The Power of Prayer
through the Word of God (22)
And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive.
In Acts 16:25, we know that Paul and Silas were believing God – they were in faith. I know they believed because the Bible says those who believe enter into rest. Paul and Silas were singing praises to God because they were in faith.
Isn’t it strange how people pray about things, but instead of believing, they will go into a tirade of their problems on someone else when things don’t work out as they planned. They insist on continuing to talk doubt and unbelief and to keep on griping and complaining. But if they do that , their prayer is not going to work. Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises
unto God. That was their faith in action.
Now notice something else. Acts 16:25 says, “…[they] prayed, and sang praises unto God: and THE PRISONERS HEARD THEM.
” Paul and Silas weren’t quiet about praising God, were they? If they hadn’t sung out their praises, then the prisoners wouldn’t have heard them. In other words, Paul and Silas didn't pray quietly.
Some people say that they want to pray quietly because the Lord knows they have a song in their heart. But if there is really a song in your heart, it is going to come out of your mouth. The Bible says that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34). so if a song is in your heart, it is going to come out!
Paul and Silas were peculiar folks – faith folks – because who in the world would praise and worship God like they did in the midnight hour? Someone might say, “I would.”
Well, I don’t know whether you would or not. if you’re not doing much praising God right where you are, you probably wouldn’t do very much praising in the midnight hour when the circumstances look bad. if you can’t praise God where you are right now, how do you think you could praise God in prison with you back bleeding!
In Acts 16;25, it doesn’t say what Paul and Silas prayed about. I do not know whether they prayed for deliverance or not. But I hardly think so. I believe they were just praying and thanking God for the privilege to suffer for His Name.
I say that because there is a significance between prayer and praise in this verse. It says Paul and Silas “…prayed, AND sang praises unto God…” (Acts 16:25). “And” is a conjunction; it hooks together praying and praising.
Let’s read this verse in The Amplified Bible
ACTS 16:25 (Amplified)
25 But about midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying AND singing hymns of praise to God….
I like that, don’t you? Paul and Silas were singing hymns of praise! That is the kind of hymns they were singing – hymns or songs of praise unto God. I believe what the bible says – that in their prayer, Paul and Silas were praising and thanking God. And as they did, not only did the prisoners hear them, but God
heard them, and they were delivered!
26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
As I said, I do not know if Paul and Silas were praying for deliverance. But one thing I do know, according to this scripture, the deliverance didn’t come while they were praying. The deliverance came while they were praising! For it says, “…Paul and Silas prayed, AND sang praises unto God…and suddenly there was a great earthquake…
” (Acts 16:25,26).
No wonder some people’s prayers never shake anything. Their prayers don’t even move them into faith – to believe God. But something happened when Paul and Silas prayed and praised God.
If Paul and Silas would have been like most people in similar circumstances, they would have been griping and complaining, and these verses probably would have read like this:
At midnight Paul and Silas griped and complained
Silas said to Paul, “Paul.”
Paul said, “Yeah, Silas?”
Silas asked, “Are you still there?”
Paul responded, “Where else could I be?”
Silas said, “I tell you, my poor back is hurting me so bad. I don’t understand, Paul, why God ever put this on us. I can’t understand why God let this happen to us. He knows we’ve tried to serve Him and do our best!”
But that kind of praying would have just gotten them further into the problem, instead of getting them out of it. If they ‘d been like many Christians, Silas would have said, “I tell you, Paul I never did get put in jail when I was serving the devil!”
How do you help folks like that well, you just smile and say, “God will forgive you for saying that, if you’ll repent.” But I believe we can learn something from Paul and Silas in Acts chapter 16 if we’ll pay attention.
After all, Paul and Silas were in trouble, weren’t they? Their backs were bleeding, and I’m sure they were hurting. They were in jail and their feet were in stocks. They had been cast into the inner prison.
It was a dark picture. But, as someone once said, Paul and Silas were in jail, and they didn’t let the jail get in them!
I believe that is the reason many people are defeated; they let the circumstance overcome them, instead of overcoming the circumstance. After all, the tests and trials of life come to everyone. There are some trials that are peculiar to us as individual human beings living in this world.
Basically, the tests and trials we face are all the same. But it’s the attitude we have during times of tests and trials that makes all the difference. How we look at a situation makes all the difference in the world as to how we come out of the test or trial, or whether we come out of it at all.
I believe there is real truth in this passage in Acts chapter 16, as well as light and instruction to help us in our midnight hour – in our hour of tests and trials. We can do as Paul and Silas did in the “midnight hour” of our lives, when the storms of life come, and we don’t understand why things have happened as they have when we’ve been trying to do our best.
Being in the Will of God doesn’t Guarantee Easy Circumstances
Remember, Paul and Silas weren’t in Philippi on a vacation. They were there to do the Lord’s work. They weren’t out of the will of God. Sometimes when things don’t go right, people think, Well, I must be out of the will of God.
I’ve had people say to me, “What awful sin have I committed to cause God to put this on me?” I tell them that God didn’t send the test or trial they are facing; the devil sent it: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…”(John 10:10). It wasn’t God who whipped Paul and Silas. It was ungodly men who did it. God didn’t stir up these ungodly fellows. It was the devil who stirred them up. Some say, “Well, God permitted it. What awful sin have I committed to cause God to permit this to happen to me?”
But if you think you’re going to determine whether you are in the will of God by whether or not everything runs smoothly in your life, then you are mistaken. A life of ease, with no rough or difficult places to endure and no sacrifices to make, does not indicate whether or not a person is in God’s will. If it did, then Paul never did get in the will of God in his entire ministry! He missed it from beginning to end. No, you can’t judge being in the will of God by whether or not you have tests and trials in life and obstacles to overcome.
The devil will just try to aggravate you to death with circumstances, if you’ll listen to him. But if you’ll learn how to deal with the devil, you’ll be alright. And if you don’t, then the circumstances of life will overwhelm you. Because if satan can get the least edge on you, he’ll just hound you and try to worry you to death. But believers don’t need to be easy prey for the devil. Rather, we need to spend our time ministering to Lord.
Acts 13:2 says they ministered to the Lord and fasted. I believe in fasting, and I take some time to fast. But we have to fast I the right way.
One can’t fast under some conditions. If you did, it would be a confession of defeat and unbelief. Sometimes Christians will fast instead of just believing in the Word – instead of just taking God at His Word. That kind of fasting won’t profit you if it’s done from a position of doubt and unbelief in the Word.
When I have faced dark circumstances in my life, I’d just say to the devil, “I want you to know that I’m not going to miss a meal or lose any sleep, because I’m in faith. I’m standing on God’s Word.”
You see, I had already done something about the problem. I had committed it into the hands of the Lord,, and I was not going to take the problem back and worry about it.
I would say to the Lord, “Lord, I know I have a certain responsibility because I like to teach the word. I’m going to preach the Word, and I’m going to treat everyone right and visit the sick and do the best I can. But as for the rest of it, I’m going to leave it to You, Lord.”
I believe there is something in praise and worship and ministering unto the Lord that would benefit us if we would just begin to practice this in our lives. We don’t have to be disturbed, disquieted, or defeated because of tests and trials, or difficult circumstances.
Best Greetings to all of you, brothers in Christ, may God bless you much as you continue to walk, the walk of faith in Jesus' Name. Praise and Glory be to God.
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