The Power of Praise
by Matt Markel
Acts 16:25-35 (NIV)
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 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. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.
35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”
I still remember the first time I read this section of Acts. I was completely amazed at what had happened. Paul and Silas are imprisoned and begin praying and singing hymns to God. Out of nowhere, all the prison doors break open. The event was so powerful that even the jailer was affected and repented. There is POWER in praise!
Praising and worshiping God moves our heart closer to His. It allows us to be honest and open before Him. It breaks chains of fear and worry. Choosing to praise God in the midst of trouble and worry will move you to trust and hope in Him.
Paul and Silas were bound with heavy chains. Their strength alone could not deliver them. There are times when we feel bound by depression, worry, fear, stress, sickness, disease, hurts and pains. The answer is our praise. The praises of Paul and Silas caused the chains to be broken and the prison doors to be opened. God sets us free by letting us trust and hope in Him. He delivers us from our sins and fear. He brings light and joy to our lives and situations!
There is no circumstance too difficult for God. That’s why we praise Him. We can trust that He will deliver us and help us through. Praise the Lord!
The last five chapters of Psalms come to a close with an escalation of praise. Chapters 146 to 150 all begin and end the same way–”Praise the Lord!” It’s as if the author of these Psalms is trying emphasize the delight and importance of praise. Choose to live a life of praise!