactly what Paul and Silas did while they were sitting in prison. Instead of worrying, they worshiped. Instead of shouting hurtful words at the jailer, they began singing hymns of worship to Jesus!

Even trapped inside a prison, they were never apart from God.

Isn’t that amazing?

Not the part about being locked away in a damp, dark, dungeon somewhere far from home, but the part where God is always near. No matter what. Wherever you are today, right now, reading this. No matter what you’re up against or going through, God is right there with you, and he’s not worried one bit. He has a plan!

Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of EVERY prisoner fell off! – Acts 16:26

Imagine the surprise of the other prisoners when the prayers of Paul and Silas begin to shake the prison walls.

Now, that’s power!

Good news. The same God who set free Paul, Silas, and every prisoner back then is still busy breaking chains today! He’s breaking the chains of addiction, depression, division, and disease. Our hymns of praise don’t have to wait until after healing has happened. Our prayers, even from prison, have power to set us free!

So, take a moment today, and tell God what you are grateful for. Then, sing a song of praise, or play one you know. Don’t wait until you’re out of prison to pray, and don’t wait until you’re set free to start singing!

Be an example. After all, the other prisoners are listening.