For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. —Romans 15:4

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Just Pray

Acts 16:24-26
When he (the jailer) received these 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. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.

Leave it to Paul to pray in the face of stress. He and Silas were sitting in a jail cell. Instead of throwing a pity party; he opened his mouth and prayed. On top of that he worshipped God in song. Imagine what the jailer must have thought. “These two are plumb crazy, they’re in jail, yet they sing and pray.” But then God answered their prayer and shook the prison off its base. The prisoners were loose. The jailer knew he was in trouble. As a matter of fact, if you read further in the scripture, he moved to take his own life. But because he was filled with God’s grace and goodness, Paul stopped him. The jailer was so excited about this miracle that he asked Paul and Silas how to be saved. He and his household believed and were baptized.

All of this happened because Paul and Silas prayed. They spoke to God and asked him for help. There are great examples of prayer in the Bible, like the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus gave a great outline for communicating with God. But is that how I always pray. No, sometimes my prayer is more like a text message, short and to the point. While other times I talk to God as I would my best friend, spilling out all of my concerns and praises. No matter how I pray, God knows my heart. He hears me. When I can’t even form the words, the Holy Spirit takes over for me. God wants to hear from his people and he’s made it so easy. He just wants us to open our hearts and pray.

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