|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
Successful prayer isn’t about getting what you want from God. It’s about bending your will to His, recognizing His supremacy, and reflecting on His glory. It’s an act of worship—one that knits your heart and mind to the Lord in consistent communion with Him.
Have you ever prayed a prayer from an emergency room? Have you cried out from a broken relationship or a business failure? If so, you might identify with Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish. Instead of obeying God and warning the people of Ninevah of impending destruction, Jonah had tried to run from the Lord. But God was with Jonah when the crew threw him overboard. He was with Jonah in the belly of the fish he had prepared to swallow him. He was with him in his trouble and that trouble awakened Jonah to repentance and his need of God. Beneath the waves he lost all hope. But when he cried out in desperation and despair, God heard him and rescued him. There is no place where the Lord cannot hear and respond to us—no pit too deep, no trouble too terrible, no situation too difficult for God. When we cry out to him from whatever “belly” we find ourselves in, he will answer.
Heavenly Father, how I thank You that in the deepest trouble when I cry out to You, You hear and answer me just as You did Jonah. I am glad that there is no place so dark or situation so hopeless that you cannot bring deliverance. I will offer sacrifices to You with songs of praise, for my salvation comes from You alone! I give you all my fears today and look to You for help. Do a deep work in my heart concerning those things that strike fear in me. I know that Your perfect love will cast out all my fears. Thank You for Your promise to answer me when I call to You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Jonah 2:2 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Jonah 2:2 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on Jonah 2:2 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.