But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God. . . and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken. . . Acts 16:25-26(b) (NASB)
Today's passage is a familiar one. Many of us have noted the part about Paul and Silas praying and singing in prison within earshot of the other prisoners. But what happened after that is worth taking a closer look. At least three things happened as a result of this prison praise service: (1) the foundation of the prison was shaken, (2) at that moment all the doors were opened, and (3) everyone's chains were loosed. These two partners in the ministry of the gospel were literally in prison, complete with guards and being locked in stocks. But prison can take on many forms; your feet or hands may not be chained, but perhaps your mind or your heart are imprisoned - imprisoned by fear, lonliness, confusion, or uncertainty. Maybe it's bitterness or guilt from past behaviors that has you in prison. Maybe the enemy has your spirit all locked up and you feel stuck. There is a way out; prayer and your praises to God can be your vehicle out of whatever bondage you find yourself in. You can shake the foundation of your own personal prison when you pray out of a sincere heart, and follow up your prayer with praise. Praise God for bringing you out before He brings you out. Sing a song of praise; or continually meditate on a praise passage in the Psalms. When you do you're on the road to freedom.