11/23/15 Singing and Praying

READING: Acts 15-16

TEXTS AND APPLICATION:  When we lived in Kentucky, I taught at a local prison. Though the guys I taught were usually Christians, they were still human — so human, in fact, that I think many of them would have escaped if their shackles were broken and the doors were opened. 

Not so with the prisoners around Paul and Silas when the jailed evangelists were praying and praising God at the midnight hour. So certain was the jailer that someone had escaped that he was ready to take his own life. It was these words of Paul that halted him: “Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!” (Acts 16:28). 

The doors were open, but the prisoners were all still there! I cannot imagine that. At least, I cannot imagine that until I think of what Paul and Silas were doing. They were speaking to God and praising Him — apparently in such a powerful way that the prisoners would rather listen to them than escape. 

Here’s my question in this simple devotion today: if my prisoner students in Kentucky heard me pray and praise, would they choose to hear the gospel rather than escape if escape were a possibility?  I would long for my prayer and worship to be so potent. 

ACTION STEPS:  Pour your heart out to God today in prayer and praise. Don’t be worried if anyone hears you. After all, somebody might be listening.  

PRAYER: “Father, fill me so powerfully that I cannot help but pray and praise You.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Galatians 1-3