And suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!
— Acts 16:26
This story is so important to all believers for so many reasons. One of which is that it teaches us the value of worship.
Think back for just a moment to when you first begin your journey with the Father, when you asked him into your heart to wipe away all the sins and failures of your past, to make you one with him. For most of us, it became one of the greatest days of our lives. We never wanted the feeling we had at that moment to end. Finally, we had something that no one could ever take from us: a true relationship with our Creator, our King, our Savior, our Master, Jesus Christ.
Our new journey was filled with Bible reading plans and small groups. We were so excited about church that we would not dare miss if there were an opportunity to attend. We wanted to volunteer, help and fill in wherever there was a need. We set out to read the Bible in a year (or so we thought). But the one thing we knew we could do (and we loved to do) was worship our King. We had so many favorite songs, like How Great is Our God, 10,000 Reasons, Mighty To Save, Amazing Grace, It Is Well, and for some of you younger readers, The Blessing and Way Maker. Worship was your thing! Then life showed up, and it showed up pretty fast.
One day you were on top of the world with the Father, and then overnight, without warning, everything changed. Everything you believed to be true has let you down. People that you thought would be there forever are no longer there. Things you trusted no longer have value. And, like Paul and Silas, you feel like you are in a prison. However, let me encourage you, brothers and sisters. You are not. You are just as free today as you were the day you asked the Father to be Lord of your life. In Acts 16, we learned that Paul and Silas’ lives were much like ours. Here were two people who made a choice to follow Jesus, then life got in the way — so much so that they were thrown into prison.
When they were at their weakest, most vulnerable, hopeless, and not knowing where to turn, they were reminded of when they felt their strongest: when they were worshiping their King! Verse 25 tells us that, at midnight, when things were darkest for them, that they begin to pray and sing hymns of praise to God. They delivered a message to all of us today that there is power in our praise.
When we worship the Father, things change. Things move.
We learn through Paul and Silas’ story that worship can shake things up in our lives, can open prison doors, and can help lead others to Christ.
Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” And they shared the word of the Lord with him and with all who lived in his household.
— Acts 16:30–32
Your worship matters. Your worship has power.
Psalm 22:3 tells us that God inhabits the praises of his people. Think about that. What if we walked into every day with thanksgiving in our hearts and entered every situation with praise?
I’d like to invite you to join in what I’m calling the 30-minute challenge: 10 minutes in prayer, 10 minutes in the Word, and 10 minutes in worship each day. Let’s let worship be a brick that we use to build the Church!