Summary: A Bible classic.
Text: Acts 16:25-26
25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And 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.
Subject: “The Lockdown That Became A Breakthrough”
My brothers and sisters ... today we revisit a Bible classic. It’s one of the most famous and well known bible stories the Christian world has ever known.
We have here an account of prayer and praise unto the Lord that caused things to be shaken, and doors to open. In fact, in this case all doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed.
Ladies and gentlemen ... you need to understand that your prayer and praise are powerful spiritual weapons. Sometimes we have days when it isn’t easy to get our praise going.
I don’t know anyone who’s never had a perfect day. The truth is ... no such day exists. Life is a mixture of pleasant days and painful days. Up days and down days. Happy days and crying days.
I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t someone watching me right now who’s saying in agreement “My Lord” because already it’s been “one of those days”.
— ‘One of those days’ is when there’s a hint that things are not going to go well?
— ‘One of those days’ is when one bad thing after another seems to hit you.
— ‘One of those days’ is when you just want to run away and hide from everything and everybody! We’ve all had them. If you haven’t had one yet, I hate to tell that “you’re overdue for a go through”.
For Paul and Silas it’s ‘one of those days’. Actually ... it started several days prior. Scripture informs us that Paul and Silas were missionary partners on a ministry journey through Greece. They were in the area of Philippi ... and initially things seemed to be going well. However, one day ... things took a terrible turn!
A young woman ... who was a fortune teller, ... began to follow Paul and Silas as they went from place to ministering declaring, "These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation."
Now, at first ... this may have seemed like a good thing. It was free advertising. But this didn’t just happen once or twice; we’re told she kept up this chant “for many days." And so, what appeared at first to be a good thing ... became nuisance; a distraction. This young girl got on Paul’s nerves. Spec. Anyone watching ever had someone get on your nerves?
The record says that when Paul had had enough of this child he cast the so-called fortune telling spirit; which was really a demonic spirit from her ... and she was delivered! Oh bless the Lord!
BUT WATCH THIS: when she also lost her powers ... she cost the men who owed her a lot of money. Yes ... that’s right ... I said ‘the men who owned her’. You see, this young woman was being used by certain influential men in the community. She was being pimped! Lord have mercy!
When her masters saw what Paul and Silas had done ... they seized them and dragged them to the marketplace — and things went from bad to worse!
They were brought before a makeshift court ... were stripped, ... beaten severely ... and thrown into the inner prison ... where their feet were fastened in stocks. Oh my brothers and sisters ... talk about a bad day!
Spec. Have you ever had a day when things seem to go from bad to worse? What do you do? Glad you asked. Paul and Silas give us the answer.
The Scripture states that "About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."
KNOW THIS: The victory in overcoming bad days ... comes down to this simple equation: "Prayer plus Praise Equals Deliverance." Let me say it again: "Prayer plus Praise Equals Deliverance".
First we must begin with Prayer. Start by calling upon the Name of the Lord. A Simple prayer from the heart; a time of one on one with the Lord.
The hymnologist said it best: “Jesus is on the main line, tell him what you want! Call him up! Call him up! Tell him what you want!”
Jesus said in John 10:27 — "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me“.
In Matthew 11:40, he said: "My yoke is easy and my burden is light. Saith the Lord".
Have you ever used the term "take it easy on yourself?" You know, ... as Christians ... we need to do that!