God Inhabits the Praise of His People - Paul and Silas in jail - the power of praise as Paul and Silas Prayed - Image of a woman in purple with her eyes closed and her hands raised up in praise
Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Yes! God Inhabits the Praises of His People

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How do we experience joy in the times of our own suffering? Is it possible to be joyful in our pain? The Book of Philippians is known as one of the happiest books of the Bible and it is written from a prison. The Book of Acts also finds Paul and Silas in jail. In that prison, prayer and the power of praise brought about freedom from bonds! God inhabits the praises of His people! And prayer and praise can free you too!

God Inhabits the Praise of His People - Paul and Silas in jail - the power of praise as Paul and Silas Prayed - Image of a woman in purple with her eyes closed and her hands raised up in praise

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The Fortune Teller

In Philippi, Paul and Silas came across a young slave girl possessed with a fortune telling spirit. She made a LOT of money for her masters with these fortune telling abilities. She kept following Paul and Silas around calling them out basically, declaring in Acts 16:16:

“These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.” NLT

It’s amazing that even the demons declare God’s power, isn’t it?

This went on for days until Paul apparently had enough and he commands the demon inside of her to come out, and the demon obeyed.

Her masters were outraged! Paul had cost them their lucrative living off this young girl and they dragged Paul and Silas into the marketplace where it seems the whole town came out against them.

The officials had them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were not only beaten but Acts 16:23 says:

They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison.” NLT

Severely beaten and thrown into prison. The crime? Apparently for teaching customs that were illegal for Romans at the time. At least that was the “accusation” against them.

Paul and Silas in Jail

A jailer was tasked with making sure these prisoners did not escape. The punishment for a Roman soldier who allowed a prisoner to escape was swift and severe. 

The jailer puts Paul and Silas WAY back into the inner part of the dungeon and puts them into stocks. 

Since the Roman officials were well aware these men were followers of Christ, the jailer was likely familiar with the empty tomb of Jesus and wasn’t taking any chances with these two followers of His.

Related – God Intended for Good – Shake it Off

God Inhabits the Praises of His People – Paul and Silas Prayed and Praised

Acts 16:25 tells us:

“Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” NLT

Do you know that when you praise God in your worst circumstances, when you exercise faith in your “prison”, people are watching you? People notice when you have joy in your sorrow. They notice, like these prisoners in the jail with Paul and Silas, when you have faith in the fire! People see Jesus in you when your prison doesn’t dictate your praise!

Acts 16:26 goes on and says:

“Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” NLT

Suddenly!

Let’s not miss that word here.

When you give God your faith and your praises in your circumstances, He shows up! Not tomorrow, not next week. He shows up suddenly! 

Now He could have just opened up the prison doors and broken the bonds and set the prisoners free, but this earthquake tells us that God wanted everyone to know He was at work. And He is at work in your prison too, suddenly!

And like the prison doors and the stocks weren’t opened until the earth quaked, you may not see the end result right away but He is sending an earthquake that will begin to break those bonds in your life!! He is at work even when we don’t see the end result yet!

God inhabits the praises of His people!

Yes, God Inhabits the Praises of His People

When you praise God, He is there! And He works His will in your life and in the lives of those you touch!

Acts 16:27-30

“The jailer woke up to see the prison doors wide open. He assumed the prisoners had escaped, so he drew his sword to kill himself. But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”

The jailer called for lights and ran to the dungeon and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” NLT

The jailer was ready to take his own life because he knew the punishment for allowing, not only Paul and Silas but the entire prison, to escape.


 

You see, when they praised God, He didn’t just save Paul and Silas. He set ALL the captives free (v.26). 

Your praise in your prison can show God’s power and the love of Jesus to all those around you. You will bless many when they see your faith and the joy of the Lord because indeed, God inhabits the praises of His people. He radiates from your praises!

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

The jailer, when he saw that Paul and Silas and the others were still there, when he saw that even though the doors were open they didn’t leave him to suffer a certain execution, he wanted what they had.

He asked what he must do to be saved and He gave his life to Christ, him and his entire household!

