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)
Paul and Silas were mistreated in Phillipi for the Gospel and thrown in Jail after flogging. At midnight, however, they prayed and sang praises unto God. It takes guts, spiritual guts, to pray at midnight and sing praises unto God after having such a day! There are some prayers and praises that are very expensive, not in times of money, but in the life cost. Almost everyone will praise on the mountaintop when life is rosy. Only a few will dare to sing praises to God at the bottom of the valley. Such praises are sacrificial, and the Lord is aware of such sacrifices. He responds!
As Paul and Silas prayed and praised God, the scripture above says, there was a great earthquake. The entire building complex trembled, and it happened suddenly! When that occurred, the prison doors opened, and the chains fell off the hands of the prisoners. When God shows up suddenly, things happen!
There are some of you reading this devotional, and you find yourself in that place of Paul and Silas. Dare to praise and pray even in that valley. Let the God of “suddenly” shake every circumstance that is challenging you and cause every chain to fall off!
Is it “normal” for a person to pray and praise God after going through what Paul and Silas went through? Is this human strength at work or the power of the Holy Spirit? Can that same Spirit enable you to do the same, even in the situation you are going through?
APPLY THE WORD
There is hope for us. Do not despair. Quietness from God does not mean defeat. He might not show us suddenly but remain assured that those who trust in the Lord are never put to shame.
Can you praise the Lord for the strength He gives us even in times of trial?