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Praise God!

Read Acts 16:25-34

Around midnight, as Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to the Lord - and the other prisoners were listening - suddenly there was a great earthquake; the prison was shaken to its foundations, all the doors flew open - and he chains of every prisoner fell off! Acts 16:25-26 (TLB)

Roberto Alonso Rodriguez, from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has usually made a point to arrive early to worship so that he has time to listen for God's message for him. But then his church began playing praise music ahead of the service - music Roberto was not familiar with and really did not enjoy. So he started arriving just prior to the sermon, thinking this was the only thing he needed from God.

One Sunday the sermon was based on Acts 16:16-40. The story of Paul and Silas in prison spoke directly to his heart. Rather than dwell on their pain and suffering into the night, they began to pray and sing praises to God! That message had a powerful impact on Roberto. Praise is a sign of love we can always offer to God, who is faithful, generous, and compassionate. More than that, praise is the affirmation of God's love for us.

Moving forward, Roberto began to join in every praise song, whether he was familiar with it or not. Later, he would search the internet for the less familiar songs so he could learn them. Now he doesn't want to be late for worship because he doesn't want to miss the songs of praise. Being present and fully prepared to participate is something he has come to value - and enjoy!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, attune our hearts to worship you in spirit and in truth. May we all find joy in praising you, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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