Acts 16:25: Prison ministry

“25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” NIV UK

‘’…and the other prisoners were listening.’’

As you go about your life today, you will be surrounded by ‘prisoners’. What will they hear from your lips?

Will they hear words of grace, words of healing, words of life, words of release?

Will they find themselves listening to…

…Kind words?

…encouraging words?

…edifying words?

…challenging words?

‘’The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He weakens me morning by morning, weakens my ear to listen like one being instructed’’ (Isaiah 50:4).

Will some people receive the words of loving rebuke that you, deep down, know you should speak, and that they, in their deepest hearts, know they should hear? Or will fear dam up the stream from your mouth? (Some prisoners have grown comfortable in their cells. They like the sense of familiarity. There are those who will require strong words to point them in the direction of the now open prison door, and challenge them regarding what they will do about it).

Most of all, will they know that they are listening to someone who loves God; whose heart overflows – bursts its banks – with floods of song and prayer, whatever the circumstances? Will they know they are hearing a worshipper?

‘’Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few’’ (Ecclesiastes 5:2).

Perhaps most of us are guilty of saying too much and listening too little – to God, and to others. It doesn’t take a lot of words to bless someone else. They just need to be words which come ultimately from God, via your lips.

PRAYER: ‘’May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer’’ (Psalm 19:14)