Day 29 – Devotional & Discussion April 7, 2014

Acts 16:16-33

As you read the story of Paul and Silas being punished and jailed for helping an exploited servant girl, what do you think makes them capable of singing in the midst of their incarceration?  Also, what do you think makes them capable of serving the jailor—the representative of an unjust judicial system? 

How do you view prison personnel?  They need our prayers too.  Today, pray for prison guards that they will not become hardened to those around them or use their position of power to abuse prisoners.  And remember that guards are often imprisoned people that God wants to release as well.

One comment

  1. Wonderful story. I think it was Paul and Silas’ trust in the Lord that enlivened their hearts during their imprisonment. Perhaps they knew of Jesus’ teaching that the persecuted should rejoice, that “blessed are those who are persecuted.” Maybe they saw the singing as a way to make a difference for Christ. Maybe they were just trying to get through a tough time. I suspect they were at least partially genuinely happy and expressing joy. Pretty interesting that Paul will write to the Philippian church a few years later about rejoicing. And he will write from prison. I wonder how much the story of him and Silas singing in prison was a part of that church’s self-identity.

    It seems to me that the reasons I point to above are also what makes them capable of serving the jailor. They knew that the way of Jesus is the abundant life, and they wanted him to know that. His response to the earthquake is a big part of it too. They didn’t want to see him needlessly take his life.

    When I think about prison guards, your words “that they will not become hardened” sounds like an astute observation. When I worked in the juvenile detention center, I really struggled with that. Especially with the residents who would come to our center with bad attitudes, entitlement attitudes. It was very hard for me to see past this persona they put out there, and instead look at them as God does, loved, made in his image, hurting, etc. We definitely need to pray for prison guards.

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