“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them; and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.” Acts 16:25-26
In Luke 11 a friend comes to a friend at midnight because he has no bread. Even though he has nothing to give his midnight visitor he knows someone who does. He goes to this rich friend and after shamelessly, persistently knocking on his door, he secures provision for his other friend. Jesus said that this was how prayer worked and said that if we keep on knocking, seeking, and asking, the Father will give the Holy Spirit to us in a way that will reach our friends who have no bread in their hour of need. The point is to stay connected in friendship with unbelievers and don’t be discouraged if they don’t seem to be responding right now because midnight, the darkest hour, will come to their lives at some point, and then they will seek someone who they think might be able to help.
In our text Paul and Silas could easily have been despairing. While they were evangelizing, doing the very work God had told them to do, they were thrown into prison and chained up. They could have easily fallen into doubt and asked the question: “Why did God let this happen?” The Scripture mentions that it was “about midnight.” Maybe you’re in the middle of some dark circumstance right now and at the end of yourself. You have a choice just like Paul and Silas did.
They decided to trust God in the midst of their circumstances and began to pray and worship instead of grumble and complain. God’s response is astounding. There was a supernatural earthquake whereby the prison doors all opened and everyone’s chains fell off, yet no one got hurt. He is the God of midnight. When man is at the end of himself and there seems to be no hope, God is there, waiting to set people free and bring them to Himself.