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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Praise Out Loud!

Given May 24, 2006
"And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. Acts 16: 25 – 26"

I was reading this familiar passage and it happened again; I saw something I’d not realized before. Here were Paul and Silas, in prison, after being beaten for being bold and casting an evil spirit out of a girl and stirring up trouble in the town. It was the middle of the night, they were in the inner cell, and in leg irons with a bunch of other “criminals”. Not too good of circumstances, wouldn’t you say? And what do they do? Not complain and cry, “Woe is me!” like many of us would. No, they prayed and began to sing praises to God! And apparently, they didn’t do this quietly over in the corner but they prayed and sang out loud because the Word says, “…the prisoners heard them.”

Now, that’s a message right there. When we're in dire circumstances, PRAISE GOD ANYWAY! And don’t be ashamed to do it out loud! Let other people around you see that you still praise God even in your circumstances.

But look what happened. When the earthquake came and the doors were opened, EVERYONE’S bands were loosed! The guys who were just nearby and heard Paul and Silas’ praise & worship service got the favor of God too! Wow! And, they didn’t run off like you’d think criminals would. They stayed with the men of God. There must have been something powerful in that place.

This speaks two things to me: Be bold with my praise and don’t stop when trouble comes. You never know who’s listening and watching.

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