Paul and Silas, undaunted, prayed in the middle of the night and sang songs of praise to God, while all the other prisoners listened to their worship. Suddenly, a great earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All at once every prison door flung open and the chains of all the prisoners came loose. Acts 16:25-26 TPT
There are three things I briefly want to touch on in these 2 verses.
One being, there were people surrounding Paul & Silas who were listening to their prayers and praises to God.
The second thing is that even in the midst of being “chained down” and imprisoned, they still praised God for how good he is.
The third being, because of the power of their praise and prayer, it set other people who were bound down free. Their praise shook the very foundation where they were held captive and bound down.
In conclusion, the very words we speak to the father and the praises that come put of our mouth are powerful and yes, people are listening. They may not say they are, but people’s true desire in their heart is the love of Jesus. No matter the circumstance, even if we feel bound, we should be inclined to have communion with Abba and praise him. He never changes and his love endures. Therefore, our praise should be endless too. Our praise can be the very thing that not only sets us free but shakes the foundations of hell (prison one is entrapped in) and sets other people free around us too.
At first glance, you see that Paul and Silas prayer & praise set them free. Yet, in reality, it shook the foundation that kept them and others captive. Their prayer and praise broke the chains that bound them down and set them free into what God had called them to do.
My encouragment to you this morning is, in every circumstance pray and praise. God hears every word you speak and your praise to the father loosens things that have tried to keep you bound! Not only that, but people are watching. Do not be a people pleaser, but a God pleaser. My prayer is that our prayer and praise is so contagious is free’s others just as Paul and Silas.
The words you speak, the prayers you give unto the father, and the praise you bring are all contagious and have the power to shake the foundations of hell. God has given you to the power to praise and pray in every circumstance. Even when you are not sure what to say, the spirit will speak for you. When you feel weary, he will give you strength. When you feel bound, he sets you free. When you feel like you are just surviving, he brings you to a place of living abundantly!
There is nothing he won’t do for us.
In every circumstance pray and praise. You never know what new freedom is awaiting you or the freedom it may bring to who you are surrounded by. There is nothing God won’t do. Hell cannot stand a chance. The victory is already won. For the power, the glory, are yours Lord forever and ever. Amen!
Scripture for Meditation & Application
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalms 34:1 NKJV
Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! Psalms 47:1 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
The enemy loves to attack our identity to put us in a spot of shame and paralyze us in fear. When you are fully pursuing God’s will of course he is going to attack you. You are changing the world and building the kingdom of heaven. You are entering what used to be his territory and saving lives and making an eternal impact.
We all make mistakes and we all have sinned. Some of us may even sinned this morning. But you know what holds true and steadfast through that? God & his promises.
His love never wavers.
You are forgiven.
You are his beloved child.
His promises will always remain the same.
The enemy doesn’t want you to get free, he wants to tie you down in condemnation and shame… He wants you to hold onto the sin you committed and stay there. He definetly does not want you to confess, repent, and walk in freedom. When we know we are forgiven we can continue to pursue our God given purpose.
Is there something that you are holding onto today? Something that Jesus is waiting for you to lay at his feet so you can finally walk in freedom?
There are times when we need to ask God to help us leave the past where it belongs, IN THE PAST. If you are struggling with something specific, remember where God has brought you from to where you are now. He is faithful, his love is relentless, and there is nothing he can’t do.
You are forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9 (NIV)
Let go of your past, it doesn’t define you.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”-Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)
Your identity is found in Jesus.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-“-John 1:12 (NIV)
The old you has passed away. You are a new creation.
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”-2 Corinthians 5:14-21 (NIV)
After hearing the news of 2 very young people from back home taking their own life, God laid it on my heart to speak up and speak life into those who are struggling. You are not alone & you are so loved.
I love the way the NLT bible puts this verse. KEEP AWAY from ANYTHING that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart. This verse shows how important it is to keep God first above everything and to protect ourselves from the world’s distractions or maybe the distraction is even ourself! God’s proper place of order is ABOVE ALL, including our spouses, kids, jobs, or *place something or someone important to you here*. Has there been something you’ve been putting first before your relationship with God? What is your first priority? What way can things be put in proper order? Too much of a good thing can become idolatry. Start with a small amount of time and go to your quiet place and spend time with God. Get an accountability partner if this is something you struggle with. A little encouragement can go a long way!
Also, a really awesome book to go along with today’s devotion is- God’s At War by Kyle Idleman.