• “Whoever believes and is baptized...” (Mark 16:16)
Acts 16:16-18 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future.... This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
•• They were “going to the place of prayer,” just like Peter and John in Acts 3.
• It is probably a safe assumption that Paul and his companions were praying, too.
• The lesson is that prayer conquers demonic strongholds and opens people to receive the Gospel.
Acts 16:26 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.
•• “Everybody’s chains came loose.”Your seeking God and praising Him can affect others around you.
• A “ripple effect” of God’s blessings to you spreading out and touching others around you.
• Remember — “the other prisoners heard them.” Paul and Silas were not secret disciples.
Acts 16:27-28 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
•• This is merely my speculation, but Paul may have sensed “in the Spirit” that the jailer intended to kill himself. It was dark (see vs. 29) and the jailer was in another room (vs. 29).
• If indeed Paul did sense this by the Holy Spirit’s revelation, it shows the importance to effective personal evangelism of being in a spiritual frame of mind at all times, even in jail!
•• Interestingly, we see that Paul was more concerned with the jailer’s wellbeing than with his own escape!
• Other-centeredness reaches people for the Lord.
Acts 16:29-31 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved — you and your household.”
•• The jailer “fell trembling” — our lives and testimony, and God’s dealings in our lives, can deeply affect others for the Lord.
•• “What must I do to be saved?” — Years ago, I had a total stranger walk into my church office and say essentially the same thing. I had the privilege of leading Him to "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21) and to the joy of receiving forgiveness of his sins and entrance into the family of God.
• Pursue the Great Commission and expect responses like this.
•• “Believe in the Lord Jesus...” — don’t clutter it up. Keep the soul-winning message simple.
• Then help them with an appropriate “sinner’s prayer”.
•• “You and your household” — network evangelism. Oftentimes family members or clusters of friends accept the Lord in groups.
Acts 16:32-33 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized.
•• “Then they spoke the word of the Lord...” — always help them base their decision on the Word.
• When one person accepts Jesus as Savior, ask him if he would like to have you help him share the Good News with his family and friends. The new convert’s credibility with them opens the door for you to minister.
• Let your soul winning efforts be upbeat, positive, and full of the joy of the Lord.