About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25
Can you imagine being beaten up and then thrown into prison on false charges and praising God and singing hymns? And yet such is the hope and the joy that Paul and Silas have in their faith that they are able to do this. It doesn’t matter how bad things seem if we have Christ in our hearts we are secure in the things that really matter, our relationship with the Lord and our eternal home. Let us praise God in every circumstance
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 16:26
This ‘earthquake’ that is described as ‘violent’ appears to be selective in the damage it does, in that no one appears injured by falling masonry, only the doors burst open and their chains fall off. This is very clearly the work of God, working to protect his people. Let us remember and praise God that we are under his protection
Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. Acts 16:6
Yesterday we considered having a strength of faith that would enable us to share our testimony of the Good News of Salvation through Christ. But when we do anything in our own strength, we know that its impact is likely to be small. We need not only boldness to speak but also the power of the Holy Spirit working through us if we really want to be effective for Christ. Let us pray that we would be filled to overflowing.
During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ Acts 16:9
Do you ever have dreams or visions when you sleep? I wonder how you respond? Do you blame the cheese you had for supper or dismiss them as the workings of a tired brain, or are you challenged to see if the Lord is speaking to you? God speaks to us in all sorts of different ways. Of course, that can be through dreams and visions but also through our prayers and reading the Bible or even through those around us, the how is not as important as the what. Let us pray that when the Lord speaks to us, we would be ready to respond.
After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them. Acts 16:10
I wonder if you noticed in the verse for today those two words ’at once’. When God calls us to do something we are expected to respond quickly. Of course it isn’t always easy discerning God’s will or what he might be saying to us, especially if our relationship with him is not as strong as it might be, but, when we have worked out what God is saying, he wants us to act quickly. Let us pray that we would draw closer to God in order to discern his will for us and then to act promptly.
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. Acts 16:13
Developing that close relationship with the Lord is often made easier if we can find a quiet place where we can focus on him. Of course, it can be anywhere and at any time, and it need not be the same place each day. But to find that space will help us draw nearer to him and enable us to hear him more clearly. Let us praise God for the quiet places where we can rest in his presence