About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25 NIV
I was talking with a friend the other day about unanswered prayers. Specifically we discussed, when you have done the best that you know how to pray and the answer doesn’t seem to come or you prayed for direction and then the circumstances went sideways. When you are looking at your problem, you want God’s best and His direction. Yet, the problem remains and you are unable to move forward. Can anybody relate?
This issue has less to do with finding the next answer, which is usually our number one response to God. It has everything to do, with our focus and trust in God in the present moment. Our tendency would be to quit waiting, quit trusting, and move to walk it out in our own understanding.
How can you “lean into God”? How can you continue to trust and not grow weary in well doing? WORSHIP! It is the one response in which we are fully able to control. In Job’s terrible loss he blessed the name of the Lord. Peter’s response to his commitment to Jesus as the one who has the words of life, was connected to everyone leaving Jesus’ ministry. For Paul and Silas while they were in prison – they worshipped.
I know you are probably thinking like me. You worshipped and God did not send an angel to get you out of your prison. No miraculous prison doors were opened. The next morning you woke up and nothing in your situation had changed. What next? Worship!
This is not simply a platitude. It is gut wrenching real. What does this worship look like? It begins with our words. We say what is true about God regardless of our circumstances. “God, You are always good, and have my best interest at heart.” This is true even when nothing that you physically see around you has any indication of being a good thing or changing. The statement redirects your focus away from your problems and toward God. Worship begins with words directed toward God.
Next move into worship songs. Immerse yourself in songs directed toward and about God. Listen to the confession of your mouth in agreement with the songs that are being played. Most likely the writers of that song were walking out their own salvation struggles. This would be true for Horatio Spafford in his song, “It is well”, as it reflects his response to the loss of his family members at sea.
Finally, worship until you receive the peace of His presence through faith. Jesus calmed the storm with the disciples on the boat. He was with them. How much more is He with us now, through the working of the Holy Spirit? He lives inside you. You can walk through the valley’s when you know your Shepherd is with you. He brings His peace and comfort and eventually the direction forward. His peace is real and tangible and can be obtained while waiting with no answer in sight.
Paul and Silas worshipped in prison. Worship helps us unload our burdens on Jesus shoulders so that we are free to breathe. Worship impacts our weighted down spirit, to move to peace. Worship lassos the crazy thoughts and brings our focus back to the face of our Savior. Worship is trust in action.
May you take the necessary steps to engage in worship. There is no better time, than when you are stuck at an impasse, like sitting in a jail at midnight and deciding to sing. No matter how dire your situation, WORSHIP!
May God bless your worship.
Blessings Love y’all