Summary: This sermon is to inspire believers and give them hope concerning the power of Praise.
This sermon finds Paul and company on their way to prayer. While on their way, they were met by a girl possessed with a spirit of divination, who brought wealth to her masters through her skill. This behavior continued for several days; Paul felt grief within himself and could take this spirit no longer, so he cast the spirit out of the girl.
This caused a stirring among the masters because their money maker had now been delivered. Isn’t it amazing how positive Godly change can rattle the devil’s cage.
Because of the girl’s deliverance, Paul and Silas were brought before the magistrates, who tore their clothes, beat them, put them in prision, and then fastened their feet. It is bad enough to be beat, but its even worse to be beat without your clothes.
I can recall several friends of mine sharing their experiences of being whipped just after coming out of the bathtub. In other words, it is nothing like a "naked whipping or beating" in their case.
Now, the text does not specify what time they were thrown into prison, but after they had been there long enough, at midnight, Paul and Silas begin to give God praise.
Praise sets the atmosphere for deliverance. Praise brings things from the supernatural into the natural. Psalms 22:3 says that God inhabits the praise of His people; in other words, God dwells in the atmosphere of Praise.
As they began to praise God, the Bible says in Acts 16:26, that suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
Praise can bring about immediate results. Why do you think the devil fights you so hard when you begin or desire to praise God. The devil knows that there is power in your praise!
You may be asking yourself, "Am I qualified to praise God?". If so, let me help you out, the Bible says in Psalm 150:6, "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord."
Put your hand in front of your mouth and blow. Now, if you felt wind on your hand, then that qualifies you to give God praise.
Now, not only do we need to praise God, but we need to praise Him until the power comes down. We need God’s power to come and deliver us from the hand of the enemy. We need God’s power to come and rescue us from the prisons the enemy has put us in.
... Prisons of the mind
... Prisons of the heart
... Prisons of Family
... Prisons of Relationships
... Prisons of Self
When we get to a level in praise where the Power comes down, Gods power will lift us up and take us to the next level in our walk with Christ.