As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city. They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone's bonds were unfastened.
I recently came across a modern day story that paralleled the famous story in Acts. It was a fascinating story of a young 10-year-old boy who was kidnapped and threatened with serious bodily injury by his kidnapper.
The young man's name is Willie Myrick. The boy was outside his house taking care of his dog when he saw some money on the ground. When he went to pick up the money, a man grabbed him and dragged him into a car. The man drove young Willie around and told him to keep his mouth shut.
While Willie was in the car, he began to sing a song by Hezekiah Walker entitled Every Praise! Young Willie continued to sing the song over and over out loud to his captor. According to the press report, the kidnapper told Willie to shut up and to quit singing that gospel song! Willie refused to comply and he continued to sing his favorite song to the Lord, not knowing what his fate may be. After numerous threats, the kidnapper could not take the singing anymore and released Willie on the side of a road far from the spot he was abducted. The young boy was denied help by a stranger but another person came to his rescue. Willie was returned to his family and gave God glory for his miraculous deliverance.
Young Willie is great example of praising God no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in. Good or bad, God is always with us, leading us in His way! As we strive this year to draw closer to God, let us be mindful of Willie's courage and faith and let every word and action of ours be a praise unto our great God!
Stay Holy, My Friends!