THE POWER OF PRAISE
But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God,
And the prisoners were listening to them.
Acts 16:25 (NKJV)
Paul and Silas had been beaten with rods (v. 22). They were put into prison and their feet were in stocks (v. 24). Their feet were spread as far apart as possible in order to produce severe leg cramps. Do you think they felt like singing praises to god? Not likely, neither would we.
Why did they sing and praise God? They had peace – divine peace. They were able to remain calm during very stressful circumstances because they trusted God. They knew that God was in control of everything, and His purposes would be accomplished. The same can be true for us.
There are a lot of times that we don’t feel like singing and praising the Lord, but it helps. It may not result in something as dramatic as an earthquake, which is what happened with Paul and Silas (v. 26). However, it will lift your spirits out of whatever prison and stocks that you are in. During one of the darkest trials of my life, my mind imprisoned by the events that had taken place, I began to sing and praise God. I didn’t feel like it, but I felt a whole lot better afterward.
It is also a wonderful witness to the unsaved. The other prisoners were listening to the prayers and songs of Paul and Silas. The jailer and his family were saved (v. 30-33), but we are not told whether any of the prisoners were saved.
Psalm 40:3 says, “He has put a new song in my mouth- Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord.” Psalm 118:1 says, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” Yes, His mercy endures forever! No matter what, Praise Him!
We lift up our voices to praise You today for You are our God and our Father. You have created us, saved us, sustained us and richly blessed us. Thank You Lord! You are our Rock and our Shelter during storms. We praise Your holy name! Amen!
Read Acts 16:22-34. Why do you think Paul and Silas refused to escape as soon as it was possible? (See verses 26-28.)
HIKING THE TRAIL
Choose a verse from the devotion to memorize. Can you remember a time when you praised God even though you did not feel like praising? Praise is like a medicine for us when we feel down. God commands it, and He deserves it, so let’s praise Him!
Copyright 2014 Carolyn Dale Newell.