About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. (Acts16:25-34)
Beating with a bundle of rods was a severe Roman punishment. Afterwards Paul’s and Silas’s backs would have been gashed and bruised. With their feet also held tight they did not sleep, but prayed; and in their faith praised God who had thought them worthy to suffer in this way. What to say? Jesus Christ had also suffered for them on the cross.
And God showed his power. The earthquake broke the prison doors all the way to the inner part, and the ropes or chains of the prisoners were unfastened.
The terrified jailer expected bodily death from the Roman authorities. But Paul answered his question, ‘Believe; if you and your family believe in Jesus Christ, you will be liberated from future suffering.’