“The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.  25 About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 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. 27 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. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  (Acts 16:22—30 NIV)


            Paul and Silas were thrown in prison for casting out a spirit from a lady who followed them around.  The owners of the slave lady who were making money from the lady were so angry at Paul and Silas because they were not making money from their slave lady.   She didn’t work for one owner; she had many owners that she belonged to. 

In today’s terms, she was in a human trafficking business with multiple owners.  The owners protested and stirred people up against Paul and Silas for causing them to lose business.  For Paul and Silas, doing something good landed them in prison.  They were severely flogged, thrown into prison, and were guarded by soldiers.  There are times when we will all suffer for doing something right and good for someone. 

            How do we get out of situations that Paul and Silas found themselves in?  When we find ourselves being severely flogged and thrown into prison for doing something that doesn’t deserve being thrown into prison, how do we react?  There are many things that are beyond our control.  What other people do against us is something we can’t control.  We can only control how we respond to all problems that are beyond our ability to respond.  As believers, sometimes our response is not to try to solve problems ourselves but to turn our attention out of ourselves to God.

            Paul and Silas’ response to their imprisonment gives us an insight into how to face our problems and overcome them.    AT MIDNIGHT, THEY WERE PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS UNTO GOD…Paul and Silas turn to a believer’s best weapon in facing problems.  They turn to God.  They pray and sing praise.  More than the chains they had on the outside binding their physical movement, they turned to God on the inside to make sure the chains outside did not bind their hearts and minds with fear.  It doesn’t matter that we are chained on the outside.  It matters most when we are chained and crippled with fear on the inside.  Prayer and praise break the chains inside of us, and only in a matter of time will the outside chains be broken as well.  We must win the spiritual battle inward before we can rejoice outwardly.

            God will fight our battles when we turn to him first.  It doesn’t matter what time we face our struggles.  It matters where we turn when we face them.  Other prisoners were listening to Paul and Silas praying and praising.  They, too, must have found comfort in seeing the two who were severely flogged in spite of their pain and difficulties; they prayed and sang hymns to God.  Many people watch us to see how we handle life’s difficulties.  They want to see if we are any different from them.  People can tell the difference when we turn and include God in the mix of our problems.  God answered the prayers and praise of his people.  God came in the way of a VIOLENT EARTHQUAKE.  Paul and Silas weren’t telling God how to solve their problems.  They prayed and sang, and God did the rest.  God always chooses the best way to deal with our problems.  I am not to instruct God how to answer my prayers, but I am to pray and sing, and God will do the rest.


I want to learn to draw near to God and turn to him first when I face severe challenges and problems in life.  I want to acknowledge his presence and invite him to journey with me when things get out of hand and even if things are going well in my life.


Father, I ask that you help me see how the power of prayer and praise helps me deal with any problems that I face.  Please help me to always turn to you first when a problem arises.  Please help me to put my whole trust in you and to see your power move in any situation I face.  I ask that you help me to rest and see your salvation in all of my situations.  I pray all these in the name of Jesus.  Amen!