And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed (Acts 16:25–26 KJV)
The scriptures show us that while praise glorifies God, it also unleashes power for miracles and supernatural breakthroughs. This devotional examines the famous story of Paul and Silas in prison to unravel mysteries about the praise that unleashes the power to shake foundations.
Praise is praise and always glorifies God, but not all praise is equal. After being publicly humiliated, beaten with rods, and thrown in prison, Paul and Silas sang praises to God at midnight. This is praising God in deep pain or distress—sacrificial praise. When we praise God in the valley, when we are going through difficult times, there is a unique sacrificial offering that ascends to God.
Sacrificial praise glorifies God and unleashes power for the miraculous. This in no wise means we should wait until we are in a crisis to praise God. No! Neither does it mean God does not treasure the moments we praise Him in good times. The Lord knows the seasons we are in, and the state of our hearts remains the most crucial factor whether we are going through the valley or on the mountain top.
Please note that Paul and Silas were not singing praises so that God would deliver them; this is especially true of our generation of Christians, with our many burdens and problems. We must be careful not to be so problem-focused and unconsciously turn God into a spiritual ATM we go to only when we need Him to dispense what we need. It is the praise that is God-centered that unleashes power; everything else will be an empty religious exercise that will only drain our energy and leave us disappointed. Many Christians have repeated what Paul and Silas did without any results and so got disappointed—the results Paul and Silas obtained did not merely come from singing songs but from the state of their hearts.
So learn this critical principle of sacrificial praise. Learn to praise God when you least feel like doing so and when everything else tells you to question or doubt Him.
Please read our main verse above, think upon those words, and mutter them out.
I want you to put this devotional to work, whether you are currently on the mountain top or going through a valley. If you are going through a difficult moment that even makes you cry at night, offer Him sacrificial praise. If you are on the mountain top and in summer, offer Him celebratory praise. He delights in both.
Ask the Father to help you offer Him sacrificial praise in the valley or celebratory praise on mountain tops.