And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. ~Acts 16:25
Acts 16 is the record of the start of Paul’s second missionary endeavor. The significance of the events that occurred during the second missionary endeavor contributed greatly to the church as we know it today. The gospel made a great impact among the Gentiles, model churches were established, and six of Paul’s epistles were written for us. Perhaps the one spiritual exercise that is emphasized and repeated in Acts 16 is prayer. It was prayer that made the difference. It was prayer that paved the way and accomplished what money, personality, talent, and manpower could not. It was not just individual prayer but the prayers of men who, together, agreed on their need of God. Let us see the significance of prayer partners.
We see the duo.
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed.” Paul and Silas were a newly-formed team. It was prayer that bonded their relationship and blessed their efforts. “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:19). They knew the promise of Jesus about prayer partners. Effective prayer partners are unhesitating when it comes to prayer, and they are unhindered when they pray. Married couples should seek to make prayer their most important ministry together.
We see the door.
“And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.” The first outreach endeavor that Paul’s team did was to assemble at the riverside where prayer was made. Through this prayer time, God opened the door for the church at Philippi. God gave them their first convert, church member, and place both to lodge and have church. Prayer is always the key that unlocks doors. The door to Lydia’s heart was opened. The door to Lydia’s home was opened. Prayer opens doors.
We see the deliverance.
“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.” As they went to prayer again, God brought to them a young woman who was demon possessed. The Bible describes this as a spirit of divination. The Greek word for divination means python. She was under the stronghold of the old serpent, the devil. Prayer set her free and saved her. Prayer is the only means by which someone under Satan’s control can be set free. Prayer is God’s means to deliver anyone who is bound by sin and Satan.
We see the dynamic.
Prayer is the means by which we request God’s power for extraordinary situations. It was prayer that brought an earthquake, opened the prison doors, and made the chains fall off of Paul and Silas. It was prayer that resulted in the jailer and his household getting saved. It was prayer that gave Paul and Silas peace of mind and the joy of the Lord in spite of being beaten and placed in jail. Prayer is how we access God’s power in unusual situations, and it enables us to win people to Christ who would otherwise not be reached. Paul and Silas prayed. Develop a prayer partner ministry, and let God work in and through you.
Have a prayerful God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 7-9