Sermon: “Prison Shaking Savior”
Scripture: Acts 16: 22-34
Speaker: Pastor Mick Whistler
Scripture and questions for study and reflection:
Read Acts 16:22-34.
1. Paul and Silas are praying and singing hymns after being flogged and locked in prison. How natural is it for you to sing praises to God in the midst of extremely difficult times? How natural should it be, and why?
2. How might this passage of Scripture relate to Romans 8:28? Can you think of any Romans 8:28 moments in your own life?
3. Pastor Mick talked about being in prison spiritually and emotionally, not just physically. When have you been in prison like this? What areas of your life are most likely to make you feel bound up or shackled? What’s the best way to break free (hint: what did Paul and Silas do?)
4. Pastor Mick talked about the book “They Like to Never Quit Priasin’ God,” which draws on the African American preaching tradition influenced by slavery. What can a predominantly Caucasian church such as Grand Lake UMC learn from such a book?
5. Pastor Mick told of Rev. Debo Onabanjo singing at a local pastor’s funeral. How is this similar to what Paul and Silas were doing? Why do you think this singing had such an impact on Pastor Mick?
6. Why was the jailer filled with joy at the end of this passage? How can we use the difficult times in our own lives to help others find such joy?
Prayer for the Week:
Lord Jesus, forgive me for the times in life when I have allowed my own personal struggles to overshadow my faith in you. Remind me, Lord, that in this world I will have trouble, but I need not fear, because you have overcome the world. You have already won the victory for me. Remind me of this truth often, so that I may sing your praises in all circumstances. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you, rejoicing in your saving grace, even amid my own struggles. And as I praise you in all the storms of life, may my witness and testimony help others who are lost and hurting find you and be filled with joy as they receive your grace. I pray all of this in the precious, holy and strong name of Jesus. Amen.