Friday, July 15, 2011
Praise When It’s Hard
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and
singing hymns to God, and other prisoners were listening to them.”
Acts 16:25 (NIV)
Can you imagine two men, confined to stocks, sitting around praying to God and singing hymns? This is an anomaly of human behavior. We gripe about having to wait in line at the ATM. We carry on about the restaurant with the golden arches not having our order filled fast enough. We grouse about having our plans changed in order to suit some else’s schedule.
These two men were in prison because Paul had used the power of God to have a demon leave a slave girl. The girl’s employers didn’t like the lost revenue. They stirred up the crowd. The people fought with him and Silas. The magistrates had them beaten- even flogged. And they could still praise God?
The book of Acts was written about AD 66 or 68. We live in a different world, twenty centuries later. In our civilized world, we don’t hear of floggings very often. Some of our people shed tears when they get a minor cut.
Who do you think was the orchestrator of this praise fest? I believe it was God. Yes, Paul and Silas were the ones visibly singing and praying. God was there also, first to tell the duo to pray and sing and then to receive the praise from them.
The jailer saw the aftermath and was going to take his own life. Paul told him it wasn’t necessary because all the prisoners were still there. The jailer and his entire household became saved because of Paul and Silas’ praising in unusual circumstances.
Don’t you think we should try giving prayers and praise in the hard times as well as well as when it’s easy?