By Amie Broadwater
“Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with strings and pipe, praise Him with the clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” Psalm 150:1-6 (NIV) Something incredible happens when we praise the Lord!
Our focus and perspective changes! Acts 16, tells the story of Paul and Silas, beaten and thrown into prison for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. Verse 25 tells us that about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them. Paul and Silas – unjustly accused, beaten, hurt, sitting on a cold, stone floor in the dark. Their response? Praise. Verse 26 says that a violent earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. Did we notice? All and everyone. All the prison doors flew open – everyone’s chains came loose. Those listening to Paul and Silas sing were set free. Paul and Silas so confident in their God – so confident in His power and His surpassing greatness – so confident that He was bigger than the hardships and pain they faced – so confident in the goodness of God – they sang. Not to themselves. They sang so others could hear.