Reflection on Acts 16:25-40

Scripture

Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.

Observation

Paul and Silas are in jail in Phillipi, having been beaten severely. They pray and praise God in this time.

There is an earthquake that leaves all the prison doors open and the prisoners unchained. The jailer prepares to kill himself, but Paul calls out to him that nobody has escaped.

The jailer then asks him how he can be saved. Paul tells him to believe in the Lord Jesus, which he and his whole household do.

The next morning the officials send a message that Paul and Silas should be released. But Paul refuses to go until the officials themselves come. The officials then come and apologise to them.

Application

Like the other apostles, Paul and Silas consider it an honour to suffer for Jesus.

At the time of their great suffering, imprisoned for their gospel preaching, Paul and Silas turn to the Lord.

They pray firstly. I doubt that their prayers were just for their own situation. They would have been praying for the city of Phillipi, the work of evangelists and apostles, the church, their fellow prisoners, and so on. The verse says the other prisoners were listening, so they would have got a good idea about the concerns of these men and their heart for other people.

They were also singing hymns. It is always good to praise the Lord. Singing songs of joy and love for God expresses the hope that we have in Christ.

In the midst of this, God sends an earthquake that frees them from the prison. This is a good metaphor for the situations in our own lives. Sometimes we can feel like we are locked into a prison with no way out. If we dedicate our selves to praying and praising the Lord, He will provide an escape route.

Prayer

Lord, please help me to turn to you regardless of the circumstances of my life. Amen.

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