Prison Break

In adversity it is normal to pray. But to praise?

Paul and Silas, jailed for Jesus, greeted midnight with a doxology. That’s victorious Christian living!

Reacting differently than expected, attracts attention. When God’s imprisoned servants began praying and praising, the other prisoners heard them and were affected by their testimonies. Following the earthquake and the opening of the prison doors, their fellow prisoners were more interested in hearing Paul and Silas than in escaping.

Praising God in difficulties gives evidence of submission to God’s will. Too many live “under the circumstances.” Praise is foreign to those who succumb to their trials. They pray and pout. No wonder others are not influenced to trust Christ through their witness.

Prayer that breaks bonds comes from praising hearts. If that sounds too positive to be realistic, meditate on Paul’s instruction to the persecuted church at Philippi: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

But in what can one rejoice in prison? Perhaps in the truth that he has been set free from sin through the death of Christ on the cross. At any rate, with backs bleeding and their feet in stocks, Paul and Silas made that dungeon a place of praise and prayer.

And here you are pouting about your problems!