Singin’ In The Stocks
I love old Hollywood musicals and “Singin’ In The Rain” with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds is often called the best ever. (Sorry La La Land.) Now it’s one thing to be able to dance in the rain and sing “What a glorious feelin’ I’m happy again I’m laughing at clouds So dark up above The sun’s in my heart… I’m singin’ in the rain” after you just got a goodnight kiss from the woman you love.
It’s another thing to sing in the stocks of a Philippian jail with your back bruised and bloody. Yet it’s Paul and Silas’ singing that gets a lot more than a high score on the Rotten Tomatoes critical review of films. Check out how the God of Heaven responded to Paul and Silas singin’ and praisin’ in the stocks:
“Now toward midnight Paul and Silas were praying hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was a great earthquake, so intense, it shook the foundations of the prison. Suddenly, all the doors were open and all the fetters unfastened. The jailor woke up, and when he saw the prison’s doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to take his life because he believed the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted out loudly, ‘Don’t harm yourself! All of us are here.’ The jailer called for lights, rushed into the prison and trembling fell at the feet of Paul and Silas.
Leading them outside, he said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and your household.’ They went on to speak the Word of the Lord to him, together with is entire household. At that late hour he took them and washed their wounds and then without delay the jailor and his entire household were baptized. He took them into his home and set a table of food before them. He was filled with joy because he had believed in God, together with his entire household.” Acts 16:25-34
I’m struck by the words “praying hymns to God.” I need to join Paul and Silas in talking directly to God in prayer. I also need to realize that it’s one thing to worship like this in the safety of church with all my brothers and sisters, it’s another thing to do it out in real life where I might experience rejection and persecution for my faith.
The prisoners didn’t run and the jailor and his entire household got saved. And it all began with crazy believers singin’ in the middle of the night in prayerful praise.
LORD, thanks that even the storm and driving rain of the kind of beating and imprisonment that Paul and Silas faced couldn’t silence their freedom to sing praise to you in the night. Help me to join in and sing to you in prayer. I praise you today because your Son’s in my heart.
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