Lessons From Acts 16:25

Introduction. (Acts 16:16-25) This evening I would like to focus on this last verse and consider carefully some lessons that it teaches us.

I. “But at midnight...”

II. “...Paul and Silas...”

III. “...Were praying and singing hymns to God...”

Literally “praying hymns to God.” Alford comments - “The distinction of modern times between prayer and praise, arising from our attention being directed to the shape rather than the essence of devotion, was unknown in these days” (Vol. II, p. 183).
     Most English “praying and singing hymns.” Worship at a time of hardship. Praise during a time of difficulty. (James 5:13)
  • Musical worship is an important element of our relationship to God. It is not for entertainment.
  • It is educational. (Colossians 3:16)
  • It is uplifting. In Lenexa we had singings once a month. My daughter Torhi once made the comment that she hates it when the singings are over because she finds them so encouraging. That’s a good attitude.
         We remember words better that are set to a tune. Example: Big Mac > “2 all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce...” When busy and frustrated or tempted bring to mind the words of a song. “It won’t be very long, till this short life shall end” or “farther along we’ll understand why.”
         It is good to learn new songs - as you grow older things may not stick in the memory as when younger. Ex. 70’s songs I know all the words. As we select songs to edify one another we must keep in mind that older familiar songs will trigger the memory of some of us who have heard them for years - we need to hear them!

IV. “...And the prisoners were listening to them.”

  • Set backs can become great opportunities. (Philippians 1:12-14) These prisoners might not have listened to Paul & Silas as they taught in the streets and synagogues. But here were men that should have been “crying in their soup” over their circumstances - praying and rejoicing. They had something that the other prisoners didn’t - hope - peace of mind - a reason to live.
  • We Never Know Who We May Influence. (I Peter 3:15,16) What do we show those around us? Are we people of hope? Do we carry with us an unshakable peace of mind? Or do we allow life to turn us bitter and cynical. The prisoners of sin around us are watching and listening to us.