After they were badly beaten,
and thrown into the deepest depths of prison,
Paul and Silas prayed.
A God so good,
who was for them in every which way,
who allowed them to be beat, chained, and imprisoned.
A time for prayer?
What about time for questioning,
time for doubt,
time for despair,
time for tears,
time for giving up,
time for feeling like dying?
But Paul and Silas found not time for those things.
They saw it fit to pray.
A good, good God.
their prayer was not,
"Lord, GET US OUT OF HERE!"
Their prayer was a prayer concerned with telling God how good He is.
While they were bloody and bruised.
And in prison.
Their ability to praise during suffering brought souls to Christ.
The other inmates watched in bewilderment.
There was a massive earthquake that shook the foundations
and flung open the prison gates.
The guard, seeing the open gates,
was about to kill himself for the prisoners had surely left.
But to his shock,
the prisoners were right where they were supposed to be.
Praising their good God.
And the guard and his whole family came to believe.
So often we find ourselves bound in chains
and thrown into the deepest depths of prison.
Our prisons are different.
They might come in the form of addictions,
Whatever the prison,
we usually forget to praise.
If we do pray,
the prayer is usually,
"Lord, please free me from this prison".
In the depths of the prison walls,
our focus should be not on ourselves
but on Christ.
Where can we find Christ?
Yes, even here, in our prison.
When in prison,
the objective should not be,
"How can I get out?"
"How can I praise Jesus?
How can I enthrone Him?
How can I bring glory and fame to His name?"
How radically different than our normal method.
Praise and worship in prison.
You know not who your cell mates are.
You know not the groundskeeper or the guard.
You know not who is watching.
You know not who you are witnessing to.
Even in your prison.
Even in your darkest place.
Even in your pain.
There is joy,
there is hope,
to be found.