Even The Prisoner Must Sing

I wrote last week how the Spirit had been hammering me with the lessons of Paul and Silas in jail in Acts 16. I heard it three times last week and finally I began to think--maybe there is a lesson to be learned.

Paul and Silas are imprisoned for setting one of the local "idol" sellers free and having been beat to near death, they find themselves chained to the inner wals of the jail. Yet, around midnight they could be heard praying and singing to the Lord. Then an earthquake came and set them free.

I came home from NWLC (National Worship Leaders Conference with these thoughts in my mind. Yesterday I received a most interesting letter from a man that has been listening to our services from the local prison for almost 4 years. This unit eats early (like 9:30-10:00) so they can hurry back to their cells to catch the praise and worship from our church. They are the silent audience that we never see on a Sunday and I have to remind myself I'm not only leading the people in the room but also the people on the radio.

He wrote to encourage me. Here's a guy who has almost no freedoms, whose life is controlled and watched and routine, yet he took the time to write me to encourage me and to say that he was praying for me. In fact the day he wrote the letter was probably one of the lowest days for me so far.

I just sat there and read the letter and wondered if the Lord wanted me to hear another story of a person who finds it hard to praise in the midst of their circumstances, yet they do it anyway? It was a lift to my dreary Monday.

Never discount the ways that the Spirit connects His teachings in our lives. Sometimes they come as incidental surprises.