Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Do you realize this?

How important and impactful prayer and praise can be?!!!

Acts 16:16-35 Paul and Silas in prison

16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed (I have to giggle at this part, I LOVE it, I wonder why he waited so long?!) that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. (Do we realize the power we have in the Name of Jesus?!)
19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone (sounds like so many today / especially makes me think of human traffickers when they’ve lost a slave), they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22 The crowd joined in the attack (Typical of “the crowd”, they get offended because others are offended, not that they have personally been mistreated) against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, (The Key – praying and praise) and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 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. (See what happened as a result of prayer and praise!) 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (Look what else happened as a result of prayer and praise, a man and his entire household was saved!)
35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.” (Last but not least, they were set free as a result of prayer and praise)

What is it that you need to see happen in your life or those around you?  Are you fighting with anxiety, stress, in bondage to an addiction, marriage issues, etc…. I encourage you to fight this battle in prayer and with thanksgiving and praise!  Chains are broken, mountains are moved, depression and heaviness is lifted by these two ingredients, (Isaiah 61:3).  Ultimately be set free TODAY!!!

Sarah Brown

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