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Prayer in trouble
Bible Passage Acts 16: 19-31
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book Acts.

Prayer in trouble

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached August 2, 2023

19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities who met together in the public square.

20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are stirring up a lot of trouble in our city. They are Jews

21 and are advocating customs that we’re not allowed to accept or practice as Romans.”

22 The crowd joined in the attack against them. Then the magistrates had Paul and Silas stripped of their clothes and ordered them beaten with rods.

23 After giving them a severe beating, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailer to keep them under tight security.

24 Having received these orders, he put them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in leg irons.

25 Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

26 Suddenly, there was an earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken. All the doors immediately flew open, and everyone’s chains were unfastened.

27 When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped.

28 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Don’t hurt yourself, because we are all here!”

29 The jailer asked for torches and rushed inside. Trembling as he knelt in front of Paul and Silas,

30 he took them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.”

Paul and other missionaries left Troas and headed to Philippi. It seems that Philippi had few Jews and no synagogue, but a group of God-fearers met for prayer at the river bank. The missionaries joined with them and made known to them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that was when people like Lydia became Christians and, through her, her household also believed.

But trouble began in Philippi when they healed a slave girl who, because of an evil spirit that possessed her, earned much money for her owners by telling fortunes.

An evil spirit was controlling this slave girl and gave her the power to see a person’s future. Her owners earned money from her. But the power came from Satan, by an evil spirit. Paul and his companions often went to the place where people prayed. The slave girl continued to follow them. The evil spirit in her recognized that they were God’s servants. This girl followed Paul for several days shouting “These men are true servants of God”. The girl’s words were true, but Paul did not want people to link God’s message with an evil spirit.

The girl’s owners were very angry with Paul and Silas. This was because the evil spirit had gone. This meant that the girl did not have the power to see into the future any longer. The owners’ way to make money had gone too! They blamed Paul and Silas for that.

When the owners of the slave girl found she could no longer be used to earn them money, they attacked the missionaries and created a riot. Paul and Silas were arrested, flogged, and thrown into prison without trial or questioning (verses 19-24).

Yet even in prison Paul and Silas found the opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!!! The outcome was the conversion of the jailer along with his household.

🔷 Even the evil spirit can foretell the future

🔷 Our conditions should never make us forget God

🔷 We should never be ashamed of preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus


💥 Pray for the Spirit of resilience in trouble
💥 Pray that your enemies will see your progress in the Lord

Prayer and reliance on the Spirit of God should be our fountain and friend at all times including trouble days. That can change our story, shame the devil and bring our persecutors to bow before us. May this be your portion!

In series Bright Morning Reflections