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.
Acts 16, 26
Paul and Silas preached in the city of Philippi, causing great unrest. Once the people were so in uproar that they grabbed Paul and Silas, led them before the rulers and let them beat them on their bare backs, then took them to prison and put them in the block. It took a long time for Paul and Silas to recover from the horror and regain confidence in Jesus. Then they began to sing hymns of praise to their steadfastly faithful LORD , to the LORD who himself had endured all tortures, beatings and the cross and is now the LORD of heaven and on earth, the king of kings. God’s answer to their thanks, trust and loyalty was an earthquake. It rocked the whole prison and the doors sprang open. Quite astonishing that an earthquake loosened the chains of the prisoners and they were free; – perhaps an angel did this and not the earthquake? In any case, they were all free now, how good!
Praise has the power to break chains. Because during praise God works mightily. Praise is more than a pious, cheerful song. It is worship and divine joy to the highest degree. There the chains of Satan can no longer hold us, there liberation happens! There the doors of our personal prisons open and we are set free! Because God wants it that way.
But where are the people who are faithful to God even under such circumstances and who can praise Him from their hearts? Where are worship leaders who can reach this depth and lead the people of God into the presence of the Lord?
Again and again God gives dreams, images and visions that show a dark, cloudy sky. But then the praise rises from the earth, quiet and weak at first, but then it becomes stronger and stronger. Where the praise rises, the clouds over the land tear up and the light shines on the earth. The hole in the clouds becomes bigger and bigger, the light becomes brighter and brighter until the whole land is bright. Then the Gentiles come to recognise the Lord, then they are no longer bound in their prisons and chains, then there is healing for our country.
Thank You Jesus, and thank You again! You are worthy to be worshipped. You are the King of kings, the Lord of lords, You are the Christ, the Redeemer, the Saviour and Retriever! I love You!
PS: Pastor Wilhelm Busch and Corrie ten Boom report on the power of praise in German prisons during the Nazi era. Similar things can also be heard from Russian camps: praise brings freedom even behind barbed wire walls. God acts!