 Are we showing Jesus to those around us in our prisons or are we just complaining about our circumstances, going to friends for advice instead of praying and asking God for help? Are we whining instead of praising?

People are watching us and we may be the only Bible they ever read and the only Jesus they have ever seen.

Are we conducting ourselves in a way that makes other people ask what they must do to have the joy and the peace in the storm that we have?


 

The Lord Inhabits the Praise of His People – So Praise Him and Let People See God at Work!

God inhabits the praises of His people and when people see your joy and see your praise it is contagious because God is in it!!

The power of praise and prayer can shake the foundation of your trials! It can open the prison door when the enemy has you cornered! It can break the stocks off your feet when you are so downtrodden you don’t know what step to take next.

Paul and Silas prayed in their need. They praised in their prison. Both sang out in their stocks. They gave God the glory while the wounds on their back were still fresh and bloody! They knew well the power of praise!

We too can praise Him in our trials because we have faith that He will use it for our good and for His glory!

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Some other posts like “God Inhabits the Praises of His People” you might enjoy:

OVERCOMING FEAR AS A CHRISTIAN – 3 TIPS

HOW TO TRUST GOD WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN

GOD WANTS TO USE YOU – ENCOURAGING OTHERS

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE FOR YOURSELF

Holy Bible: New Living Translation. 1994, 2004, 2007, 2013. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers

 

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35 Comments

  1. I love, love this one Diane! Praising God lifts our circumstances no matter how grim they are. Even if it didn’t do anything in the physical it does so much for our spiritual well being. We were meant to praise God, created for it, and there is nothing that compares to doing what we were created to do, Praise the Lord. Many Thanks 8)

  2. I’ve just finished Acts in my quiet time and was blown away again by how faithful the Apostles were to carry the Gospel all over in spite of great persecution. You said it right the God inhabits the praise of His people and they are great examples.

    1. They certainly are!!! Sometimes it’s so easy for us to get caught up in our problems that we forget that our problems are so minimal compared to what they went through. It’s very humbling to read Acts!

  3. Great post, Diane! I especially love the quote, “The power of praise can shake the foundation of your trials! It can open the prison door when the enemy has you cornered! It can break the stocks off your feet when you are so downtrodden you don’t know what step to take next.” SO TRUE!

    Pinned & tweeted.

    Thanks for hosting this link-up and for linking up at InstaEncouragements as well!

  4. Such a beautiful picture hidden in this story – thank you for this encouragement to praise while in our “prisons” … that the world will see and want to know the one who enables us to praise. Amen.

  5. Oh, I love how God shows up suddenly, not next week or next month. That is so encouraging and He is worth all our praise. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. A dear friend of mine once responded to my outpouring of lament with, “Praise God!” At first, I was taken aback and, truthfully, offended. But then I realized the wisdom in her words. I had been so focused on my problems, I had forgotten who God is. I began to praise Him and, while my circumstances didn’t change, my heart did. Praise is powerful!

    1. Amen!!! It’s so contradictory to what the world teaches us when we are in trials!! What a blessing your friend was to you!! Thank you for sharing!!

  7. Thank you for this post. It is a blessing to be reminded of the glorious power of our God and see how He worked and can work in our lives.

    I know when I hear and see how God works in people’s lives, it truly is a contagious joy and inspires more hope and faith in God. I absolutely love this!

  8. Love this line: People see Jesus in you when your prison doesn’t dictate your praise! It’s so true. So many times when we think we’re aren’t reaching anyone, others are watching us in our worst days and can see the difference Jesus makes in our lives and attitudes.

  9. Diane, these are good truths. 🙂 There is power in praising God, especially when we walk through difficult circumstances.

    “Do you know that when you praise God in your worst circumstances, when you exercise faith in your “prison”, people are watching you? People notice when you have joy in your sorrow.”

    It’s a bit humbling to know God can speak to others through the ways we choose to respond to him in hard seasons. And when we choose to praise Him, to yield our hearts to Him, He ministers to us in that choice as well.

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