About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to 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 everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
Acts 16:25-26 ESV
Beaten, mocked, and thrown in prison, all for helping a person in need. Paul and Silas had prayed, and a demon left a young girl, and found they were punished for doing what they thought God called them to do. Night time comes and as they sit in a rough prison cell, locked up in the stocks, they do something unthinkable: sing and pray. In what could have felt like a dead end, a dark hour, a horrible day, they turn to God in prayer and praise. When I have a challenging day or find myself in less than ideal circumstances, prayer and praise are not always on my short list of things to do. Besides being super Christians, how could these men respond in that way to such a tough circumstance?
I believe they understood and held onto the words of Psalm 121:5-6, The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.” As they sit in prison, they could wallow in their bad fortune, but instead they focus on the God who they know is withthem even in that cell, even when they were mocked, even when they are having a bad day. They sing not because they are in denial, but focused on the one who is bigger than their circumstance, the one who is their help and shade, who goes with them each day. And God hears their prayers, and responds in a miraculous, earth shaking way. Next time you are having a bad day, try out your singing voice, who knows, maybe God will shake things up a bit in your life too.