“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”
We sing songs in our worship services quite often about how worship can change a situation, and we proclaim and believe that worship can set us free. This story in Acts is a perfect example of that. Paul and Silas had been severely flogged. They were stripped, beaten and publicly humiliated, then thrown into a dark and cold prison cell. Their feet were then fastened in stocks, and thus began a very uncertain future for these two men.
After all of this though, their immediate reaction is to sing praise. I’m sure most of us have never experienced anything remotely close to what they endured, but we have all had our fair share of turmoil and despair. We have all been at one time in our lives enslaved to sin and defeated by our situations and circumstances. What is our first reaction though to trouble?
When they sang it not only loosed their shackles, but every other prisoner in that cell block was delivered as well. People are always listening to what comes off our lips. Will they hear praise to our God, or negativity and complaining? Will our reaction to devastation trigger a hunger for God in their lives, or will it cause them to question Him?
Because of grace, we are able to sing in even the most difficult of trials. If we consciously choose to make praise and worship our priority today, our situations will change, and those around us will take notice.
Lord, I am so thankful that I have the ability to change my current situation. By lifting you higher, my problems will become smaller. I declare victory today, as I exalt Your name.