Prayer, Salvation and Hospitality

In Your Bible: Acts 16: 11-40

Paul and Silas reached the city of Philippi, a major city of Macedonia,
and stayed for several days. The many events there reveal God’s grace on them. The Spirit softened people’s hearts to receive Christ as Savior. . . and hospitality resulted.

Lydia

In Philippi, there were no synagogues, so Jews often used the riverside as a place to gather for prayer. Paul and Silas went to the riverside on the Sabbath to meet people and join in prayer. There they met Lydia, a God-fearing woman and a merchant of purple cloth. Paul spoke to her about Jesus.

She listened with carefully to what Paul said, the Master gave her a trusting heart—and she believed! After that, she was baptized as well as everyone in her household. Lydia immediately extended hospitality to Paul and Silas.

The Jailer

Again, when Paul and Silas went to a prayer meeting by the riverside, they met a demon possessed slave girl and cast the demon out of her. This made her owners very angry. . . due to their loss of income. Under false charges, Paul and Silas were brought before a judge who had them beaten, stripped, and taken to prison.

The jailer put them in stocks and chains. Along about midnight, Paul and Silas were at prayer and singing a robust hymn to God. The other prisoners couldn’t believe their ears. Then, without warning, a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose (Acts 16:25,26 Message).

The jailer saw doors open, chains loosed and assumed all the prisoners escaped. But none left the prison. Badly shaken by this and he went to Paul and Silas and led them out of jail!

He exclaimed, “Sirs, what do I have to do to be saved, to really live?” They said, “Put your entire trust in the Master Jesus. Then you’ll live as you were meant to live—and everyone in your house included” (Acts 16:30,31 Message).

Paul and Silas told the Gospel story to the jailer’s family. He dressed their wounds and extended hospitality to them. His entire family:

  • Put their trust in God
  • Was baptized
  • Celebrated with a festive meal

The Spirit softened people’s hearts to receive Christ as Savior. . . and hospitality resulted.

Prayer: Father, thank you for giving me the gift of eternal life through Jesus.

Questions: How does Paul’s approach in Macedonia differ from their speaking in the synagogues? How important is hospitality in giving thanks to God?

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