“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” (Acts 16:25-26)
We have an account here of prayer and praise unto the Lord that caused supernatural things to be shaken and doors to open. In fact, in this case, it says, “all the doors were opened and everyone’s bands were loosed” ……
Midnight is coming ….
Midnight isn’t an hour: it’s a moment. It’s that moment that comes upon you; when life is going along great; you’re receiving blessings, then midnight hits — perhaps there’s stress in your marriage …. Your child’s addiction is out of control … You recently lost your job ….
Midnight is here ….
Your prayer and praise are powerful spiritual weapons. Sometimes when we come to church it isn’t easy to get our praise going, but it is necessary — I dare say vital, because “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
These men were offering a sacrifice of praise. I don’t think it was easy to get that song started. Can you just imagine it? They had been whipped, stripped, beaten and then thrown into prison. For all they knew the axe would be next …
Satan had tried to put an end to their ministry. He tried to cause them to be weary of their cause and doubtful of their Lord. But they knew what to do and they knew who to look to: Jesus ….
They could have lamented over their circumstances and cried unto God, “oh Lord, why have you let this happen to your servants” or looked at their situation with fear knowing they were about to die: just curl up in that dark dungeon resolutely settled into their fate ….
Our text said, “At midnight”…. There is an old song that says, “It’s easy to sing when the sun is shining bright, but you need a song in your heart deep in the night.”……
Midnight has come …. What do you do? Go down into defeat — or be strengthened through the power of the Holy Ghost?
(Psalms 119:62) says: “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto Thee because of Thy righteous judgements” ….
What will we do at midnight? Midnight is a milestone so to speak. The night is half over, and with each minute we get closer to the dawn. The question we face is; can we make it until day break?
The answer depends on what we do at midnight, what decision we make, and did we prepare while it was yet day …
(Exodus 12:29) tells us that at midnight the Lord did smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from that of Pharoah to the firstborn of the one in the dungeon. Only the ones who had applied the blood of the passover lamb were spared. Only those who had prepared made it through that midnight hour? ….
What will you do at midnight?
What you do at midnight depends a great deal on what you do now. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
How we come out of a trial often depends on how we went in to it ….
Paul told Timothy to be a good soldier. Soldiers prepare for battle in time of peace. They practice …..
When the enemy is closing in, you don’t have time to get out the Book and find out how to load your weapon …..
I have heard men tell of being in the army. They were taught to disassemble and assemble that weapon blind folded, so if need be they could do it in the dark, because their life might depend on it …..
Friend, we are in a spiritual warfare and many Christians not only don’t know how their weapons work, but they were not even aware that they had any …..
(2 Corinthians 10:4) says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” …
(Ephesians 6:11) says, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil”.
When Paul and Silas began to praise God and to sing in the midst of that prison, they were using spiritual weapons ….
The Bible says that Daniel was in the habit of praying 3 times a day before he was thrown into the den of lions, but that’s why the lion’s mouth’s were shut. He was prayed up so therefore he was prepared …
You don’t have time to figure out how prayer works as you are being thrown into the lions.
When things go wrong some are in the habit of praying and some are in the habit of cursing …..
Midnight is coming ….
What will you do at midnight? Will you turn to God or will you turn on God? The point is that we are to prepare for midnight before midnight comes ….
The 25th chapter of Matthew talks of ten virgins that took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five were wise and five were foolish. The foolish took no oil with their lamps. The wise took oil in their vessels for their lamps. They prepared. Their vessels were filled ….
The cry came at midnight and the foolish found their lamps empty and had gone out. They also found that they could not make it in on the other five’s oil. They had to go to buy oil and while they were gone, the bridegroom came. The five that were ready went in with Him and the door was shut ….
If we don’t stay filled up on the things of God in the midst of our trial, we may find our lamp going out. We must stay prayed up because prayer is your greatest weapon ….
What will you do at midnight?
If the cry came tonight, would you be ready, or would you have to pause and get something in order — like your heart?
Let me ask you, if the midnight cry came five minutes from now, has the blood been applied, has the Spirit been received, has the praise been offered?
(Isaiah 30:29) says, “Ye shall have a song as in the night: and gladness of heart” …..
Do you have a song for the night?
“Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live.” (Isaiah 55:2-3).
Let’s pray ~
Dear Lord, thank You for my new life in Christ and the many privileges that I have in Him. Thank You that You are my Father, thank You that I am accepted in the Beloved. Thank You that my citizenship is in heaven and thank You that my eternal life is eternally secure and assured forever – through the glorious death and resurrection of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ….
Help me Father to maintain my spiritual focus on You, knowing that all too often I find that my thoughts are enticed away from You by the attractions of this world, while at other times I find myself questioning all that is going on in the world and wondering why there are so many distressing situations and so many heart-breaking difficulties that people inevitably have to endure ….
Help me not to lose my spiritual focus on You, knowing that You have an eternal perspective and that Your plans and purposes are working towards their final and glorious conclusion ….
Keep my heart from worldly pursuits and also help me not to become discouraged or worried when we hear of the problems and pain of others, even though my heart may be breaking.. knowing that our times are in Your hands and You have promised to right all wrongs, in Your own time and Your own way. Help me rather to be able to share the truth of the gospel with whomever You place in my path and may I lift up the name of Jesus not only in what I say but in how I live – in Whose name I pray, amen …..