For performing a miracle, Paul and Silas were beaten badly and thrown into a prison, into the “inner prison.” Nevertheless,“at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them” (Acts 16:25).
They could have prayed silently ‘in their heart,’ and they could have sung with conscious ‘civilization’ in their voices, ‘disturbing’ nobody.
But that was no night for secret prayers in that public place. The prisoners had to hear them, and they did, But not only the prisoners, even the prison foundation also heard them, and began to dance so violently that the prison house shook itself out of joints, the doors all flew open, and everyone’s bands were loosed. Amen.
There could be some prisoner neighbour of yours, long held captive in the dark night. O, that they would hear your songs through their gloom, and be encouraged by your example not to give in through despair to the powers of the night! O, that your persevering songs in spite of the overwhelming darkness might teach some despairing prisoner to hope in your God Who is able to put a song in the heart of His child in such places at such unlikely times.
Whereas they expect you to cry for your many pains, sing aloud, your faith waxing stronger in your God, in spite of your adversities. Your voice could break the chains that so long have held them down. Sing. It may be midnight, sing all the same. Yea, sing aloud. Let the prisoners hear you and receive hope as well as deliverance from their chains by the power of your songs in your midnight! Amen.
From The Preacher’s diary.