/ / God Inhabits the Praises of His People – Praise is Powerful!

God Inhabits the Praises of His People – Praise is Powerful!

Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

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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 finds Paul and Silas in prison as well. But it is in that prison that prayer and the power of praise brought about freedom from bonds! God inhabits the praises of His people! Learn how prayer and praise can free you as well!

A woman in a field of daisies praising and text that says God Inhabits the Praises of His People - Praise is Powerful

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 16:17:

“These men are servants of El Elyon, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 

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

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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:

“After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to guard them securely.”

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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.

jail in the dark with Acts 16:23 quoted in Tree of Life version

Paul and Silas in Prison

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 Yeshua, the jailer was likely familiar with the empty tomb of Yeshua and wasn’t taking any chances with these two followers of His.

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

Acts 16:25 tells us:

“But about midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.”

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Do you know that when you praise God in your worst circumstances, when you exercise faith in your “prison”, that people are watching you?

An image of the moon at night and Acts 16:25 quoted in Tree of Life version

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 Yeshua in you when your prison doesn’t dictate your praise!

People see Yeshua in you when your prison doesn't dictate your praise! Click To Tweet

Acts 16:26 goes on and says:

Suddenly there was such a great earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors were unlocked, and everyone’s chains came loose.

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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! 

An image of a black woman with long hair and in a green dress standing in a kitchen looking up and pointing with her two index fingers

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!

God inhabits the praise of His people! Click To Tweet

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

When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”

The jailer called for lights and rushed in; and trembling with fear, he fell down before Paul and Silas. After he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

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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!

Your praise in your prison can show God's power and the love of Jesus to all those around you. Click To Tweet

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?

Silhouette image of a man with broken chains on his arms and Acts 16:26 quoted in Tree of Life version

God Inhabits the Praises 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.

The power of praise can shake the foundation of your trials! It can open the prison door when the enemy has you cornered! Click To Tweet

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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Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society.  Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.

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35 Comments

  1. Once again, your insight has given me food for thought. It is our praise in the prison that others can see. Thank you for this potent reminder!

  2. Thank you for these beautiful reminders today, Diane! May we praise him through all seasons!

  3. 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)

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

    1. Thank you so much Ashley!! So true!! People, especially these days, are always watching us.

  11. 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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