About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. – Acts 16:25
We turn to prayer when we are in a bad or difficult situation, but do we turn to singing as well?
Paul and Silas has been beaten and whipped. They were bleeding and in pain, hungry and thirsty, and chained up in a dark and miserable prison cell. In that situation almost everyone would cry out in some kind of prayer, pleading for forgiveness or relief, or perhaps cursing their situation. The two disciples sang hymns as well. They sang hymns!
Hymns are songs which celebrate God. They were proclaiming and praising the Lord. It is not hard to imagine their prayers were similar in content. Rather than crying out for justice they were praising the Lord, even in their present desperate circumstances. Paul and Silas knew they were in the will of God and under His love. Nothing, even the plight they were in, would take their hearts and minds away from His grace. Even now, they were testifying to the other prisoners (and the jailer).
Imagine sitting in the gloom, chained and alone. And from out of the darkness comes prayers and songs about God’s grace and thanking Him for His love. Despite their own condition Paul and Silas brought comfort and the message of forgiveness.
We pray when we are overwhelmed, when we are sick, when we are in need, when we are mistreated. But do we praise? Do we sing out to the Lord in adoration and thankfulness? Do we celebrate Him in every circumstance? Let’s pray AND sing!