It’s midnight and Paul and Silas’ backs are beaten and bloody, their feet secured in stocks, their legs cramping, and they’re in the deepest, darkest hole in the prison, unsure of what tomorrow might bring. It’s a pretty bleak situation. So, what do they do? They pray and sing praises, hymns to God. Now the praying I understand, I would be praying like I never prayed before and though we aren’t told what they prayed, we do know it wasn’t a prayer of desperation and hopelessness. “God where are you? Why me? I thought you loved me?” It’s not even a prayer for deliverance because the opportunity will come to escape, but they stay.
I would venture to say that it was a prayer to God of thanksgiving. Paul would later write to these saints in Philippi, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). They were able to pray, sing, and praise the Lord with thanksgiving because they knew they were in the will of God. They knew God’s promises to never leave them and they had one desire which was to serve their King with joy wherever He took them.
Pastor Doug Hardin