In the last two week’s devotion we have read where Paul casts the devil out of the girl in Acts 16 and instead of causing a great revival it caused a religious riot. Never forget a real revival brings lost people to Jesus and hungry people more into His Presence but at the same time it also causes religious people to get mad. Religious people crucified Jesus! As I watched the Passion of the Christ, it caused me to remember the hatred, the jealously, and the anger that the religious leaders of that day had for Jesus. It was vicious and as we grow closer to Jesus our attack with come from the same source.
While we know the attack is coming, we also know that Father God has already made plans to turn the attack into an opportunity for Him to demonstrate His Power! He is waiting to show off on our behalf! Never forget your Father in heaven is never intimidated by the enemy in any form of the word, He is greater and knows it!
Paul and Silas have been arrested, beaten, and thrown into the inner prison and now we read: Acts 16:25 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.
This is preaching ground for any preacher! It’s at the midnight times of our lives when people really know if we have what we claim to have in our relationship with Jesus. People do not pay much attention to our words when things are going our way but they always pay attention to our actions during the storms in our lives. We sing that the God on the mountain is still God in the valley but people want to hear more than words, they want to see the reality of Father God in our lives. Remember your greatest pulpit is during your greatest midnight because that is when people are listening to you the most.
At midnight, when it’s the darkest, the loneliest, the hardest is when we must demonstrate our faith. Paul and Silas, beaten, blooded, tired, in stocks, in the inner prison (no fault of their own) could have quit, could have thrown in the towel but instead we read that they prayed and praised. Notice this, their prayers and their praises were so loud that the other prisoners heard them. They were not afraid if they offended the prisoners. They began to pray and praise so loud everyone heard them. Once again your prayers and praise will not offend sinners just the religious so go ahead and verbalize your prayers and praise.
It’s important for your praise and prayers to be audible! I know there is a time to pray and praise quietly but friends, Father God loves it when you praise and pray so others hear you. It demonstrates that you are not ashamed of Him in your life. Many times we are commanded to shout out loud, to clap out
loud, to cry aloud, because it pleases Father God. Personally I would have thought this would have been a good time to pray and praise quietly but they would have missed their miracle if they had.
Not only did the other prisoners hear them but their prayers and praise infiltrated the throne room of Father God. Their praise was so powerful, not because of the perfect pitch or perfect vocal tones, but because it came from their hearts in a midnight hour. I believe Father God inhabited their praise and tapped his foot on the prison floor (just my imagination) and we read: Acts 16:26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
Suddenly, what a word! Suddenly what held them bound, what held them captive was broken off of them. The doors which held them in now became an exit. I need to prophesy to someone that your suddenly is coming as you learn to pray and praise in your midnight hour. It may seem dark, it may seem too late, it may seem hopeless but Father God will show up on time every time if we will not allow midnight to steal our prayers and praise. Midnight will change you or you will change your midnight by your prayers and praise.
As long as you pout and murmur about the darkness, about the mistreatment, about the injustice midnight will dominate but as you pray and praise then midnight will dissipate.
I love the part of the verse where it says the foundation was shaken which means the prison could not be used again. As we pray and praise in our midnight hour, what use to hold us, to bind us, God will destroy its foundation to never hold us captive again.
Prayer Thoughts: Father God, help me to learn that people are listening and watching me in my midnight hour. Help me to have the wisdom, knowledge & maturity to praise you when things look dark instead of murmuring and complaining in Jesus Name!