But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
─ Acts 16:25
While in Philippi, Paul and Silas were stripped of their clothes, beaten, and put in the stocks in the inner part of the prison. Can you imagine a more dismal plight?
What do you think that you would do under those circumstances? What would your thoughts be? You had only wanted to serve God. You had felt the call to take the gospel to Macedonia, and now your back is throbbing with pain; your hands, feet, and neck are fastened in the stocks. Your future is uncertain. You don’t know how serious the charges are, and you don’t know how long they are going to keep you in prison.
In this very uncomfortable situation, Paul and Silas did the only thing that made sense to them: they prayed and sang praises to God. Though their bodies were bound, their spirits were free. Instead of moaning and complaining, they turned their dark dungeon into a house of worship. Rejoicing lifted their spirits. The more Paul and Silas focused on the Lord, the smaller their problem became.
Singing takes our thoughts off of ourselves and focuses them on the Lord. The next time you find yourself shackled by worry or confusion or pain, look up. Take your eyes off your problem and place them on God. Sing to your Creator─and watch your dark prison change into a house of praise