Singing at Midnight
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 139:1-12 | 2 Kings 8:1-9:13 | Acts 16:16-40 | Proverbs 17:26
Today’s Scripture Focus: Acts 16:16-40
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 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 (Acts 16:25-26 NIV).
Sometimes going to a prayer meeting can get you in trouble. At least that was the case for Paul and Silas when they were in Philippi. On the way to pray, their paths crossed a demon-possessed fortune teller. She started following them and would shout: “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
After many days of the woman shouting, Paul had finally had enough of it, he commanded the demon to leave her and she was immediately delivered and set free. This would seem a positive end to the story, but there is more.
Others were making money off of the fortune teller. Now that she had been delivered of the demon, their source of income had been taken away. This led to confrontation, a beating and finally, imprisonment for Paul and Silas.
How would Paul and Silas react to these unexpected circumstances? They prayed and praised God, at the top of their lungs, into the night. About midnight, they were still praying and praising, and doing so loud enough that the other prisoners couldn’t help but listen.
Finally, about midnight, an earthquake interrupted the prayer and praise. The prison was demolished. The chains were broken. Paul and Silas were set free. Prayer and praise led to God breaking chains and setting captives free.
The jailer too was set free—spiritually. Though his initial reaction was to take his own life, Paul reassured him and led him to faith. He and his household were set free from their chains to serve the living God.
When confronted with impossible circumstances, remember that prayer and praise can powerfully deliver and set us free. As you approach midnight, do not fear. Do not give up. Keep singing. Keep praying. Keep looking for the intervention of God.
Almighty God, fill our hearts with prayer and praise. Break the chains that bind us. May our joyful praise fill the air day and night—and especially when things seem darkest. Amen.