The Story Behind: Midnight Hour (Hallelujah)
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.” Acts 16:25-26
The Midnight Hour
It’s hard to wrap my mind around the horrific night that Paul and Silas had to endure. They had been stripped and beaten. Acts 16:23 says that after they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison. With their feet bound, hands chained and surrounded by other prisoners, Paul and Silas sat in darkness. This was not a good night for them. I know it’s not the same but sometimes I’ve felt tormented in the middle of the night. Nights of sleeplessness, when my body just won’t rest and fear and worry grip me like chains. They are not physical chains but they bind me and keep me from the peace that I know is mine. I’m not sure how long Paul and Silas sat before the midnight hour. I wish I knew what they decided to pray and sing. Whatever it was, it pleased God so much that the ground shook, the doors flew open and chains came off. Not only did they come off of Paul and Silas but off of everyone in the jail! Even the jailer was set free that day. He and his whole family were saved! It is so powerful when we praise God.
Praise Changes Things
In 2011, my husband and I had our first appointment to see our new baby in an ultrasound. This was going to be our third child so we knew the routine but wasn’t prepared for the technicians bad news…beautiful baby but no heartbeat. I remember hearing the words in my head “sovereign”. “Sovereign” wasn’t a very comforting word at the time. We walked into the doctor’s office, he gave us his condolences and I said a bit awkwardly, “God is sovereign”. He looked at me and said, “Yes, but it still sucks”. We went home and thoughts of doubt ran through my heart and my head. Had I missed God’s will for my life? If God could heal, why did He let this happen? What did I do wrong? What sin caused this? This had to my fault! I wrote many dark songs in that season but nothing that lifted my head.
However, after a while of letting myself morn, I decided to go into my garage, a.k.a. my prayer closet, and I just started praising God. I’m sure it sounded awful. It was hard to get words out from all the tears but as I started to praise something happened. I could feel the fear and unbelief fall off of me like physical chains. The same thing that happened to Paul and Silas happened in my heart. Chains that were binding me and keeping me from moving forward with God’s plans for my life fell off. The chorus to this song “Midnight Hour (Hallelujah)” poured out of me in this season. I just began to sing it over and over. Peace rested on me as I thought about God’s sovereignty. That I could trust Him, even when I don’t understand. Romans 8:38-39 tells us about how nothing can separate us from God’s love. I could rest in His sovereignty. He loves us. So whether the midnight hour to you is any time of day where you are having a hard time finding peace or just a circumstance that has left you feeling in the dark, I pray this song helps you lift your head, gives you peace and hope for the future.