"Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish." ~Jonah 2:1
Prayer. One of the most beautiful gifts that God has given to us. A way to converse with the creator. A way to give praise, a way to lift sorrows. Sometimes we scream out for absolute joy! And other times we scream out in abject pain. That’s where Jonah found himself, there in the belly of that great fish. I wonder how one could survive, not just physically, but emotionally being completely separated from the world, with no obvious means to change the circumstance?
Prayer. Prayer became the answer to that question for Jonah. Jonah says that out of Sheol, God heard his voice. Perhaps Jonah was thinking of David’s psalm “if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” In the depths of our anguish, in the middle of despair, God is there. And that is one of the most beautiful things about prayer and about God. No matter the circumstances, God is there and we have the tool to use to converse.
Prayer. Not just for those times when we are at rock bottom, but for all times. I think back to chapter 1 of Jonah and how when God called on him to go to Nineveh, Jonah ran. I wonder, what would have happened if Jonah had prayed instead? And this is where I often find myself. There are paths placed before me, crossroads where a decision must be made, and I find the human parts of me start breaking it down into it’s logical part, the strategic part of my mind starts looking for the bigger picture, all in an effort to make the best choice. And it is often much later that I remember, I should have prayed about that first.
Prayer. Loving God, no matter where we go, no matter what we do, no matter the circumstances before us, You are there. Help us to always remember that. And help us to always remember that You, as our loving Creator, is always ready to hear us, to provide council, to walk the journey alongside. Grant us peace in that knowledge, calm our fears, and smile on us as we walk closer with you. Amen.