A Pounding, A Prison, A Prayer and A Praise

In the post The Disciples and the Damsel of Divination, we see the power of God on display in Paul’s life as he commands the spirit of divination to come out of the girl. While it demonstrated the power of God, it caused a problem for Paul. The people were mad and created issues from Paul and Silas. Let’s go to the Word, Acts 16, to see what happened.

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

22 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.

Because Paul and Silas were proclaiming the gospel and had caused this spirit to come out of this woman, they were engaged in A Pounding, A Prison, A Prayer and A Praise. Paul and Silas were pounded by receiving a beating with rods because the magistrates responded to the people rather than to God or what was right. To add to their hardships for the gospel, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison. Those two circumstances sure does not mirror or evidence what many who proclaim the gospel today – wealth.

I hope that we see from all the disciples thus far that we will experience hardships or suffering when the gospel is proclaimed. I also hope that we see the results too. Over the next two days, I hope to encourage myself as well as you. I hear God saying to me Prayer and Praise. Before God could work or strengthen anyone else, Paul and Silas had to be strengthened. Their strength came once they had prayed to God- expressed their reliance and dependence on God – and praised God – singing hymns or spiritual songs to God.

Paul and Silas lived out what Psalms 119:62 states. It says “At midnight I rise to give you thanks, for your righteous laws.” How many of us arise at midnight to pray and to praise God. Tomorrow, we will see the results, but today is about how to respond to hardships or sufferings. Yesterday, I was having a pity party for myself about several matters in my life. I witnessed an adult’s sheer horror over some financial matters. Instantly, God shared with me that I did not have anything to complain or worry about. He needed me to encourage the heart of that person and to do something about her financial state. He then led me to a meeting where “just so happens” another adult who had reached out to the person was there. We both talked about taking action on behalf of the adult. The message was clear as I began to praise God to the adult who was afraid. In fact, the message was solidified as I read this morning. This is exactly what God was saying to me. When I praised Him to that adult in need, it seemed that all my concerns and fears fled. Now, I see that I too was an adult in need and God has met that need with Himself.

We all should be engaged in A Pounding, A Prison, A Prayer and A Praise. In some respects, we all experience a beating or pounding. If we don’t respond correctly, we are imprisoned in our minds; thus in our spirits until we pray to God and praise God. Just as there was a shaking and a revelation of God’s presence that we will explore tomorrow, God shook off the chains that bound my heart, mind and spirit. Hallelujah.


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