By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being, Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates rent off their clothes and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely, Who having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison and made their feet fast in the stocks. 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 everyone's bands were loosed.
Acts 16:19-26
Today's Read: Acts 16; Psalm 18
This morning I rose from a sound and solid sleep with the story of Paul and Silas "sounding off" in my soul.
Let's digest its content together and see what strength we might find for our day:
1) The miraculous healing of the demonized damsel (read the "whole" of Acts 16) led to the beating and imprisonment of Paul and Silas. With false accusations pitted against them and stripes from their beatings fresh upon them ... what do we think these men ought next to do?
-Sit in the cell and nurse their internal and external wounds?
-Make request for an able lawyer to assist and defend them?
-Beat their heads against the impenetrable walls of an unmerciful cell and succumb numbly to the fate of evil men?
Hmmm ...
Paul and Silas didn't explore any of the above options.
Fixing their eyes on Jesus they were lifted "spiritually" from their physical cell and transported into a liberty that chains couldn't secure.
When other men would have "given up," Paul and Silas "looked up," and the chains which were intended to imprison gave way to praise.
Never underestimate the power of praise in a difficult situation. Whether you feel it or whether you don't ... do it anyway. The God of praise guarantees the provision of peace to all who release themselves to an open praise and reliance of Him. Praise God in whatever difficult circumstance you find yourself in and commit yourself to the exercise and discipline of it.
Praise elevates the soul and transports it to the provision and safety of God's care.
2) They say that decency ends after midnight.
For Paul and Silas, the greatest testimony of God erupted from their lives and mouths at just that very moment.
There is no moment that is not a right, good, and fitting moment for men to praise God. It doesn't matter who you are or what place you find yourself in, the ability to give a moment over to praising God is within your grasp NOW.
Seize it!
 If our souls understood the power of praise and prayer in our darkest of moments we should subscribe our souls to it and be bent in posture fixating ourselves in it continually.
The exercise of prayer is man's most availabe remedy against all internal and external ills, sins, and difficulties.
 Men on their knees are impossible to defeat. 
This is not a saying of nicety but a reality of surety enforced by the Living God and the promises of His word.
Stake your soul to it and let's repeat it again:
Men on their knees are impossible to defeat.
3) The earthquake, the shaking of the prison, and the loosening of chains was a result and response to men on their knees offering prayer and praise to God.
God retains strength, majesty, dominion, and power in man's darkest hour ... no matter what that hour contains.
Mmmm ....
Praise God for His never-ending, ever unending presence.
Give praise to Him,
Offer prayer to Him,
Begin this moment with Him.
Three study suggestions:
1) Drill today's Acts and Psalm reading into your head at least three times over and see if it doesn't fill your soul with praise and an attitude of prayer.
2) Remember that a testimony erupts everytime you praise God and pray to Him in the place you presently find yourself in. Seize "this" moment.
3) Self preservation and self pity are dismissed in the presence of prayer and praise. Entrust yourself to the exercise of them.