Lord, today my situation looks hopeless. I feel trapped, not knowing where to turn for help. I need a miracle now!
Miracles still happen! This passage recounts a threefold miracle. First, we see two men beaten unmercifully, locked up in prison in the inner ward, their feet fastened securely, their legs forced into a cramped position, and their future uncertain because of the ire of the authorities and racism of the people. Yet, these men are—praying and singing! That they are praying is not surprising. There is nothing miraculous about that. But singing? The entire prison heard their singing. Who knows what hardened criminals were in there? The prison walls echoed with songs of praise, a strange sound in such a grim environment.
Next, there is a violent earthquake that makes even the very foundation of the prison shake. What an earthquake! Paul and Silas singing in that cell were more than stone and mortar could take. Yet, the roof did not cave in, the walls did not collapse. Instead, the prison doors burst open and every prisoner’s chains fell off. And, the jailer was shaken out of his indifference and careless pride.
The jailer, assuming that all the prisoners had fled, was prepared to take his life when a voice in the darkness declares, “…Don’t harm yourself! No one has escaped” (v 28). It was a miracle! Can you imagine Paul and Silas rejoicing in suffering, then every door opened, every chain became undone, every prisoner was released by an earthquake, but more than that, every single prisoner was restrained from running away? The jailer, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, asked Paul and Silas how he could be saved, and they led him and his entire household to the Lord.
Is it your midnight hour? Are you going through a tough time in your life? Do you need a miracle because nothing you have tried seems to work?
If you have been praying for a miracle for some time, add singing and praising the Lord to the equation. Turn up the volume! Praise the Lord like Paul and Silas did in the midst of their suffering. God will turn your tears of sorrow into tears of rejoicing. The miracle is what happens in us not what happens outside of us.
Lord, so many times I permit the outside storms of life to rage inside my heart. Help me not to give in to worry or fear, but rather lean into faith and worship. Help me to sing and praise your name during my time of suffering.