Acts 16:22-24

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

22 Then the mob joined in the attack against them, and the chief magistrates stripped off their clothes and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had inflicted many blows on them, they threw them in jail, ordering the jailer to keep them securely guarded. 24 Receiving such an order, he put them into the inner prison and secured their feet in the stocks.

“There is a close relationship between ministering to the Lord and receiving deliverance from tests and trials”.  Rev. Ken Hagin, Sr.  This scripture backs up what Rev. Hagin says.  As we know with Biblical history, the jailer made sure they were securely fastened and locked in the prison cell.  He knew if they escaped he would pay with his very life.

Notice what Paul and Silas did after this beating and being put in uncomfortable stocks!  Acts 16:25 tells us,25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”  They were singing praises to God not to one another!  They sang and prayed together.  This is united prayer, which will be discussed more fully later.  Great power is mightily manifested through united prayer!!   I love what Bro. Hagin says about some of the music people sing.  He states that most are about how deep our valley is, how bad off we have it, “poor old me”!  These songs are not praising God!!   They are about us and all the doom, despair and agony  WE usually put ourselves  through by not taking the authority Jesus gave us in His name!  Now, you will face trouble YOU HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH!  The devil is vile and he hates God’s children!!  But, some people are their own worst enemy!

Acts 16:25 says Paul and Silas sang praises unto GOD!  Verse 25 says that at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and praising God!  It was literally midnight, but this is also significant of the midnight times of darkness in our lives.  To move out of this “midnight” season we should pray and sing praises unto God just as Paul and Silas did.  I had a reader that contacted me not long ago.  She asked me to pray she was being tremendously tormented in her thought life!  I told her to take control of her mind and begin to thank God and praise Him for every single blessing she could think of!  If all you can think of is you woke up, then praise Him for that!  She did so and wrote me later and told me all torment left and her husband even became full of joy, which was very out of character for him!  Why?  Because she brought God on the scene through thanksgiving and she MINISTERED to the Lord through praise!  It will put the devil on the run every time!!  Glory to God!

Paul and Silas didn’t praise and then complain and talk their circumstances.  When you do that, you are not in faith.  Faith in God acts like and believes it is already done.  If you are praising and thanking God for answers and then “poor mouthing” you have nullified your results!  When you pray and really believe you enter into rest and with rest there is peace.  It doesn’t say when you pray you enter back into confusion, anxiety, and agitation.  It says you enter into rest!   The believing prayer is the prayer God answers!  Matthew 21:22 says, “And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Paul and Silas didn’t pray quietly.  It says the other prisoners heard them.  Bro. Hagin believed they were thanking God for the privilege to suffer  for His name!  Most of us would pray, “Oh, Lord get us out of here I must have a Wal-Mart and at least a Burger King!”  But listen to what happened as they were singing praises to God!  Acts 16:26 says, “Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose.”   Ministering to the Lord brings a corporate deliverance!  That is one reason it is so important to go to church!  You can be touched through others faith and praise!

Don’t let circumstances overcome you, instead overcome the circumstances!  Tests and trials of life come to EVERYONE!  It is the attitude we have during these times that makes the difference!  How we look at situations makes all the difference in the world as to how we come out of the test or trial, or whether we come out at all!

The sooner we minister praise to the Lord and stay in faith, the sooner many things will be behind us, dear reader!  We don’t want to linger in the wilderness of life any longer than we have to!  We can learn that from the Israelites!!  I am praising God for you and with you, dear reader!  Abundant blessings to you!  I will see you soon!

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