Text: Jonah 1:17-2:10
To remember that prayer is appropriate in every circumstance
In thanks that God has claimed you
In repentance for what you have done and left undone
JONAH IS IN THIS PREDICAMENT because he has run from God, turned his back on God, fled from the face of God. As a result of his running, Jonah is cast into the sea—into chaos, into the “belly of Sheol.” But fear not! God sees him, finds him, turns him around. Jonah has not stopped belonging to God. And if that is true, that Jonah is still God’s man, then prayer is appropriate—out in the sea, in the guts of the sea beast, everywhere.
This is a prayer asking to be turned around; Jonah says that as he swirled around in the fierce waters his thoughts were on the Temple, the place where God is encountered. As Jonah sinks down, down into the depths—into the land of the dead—he “remembers the Lord,” and his prayer rises up from the fathomless deep and comes to God. Jonah wants to turn back, return, turn around and come once again in the presence of God.
We do not stop belonging to God simply because we run from his face. Even when we find ourselves in the belly of chaos and despair, we are not beyond God’s reach and help. We can repent, seek again God’s face, trusting that our prayers, including our prayers of repentance, rise to God and find him. We can trust that God will put our feet back on solid ground.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks