Arise! 5 Keys to Jonah’s Prayer

Apply for that job, Karen.

I don’t want to, Lord. It’s too big. I don’t know how to do all that’s required.

Week after week, notices appear. Delete. Delete. DELETE!

OK …

Has God told you to do something you’d rather not do?

God told Jonah, “Arise and go to Nineveh.” He went the other way.

Jonah got on a boat to Tarshish. But God had other plans for Jonah. He sent a storm. The men prayed to their gods, but the storm prevailed. They asked Jonah to pray. He told them that he was the reason for the raging sea.

Throw me overboard.

The sea grew calm.

A great fish swallowed Jonah. There was Jonah in the stomach of a fish for three days and nights.

Jonah’s prayer

When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
Those who pay regard to vain idols
forsake their hope of steadfast love.
But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the LORD!
Jonah 2:7-9

  1. He remembers the Lord. He remembers how God has worked in the lives of the Israelites, and he fills his prayer with Scriptures. In his distress, he calls out to the Lord (Jonah 1:2, Psalm 18:4-6). God cast him into the sea and the waters passed over him (Jonah 1:3-5, Psalm 42:7, Psalm 69:1-2). And more.
  2. He knows that God hears his prayer. If we turn our hearts to God and cry out to Him to save us, He will. Psalm 4:3; Psalm 34:17; Psalm 55:17; Psalm 145:19.
  3. He acknowledges his sin. Jonah now realizes that fleeing God’s plan for his life is like worshiping an idol. It is choosing to disobey. It is choosing what I want rather than choosing what God’s goodness has prepared for us.
  4. He chooses to thankfully sacrifice his will for God’s will. At one time, Jonah might have told God that he would do whatever God asked him to do. He will now fulfill that vow.
  5. He realizes that salvation belongs to the LORD! Salvation does not belong to man. Only God can save. Only God can deliver.

With that, the fish vomits Jonah out of its belly and onto the shore.

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city and call out against it the message that I tell you.” Jonah 3:2

This time, Jonah obeys, and Nineveh turns to God. God shows mercy, and Jonah’s knowledge about God’s gracious lovingkindness is confirmed.

I applied and got the job. God stretched me like no other time in my life. And His gracious and compassionate care wrapped me in His lovingkindness.

We called out to You, Lord, for guidance, and You heard us. We have been like the idolators, worshiping our desires, rather than Your perfect plan for us. We rejoice in thanksgiving as we humbly present our bodies to You as living sacrifices to do Your will. There is no one like You. You are God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega, our Salvation. We bow before You and rejoice in Your name. Amen.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

God is telling you to arise.
What’s His plan for you?
Please share.

One response to “Arise! 5 Keys to Jonah’s Prayer”

  1. […] Arise! 5 Keys to Jonah’s Prayer — Walking Together in God’s Promises […]

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