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Text: Acts 16:22–31

Acts 16:22 (KJV): “And the multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates rented off their clothes and commanded to beat them.”

It was Paul and Silas who went to preach the gospel. The magistrates, who were supposed to judge them first of all, tore their clothes, meaning that they had taken sides with the people.

Acts 16:23–24 (KJV): “And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.”

These men did not go to do their own business. Now see what happened. They had the right to say, “We came here to preach. But see what is happening; God cannot even deliver us.” It is easy to get discouraged. But something happened that became a game-changer. They waited strategically.


Acts 16:25 (KJV): “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God, and the prisoners heard them.”

Two people inside the innermost prison in the dungeon who should be crying because they had been beaten, dragged, maybe, were thrown into the innermost dungeon. But instead of crying and feeling discouraged, the Bible says that they prayed at midnight, and the prisoners heard them. It was not a quiet affair. Praise is not a quiet affair.

Acts 16:26–27 (KJV): “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.”

The earthquake was specific to that prison. It did not spread throughout the whole city.

Acts 16:28-31 (KJV) “But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

It was in that darkness that Paul and Silas were singing. An earthquake is an agent of mass destruction. When an earthquake moves to a city, it destroys things. Many people die and things get destroyed because of the massive flow of power and force. The earthquake moves with great power and speed. It is something that should be respected and feared.

You may now ask a question: “Can such a destructive thing be good?”

The Bible is telling us that God can use any instrument to deliver His people. So next time you are in your midnight hour, next time you find things very rough and tough, raise your voice and sing a song.

The point is, we all come to midnight. What will you do at your midnight hour? If God had informed Paul and Silas that where they were going, they would be beaten and jailed, they would have wondered what sort of place it was. But God’s plan allowed the enemy to be so foolish as to arrest these two innocent men and push them into the inner prison.

But when these two men exploded from the nucleus of that prison, the effect was total and devastating. At midnight, they started praying and singing, men who had been severely beaten and bruised.

I am sure that the older prisoners there would have mocked them, saying, “Ah, these people are still singing; it is because they just arrived. When they sleep here for like 2 days and mosquitoes deal with them, they will stop singing.” But then the story was different.

As they sang, the prison began to dance to their music, and there was an earthquake that shook the prison to its ancient foundations, and because of that earthquake of deliverance, there was collective and individual deliverance. Why? Because at midnight, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises. That caused collective and individual deliverance.

If the door is opened but the man in the house is in chains, the open door will make no difference to the man.

If the man in the prison is unchained but the doors are still locked, his freedom is still limited and confined to that house. God knew that the opening of the prison gate would not be of much use to the prisoners unless their own personal chains had also been broken. The first was collective deliverance to the general prison house. Doors opened. The second dwelt with their individual chains—chains were broken.

The deliverance that Paul and Silas introduced to that prison house brought about the deliverance of others. Their deliverance resulted in the deliverance of others. I am going to pray this prayer now:

May your deliverance bring deliverance to others! In the name of Jesus.
May your miracles give birth to other miracles! In the name of Jesus.
May your testimonies give birth to other testimonies! In the name of Jesus.

Listen carefully; so many people’s destinies are tied to your own. Many people’s breakthroughs are tied to your own. Many people’s deliverances depend on your deliverance, so not obtaining that deliverance means that they too will not obtain deliverance. So all those fire prayers and painful cries are instruments of collective deliverance. There is a cry that brings the deliverance of the righteous. The foundations of some demonic prisons are so strong and deep.


It will take an earthquake of deliverance from God to shake them down. Your cry and prayers can make God send an earthquake of deliverance that will destroy the roots of ancient captivity, and this will end their evil reign totally.

You need to pray and praise to provoke the earthquake of deliverance so that at midnight, there will be a provocation of your earthquake of deliverance for you.
Are your enemies boasting against you?
Do you have confident attackers?
Fully-armed enemies troubling your life?
Enemies that are ridiculing and mocking you?

Raise and provoke the earthquake of deliverance. The Bible says this in Exodus 15:11.

Exodus 15:11 (KJV): “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”

When we start praising, God becomes fearful to our enemies. That is what was introduced in the prison yard. The praises brought out the power of God and made God very fearful to the enemies.

The Bible says, “Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;”

And the Bible also says that God inhabits the praises of his people. So this praise that some of us do not take seriously is a violent weapon of warfare.

And so in this first service of the year, both weapons will be combined: prayer and praises to provoke the earthquake.

The devil does not like to stay in any environment where there is praise to God, because nobody likes to stay where his enemy is being praised. And if you have heaviness in your heart, the Bible says, “He giveth unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”


  • Jesus, chain breaker, break my chain now! In the name of Jesus.
  • Every property of shame in my life, catch fire! In the name of Jesus.
  • Every power house that has been stealing from me, catch fire! In the name of Jesus.
  • Yoke-breaker, Jesus Christ, break my yoke now! In the name of Jesus.
  • 2024, hear the Word of the Lord! Favor me by fire! In the name of Jesus.
  • Powers that punished my parents, I am not your candidate; therefore, die! In the name of Jesus.

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