I have been looking at the story of Paul and Silas in prison in Acts 16, and I think it is such an encouragement to us at this time, so here are a few thoughts:
“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.“
We may feel like we are locked up (lockdown?), our freedom to meet other Christians has been taken away, and we have an enemy who is attacking us, but let us not be downhearted. We can be like Paul and Silas, who among other prisoners in the darkest cell, raised their voices and praised God. How did they do this? They knew who their God was, and that no matter the circumstances they always had something to be thankful for, they had learned to rejoice in the Lord always. Let’s use this time of lockdown to be worshippers, praisers, and prayer warriors, like Paul and Silas.
“Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.””
Acts 16:22-36 NIV
So not only were they set free following their worship and prayers, but God did an amazing thing – he turned it all around and brought salvation to the jailer and his whole household!
God’s heart is to bring salvation – can you believe that God will use your heart of worship in the midst of lockdown to bring salvation for those around you? He is passionate about seeing people give their lives to Him, and worship creates an environment where salvation can come!
Isn’t the Lord amazing, and isn’t it wonderful that we can play a part in His kingdom’s plans by worshipping right where we are.
Can we encourage you to take the time this week to worship our amazing God? To raise a hallelujah and a shout of praise to our Lord who is always good and is greater than anything that comes against his people. Be the people who will encourage others around you by being full of thanksgiving and praise, who knows what God will do!