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Impromptu Praise

Today's Devotional

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. Acts 16:25

During a short-term missions trip to Ethiopia, our team accompanied another team from a local ministry on an outreach to a group of young men who’d hit hard times and were living in shacks in a literal junkyard. They were such a delight to meet! We shared testimonies, encouraging words, and prayers together. One of my favorite moments that evening was when a local team member played his guitar and we got to worship with our new friends under the radiant moon. What a sacred moment! Despite their desperate situation, these men had hope and joy that can only be found in Jesus.

In Acts 16, we read about another impromptu praise time. This one broke out in a jail in the city of Philippi. Paul and Silas had been arrested, beaten, flogged, and imprisoned while serving Jesus. Instead of giving in to despair, they worshiped God by “praying and singing” in their jail cell. “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” (vv. 25-26).

The jailer’s first thought was to end his life, but when he realized the prisoners hadn’t escaped, he was in awe of God, and salvation came to his family (vv. 27-34).

God delights in hearing us praise Him. Let’s worship Him during both the highs and lows of life.

How has God enabled you to praise and worship Him even in the bad times? How has He revealed Himself in remarkable ways when you’ve done so?

Dear God, please help me to praise You no matter what I’m facing.


This incident with the fortune-telling female slave occurred in the city of Philippi (Acts 16:12). After Paul cast a demon out of the girl, her owners were angry over the loss of their ability to exploit her (vv. 18-19). As they made their false allegations against Paul and Silas, they leveled a racially charged statement: “These men are Jews, and are . . . advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice” (vv. 20-21). Ironically, both Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, a fact that Paul leveraged as they were about to be released from prison (vv. 37-39).

By |2024-05-28T02:33:05-04:00May 28th, 2024|
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