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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Prayers in the Bible: Paul and Silas, and the jailer

Acts 16:25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were loosened. 27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”


29 He called for lights and sprang in, and, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.


33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household. 34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God. (World English Bible)

The events described above took place after Paul and Silas had been unjustly thrown into jail. Apparently, the stocks were not comfortable, and they were praying and singing. What about? We don't know. Perhaps they were praying for release from prison, or that they could sleep. But their prayer was powerfully answered -- they were released the next morning, released from the stocks right away, but, probably, didn't get any sleep.

The jailer had a simple prayer. Was he praying to be saved from sin? Perhaps. Perhaps not. Maybe he was praying to be saved from the earthquake, or from losing his job, or that his life would be spared. But Paul and Silas knew what the man really needed, and his prayer for salvation was answered.

God doesn't always answer spectacularly, or right away. But He did on this occasion.

Thanks for reading. This is one of a series on prayers in the Bible. The previous post in the series is here.

2 comments:

i am Grateful... Kerry i am. said...

Wonderful post Brother Martin. Wonderful. "Lord, teach me to pray."

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Kerry i am.