Earth Shaking Prayer Meeting: Acts 16:25-30
“25) But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26) and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 27) When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28) But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29) And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30) and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”” Acts‬ ‭16‬:‭25‬-‭30‬
The way we respond to adversity, might be our greatest validation of the gospel. After enduring much suffering, at about midnight, Paul and Silas had a prayer and praise service.
Paul later wrote to the Philippians and said; “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4) I can imagine some in the congregation when they heard the letter read out loud commenting; “Yep, that’s exactly how Paul lived! We remember that praise service in the jail house.”
Let’s be honest, Paul and Silas had every reason to grumble and complain. Their response was totally unnatural. That prayer and praise service literally moved mountains. Not only were the other prisoners listening, so was God.
Far more than a severe earthquake happened; every prison door was opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened. The captives were set free, but no one moved or fled. Those men were changed.
The jail keeper was roused from his sleep and was ready to kill himself figuring the prisoners had fled. Death was better to him than life had his fear been realized. “But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, Do yourself no harm, for we are all here!” (Vs 28)
After substantiating the claim, he fell before Paul and Silas and cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” I maintain my thesis; “God performs signs and wonders to validate the gospel.” (See Hebrews 2:4)
Though the jail was the epicenter of the earthquake, I am confident that the entire city was shaken. God prepare the way for the gospel in Philippi that night. A church was born out of adversity in an earthshaking prayer meeting. The text does not say how many were saved, but the doors for the gospel were wide open in Philippi.
How do you respond to adversity? Do you believe in the power of prayer? Are you ready to live out the gospel in every situation in your life?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global