In Jonah, chapter 2, we read a very important prayer, which Jonah offered to God and then saved his life from death in the belly of the fish. He was in big trouble with God, as we learned in chapter 1 that he had fled from God’s presence and, up to this point, had no desire to witness to the wicked people in Nineveh. This led him to get on a boat that was heading to Tarshish, but soon being thrown overboard, because he was found out that he caused problems with the sea. He was then swallowed up by very big fish, which some assume was a wale. This leads us to him crying out to God in his afflictions. It reads, 1“then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly, and said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me. Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.” (Jonah 2:1-4) There is more to his prayer that we will go over next, but pay close attention to what Jonah said above. He admitted that God had cast him out of his sight, having run from him. But this didn’t stop him coming back to Him and praying towards the holy temple. This is what God’s followers did back then since the spirit of God dwelled in that temple. In his brokenness, he spoke of the Lord his God. This is important to note, for as we repent, it is important that we call upon the Lord our God. This shows our desire to change our wicked ways. As for Jonah, it was in his affliction, by being in the belly of the fish, that God heard him. He was not alone. We may also stray from God, but the moment that we repent and call upon His name in our brokenness and humility, does His Spirit come back in our lives like a wildfire.
Jonah’s prayer continued and he said, 1“the waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head. I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” (Jonah 2:5-10) Here we learn more about the agony and pain that he was going through, while he was in the belly of the fish. Earlier he described it being 1“the belly of hell”. (Jonah 2:2) He was engulfed in layers of water and even the seaweed was wrapped around his head. He felt like he was in prison behind bars. However, in this affliction, God brought his life out of corruption. Even as he was beginning to faint, he remembered the Lord God and prayed earnestly for help. So he began to sacrifice unto the Lord God a voice of thanksgiving. In his praise and honor to the Lord, did he also say something very significant. He said, 1“unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9) He didn’t just know that the Lord saves, but proclaimed it in prayer. It was after he said that only God could save him, is when he was vomited out of the belly of the fish and onto dry ground. So a big takeaway here is to remember to cry out to God, admit you need help, say that salvation is of the Lord Jesus, and ask Him to save you also. Then, God will answer you in your afflictions and save you from the pain you are in like he did with Jonah.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, my God, thank You for hearing my cries this day and in the past. I’ve gone through many trials and tribulations in this life, and You have always been there for me. I was never left alone, for You were there to comfort me. Even in the trials, I am going through now because of my job situation, I trust that You know best and that things will get better soon. I may not know the time table of when things will work out for my good, but You do. So I simply call upon Your Name for guidance and direction, that I may be led to the right job and no longer have to worry about financial troubles ahead. You are my supplier of everything that is good. Having a job is just a part of life, but having Your love in my life is what I can take with me into eternity. Lord, I may not have always looked to You in faith, but I am dedicated to You now. You are the Lord God who saves, and no one could save a wretch like me, but You. I deserved death a long time ago, but still, You spared my life and had compassion for my soul. Only You could see the potential in me when I could see nothing. My life ahead of me was so bleak, but You filled in the gaps until everything became so clear as to what I should be doing. It is Your great love that has called me out of the darkness and into Your light. I don’t have to worry about sin and shame plundering my life any longer, for You are with me now. I have taken Your hand and You have raised me up into newness of life. I may not have been able to serve You faithfully in the past, but I am more than capable now. If You are leading me, then nothing in this world can take me down. I love You, Jesus, more than anything this world can offer me. You are the rock upon which I stand. A firm foundation. I give You glory and praise, this day and forever. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.