About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
By all accounts, it was a really bad day. Paul and Silas had been attacked by an angry crowd. The city official had them stripped and beaten. Then they were “severely flogged” and thrown into the inner cell with stocks – used for security and torture – locked to their feet. The godliest saint would have been calling it an unfortunate day but not these two. Around midnight, they started a prayer and praise service.
Don’t forget their condition. They had been severely flogged, but they prayed through their pain. They were in stocks, yet they sang. These men, needing rest, raised their voices in praise. Then . . . God delivered them.
No doubt some of you read these words today with a heavy heart. Circumstances have beaten you down. You feel imprisoned by things beyond your control. Another person has delivered an emotional blow, and you feel your hands are tied. It’s not easy to sing in the darkness of your inner cell. But I encourage you to try. Pray through the pain that holds down your heart. Sing in spite of the chains that are holding you back. I can’t promise deliverance from your situation, but I can promise freedom within your situation. God will work in His way and in His time. But for now, pour out your heart in prayer, and sing a hymn of praise to our God who is always worthy.
Pray with me.
Father, I feel defeated. I feel pain and hurt because of (name the situation). I don’t feel like praying, and I certainly don’t feel like singing. But right now I am going to pour out my heart to You (let God know all that is on your heart). And I am going to sing my favorite song of praise (sing from the bottom of your heart). I wait for You and for Your timing. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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