Praise unlocks prison doors

Praise is a key that unlocks prison doors—prisons of all kinds. Praise recognizes God's greatness, His all-ness, and the consequent powerlessness of anything ungodlike. Acknowledging the reality of God's presence and the dependability of His care awakens a lively confidence in His authority and justice. It opens thought to His healing power.

While they were teaching Christianity in Macedonia, Paul and Silas were unjustly imprisoned for freeing a young woman from mental slavery. (See Acts 16:16–40.) The jailer "thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks." In prison they praised God, anticipating their deliverance. The Bible says, "At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them ... and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed."

When these apostles "sang praises unto God" they were lifting their thought above the misery surrounding them. But even more they were acknowledging God's supremacy and man's right to worship Him in freedom. Their fellow prisoners, hearing these healing songs of praise, found that their bands, too, fell off. No prisoners escaped, but many lives, most notably that of the jailer, were blessed by this touch of the Christ-power. The apostles themselves were freed the next morning.

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God's light guided us through downsizing
March 11, 1996

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