Acts 16: 25-26 ” 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 everybody’s chains came loose.”

Earlier in the day, Paul and Silas had been stripped, severely flogged and then thrown into prison.  So we now find them hours later holding their own praise and worship service to a rather captive audience of fellow prisoners and guards.  They could have wallowed in their sorrow and pain, but instead chose to worship God.  When we praise God in the midst of impossible situations, the atmosphere changes and with it, our attitude.  Our eyes are taken off the incurable, the grief-stricken, the hopeless dilemma…and allows God to work in miraculous ways.  It says here that the earthquake caused all the prison doors to open…not just the one to Paul and Silas’s cell, and that everybody’s chains came off…not just theirs.  When our focus is on praise rather than on self-pity, everyone around us will be blessed.

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