Water for the Thirsty
Weekly Devotional

Water for the Thirsty

Singing In Prison

Weekly Devotional

‘As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you, O God’. (Psalm 42:1)
‘…Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”…’ (John 7:37)

Can you picture the scene? - A praise service going on in a Roman prison with the other prisoners attentively listening to every word.

That’s what was taking place in Acts 16,

‘The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them’. (Acts 16:22-25)

Paul and Silas had been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and were ‘throwing the city into an uproar’ (V.20). This was the basis of the charge against them, and so they were thrown into prison.

Now Paul and Silas had no idea an earthquake was coming that night (V.26). They weren’t singing because they were going to be set free. They were singing because, in the final analysis, prison didn’t really matter. They were already prisoners of Jesus Christ, and that was all that mattered.

Paul and Silas had decided to worship and serve God despite being in prison and whether or not they were freed.

The most significant thing for Paul and Silas was the presence of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with them in their prison cell.

They were singing from their hearts because they knew Jesus was with them. The two of them were gathered in the name of Jesus, and He was there in their presence. As Jesus said,

‘…surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’. (Matthew 28:20)

That was true in that prison cell and it’s true for us today.

Are you singing in your prison cell? Are you worshipping Jesus right where He has placed you today?

Campbell Morgan once said,

“Men who sing in prison are men who cannot be imprisoned. You may put these men within your stone walls, you may make their feet fast in the wood of your brutal stocks, but they are not there. They are sitting with Christ in the heavenly places. As to bodily presence, they are there in the prison, but as to spiritual essence, they are with God.”

If you sing in your prison the earthquake may not always come, but God does.

Your prison doors may not fly open, but the intimate, abiding presence of God in Jesus Christ will set you free.

Many thousands of servants of Jesus Christ have died in literal prisons, but they sang, and they continue to sing.

What are your circumstances?

Are you singing?

God will bless your “prison” experience if you will sing praises unto Him, and guess what?

Other “prisoners” will listen and be saved. (V.27-34)

Have a good week singing praises to God.

Pastor Barry

4th October 2009

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