“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose” – Acts 16:25-26 (NIV).
A prison is normally any confined place where one is held in custody with limited access to people and normal comforts. Prisons can serve the purpose of punishment for certain wrongs committed and possibly yield repentance and a commitment to reform. Prisons are definitely nasty experience and depending on where one is some might even involve gross acts of misconduct unleashed by terrible prison warders. Most of us would rather avoid a prison, if we can.
If one is ever in prison the hours can be long and the days endless. Prisons are often confined places with poor light and ventilation, and there is a lot one can grieve over.
What do you do when you find yourself in a prison? When the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas found themselves held in one prison for preaching Good News other than pout and question God for letting them be imprisoned, instead they focused on “praying and singing hymns to God” unlike other prisoners. It is through these circumstance, of having an attitude of praise, when everything seemed closed on them; that God came through and loosened the chains holding them down.
There are many other types of prisons other than being held behind confined walls. Loneliness can be a form of prison where one lacks normal company to share life with. It is possible for someone to be surrounded by others yet not share much in common. Certain trials can be a form of prison with life bringing little to cheer.
Through the example of Paul and Silas we know a prison experience can be overcome by “prayer and praise!” What prison are you locked in- may the good Lord give you the grace to “pray and praise” even when down and He will bring down those walls.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray that whatever the prison I find myself in, I may pray and praise you, waiting on you to bring down the prison walls and set me free, this I pray in Jesus name.