Songs at Midnight

Jane Douglass White

READ : Acts 16:16-34

Things looked desperate for Paul and Silas. They were beaten and thrown into prison. Did they moan and groan and feel sorry for themselves? No! We are told that they “prayed and sang hymns to God” (v. 25). As a result, the jailer and his entire family believed in the Lord Jesus. We are not told how the other prisoners were affected, but we know that having the chance, none escaped, for Paul told the jailer, “We are all here.”

I can tell you from my years ministering in state and federal prisons with Prison Fellowship that many prisoners were drawn to our seminars because they heard the gladness of the praise songs we sang together. One time we gave up our classroom to Muslims for their meeting as it was the season of Ramadan. We had to meet in a hallway nearby, but it didn’t dampen our joy.

After the Ramadan worship was over, two of the Muslims came to me and asked why we were so happy. Some of their fellow prisoners told them about their hope in Jesus. Those two Muslims got permission to attend the remainder of our seminar. Though they did not express belief in the Christ, a seed was planted. All because we sang “songs at midnight” in the dismal space of a prison hall.


Father, when the darkest night threatens us, help us sing songs of praise for who knows who may be listening? Amen.