Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jonah's Prayer

Most people miss the prayer Jonah prayed in the belly of the sea creature because their worldview won't let them get past the "whale."

I, on the other hand, find the God of Creation (an a priori belief) can intervene in anyway God chooses. So, I'm not hung up on the impossibility of the event and can move to the record of what happened while the running saint was in the sea creature. I invite you to join me there.

Phillip Yancey, in his book Prayer, talks about "prayer grammar." Like learning to speak, we can learn to pray by mimicking those who are more well-versed in the practice than we are. Jonah's prayer in a tight spot can give us some words to pray when we find ourselves in such a place.

You can read his prayer in Jonah 2:1-9. Let's learn to pray like Jonah by following this simple process:
  • Take a minute or two and read the prayer.
  • Read it a second time and find words and pictures you can relate to his prayer.
  • Read the prayer a third time and allow the rhythm and content of his heart's cry become your own.
  • Now, pray a prayer in your own words to reflect the sentiment and worship of his prayer.
Some argue that Jonah was just bargaining with God and was trying to get out of a messy situation. (To which I can truly relate!)

Whether or not that is the case, the bumbling prophet's words still guide our hearts to the God of the Universe upon whom we can call upon when life swallows us up and turns out the lights.

Let us pray.

If you would like to hear my message on this passage, you can hear it here.

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