The other prisoners were listening ...
A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn't escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 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! -Acts 16:22-26
Paul and Silas were stripped, beaten and jailed simply because they spoke the name of Jesus and a young girl was delivered from demons. Often things done in God's name are met with severe opposition by those who profit from the suffering of others. Such was the case here as the girl was no longer willing or able to make money for her masters by telling fortunes. My heart hurts as I read of how they were mistreated simply because they preached the gospel.
I am amazed by the attitude of these men as they prayed and sang in jail. Small wonder that others were listening. How is it that people can react that way to unjust suffering? It reminds me of an old song that affirms that the chains that seem to bind you drop powerless bind you when you praise Him. There is something about praise that frees you. In truth Paul and Silas were free even though they were bound in chains. Perhaps their's is a story we can share in?
Thank you Father for the examples of Paul and Silas. Help me to remember to praise when I am hurting the most.