The Domino Effect of Praise
25 “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 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 chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Acts 16:25-28 NKJV
The action of faith that set all of this in motion was the praise and songs of praise that came from the mouths of Paul and Silas. We see these verses and focus on the power of praise, and that is correct. But let’s look at what happens with praise in a bit more detail.
First of all we should note that this is praise unlike what we usually experience through our routine days. Paul and Silas are praising and singing songs, not to comfort themselves, but they are just singing songs of blessing and love to the Lord. To us praise is saying “thank you” to Jesus. Don’t misunderstand, that is a great thing, but what Paul and Silas do is so much more. There is abandon in their praise, a release of passion, an outpouring of gratitude. They are not saying things to gain anything from God, they are simply expressing the joy that is in them because of their love and passion for Jesus. How often is that what comes from our mouths?
If we would see our lives the way Paul and Silas saw theirs, as grateful servants of the Lord, content in Him always, we could find this same inner peace and joy that we could not contain, even in dire situations. With that kind of attitude we would see the results they realized in their situation.
The first thing we see is that this kind of praise draws people to the Lord. It is not your efforts to draw them to the Lord, it is the evidence of His love spilling out from us that touches them and moves them. Then we see that the supernatural is the cause and effect result of that kind of passionate praise. The earth itself responded and shook. Then the unexpected and even the unasked for supernatural events become evident. Paul and Silas were not asking for release, they were simply enjoying being with Him, even in prison. They did not seek the supernatural, but when we have that kind praise and heart for Him, supernatural events are inevitable. You may not seek them, but they will find you to your good and to your deliverance.
Not only did the supernatural touch Paul and Silas, but even those who were listening on the fringe got the benefit of that supernatural move of Jesus in their situation. All the doors flew open, all the chains were loosed. Others receive from the supernatural flow of heaven when we operate in this kind of praise and thanks that cannot be contained within us. Finally we see the results in the world itself when we simply praise with proper hearts of servants like Paul and Silas. The jailer and his whole household got saved because of this. There was a domino effect that produced supernatural energy and result that continued to spread outward from the source of praise.
J Todd Hostetler