Unshackle Me Through Praise

John Tilton


Acts 16:22-26

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he 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.


Even though Paul and Silas sought to do well according to God’s will, the response of the people based on their own desires, beliefs and interpretations caused Paul and Silas to suffer beatings and be thrown into prison. Their response wasn’t to feel dejection and fear, but instead to pray and sing/worship the Lord, exampling to others the Lord moving in and leading them. We then know that an earthquake ensued and the prison doors flew open, as well as their chains becoming loose.


How often do we do things with good intent and instead are misperceived, misunderstood or find ourselves offending others by our actions even though well-intended, often due to their desires, beliefs and interpretations of us and our actions? Or those times where we find ourselves feeling bound and even a sense of being imprisoned by situations in life and with others. I know that my tendency is often to worry or to try to settle things on my own in my own strength. Yet, I am encouraged that these are the best times to seek God in prayer, worship Him and wait upon Him, no matter how dire the situation may seem. In those times, may my prayer and worship with devotion to the Lord unshackle me in my mind and heart, giving me peace and an outlook that is an example to others, the same way Paul and Silas were to the other prisoners and the guards. I’ve seen God’s profound faithfulness and His moving in extraordinary ways, I need to remember God’s power and love that allows me to turn to Him in times of worry, concern and conflict.


Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me and encouraging me that I need not be a worrywart when life, others and situations tend to make me feel imprisoned and shackled. May I remember and be intentional to turn to you in prayer and praise, waiting upon you in perseverance and faith because you are so faithful.

Devotions for February 09

Leviticus 10,11,12
Acts 16

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