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Perils Produce Prayerfulness
by Mary Kate Hipp
Cue "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" from VeggieTales...
If you're anything like me, hearing "Jonah" means remembering the fun VeggieTales movie! However, the more I grow in my faith, the less vegetative this story becomes. Rather, I notice the relationship between perils and Jonah's prayerfulness. Although it seems as though the Lord allowed Jonah to suffer within the big fish, perhaps the Lord was preparing Jonah for what was to come.
Jonah's time in the whale allowed for a haven for prayer. Chapter two begins with Jonah crying out to the Lord, casting his cares and concerns upon Him. It takes a turn though when Jonah remembers the Lord. This word "remember" translates to a conscious calling to the mind, it is an intentional walk through thoughts and memories. In the depths and pit and mire of the belly of the fish, Jonah consciously called to mind the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. This which was recalled produced thankfulness and hope.
How often in your metaphorical (or literal) belly of a fish do you pray and call to mind the faithfulness of the Lord? Allow your perils to cause prayerfulness. Perhaps the belly of the fish you are experiencing is preparing you for a greater work for the Kingdom. Without this moment of prayerfulness, who is to say if Jonah would have had the faith to go to Nineveh after all? This divine suffering that produced prayerfulness allowed for the Word of God to be spread to a damned nation--Praise God!
Take Jonah's prayer and make it your own! Perhaps you are not in the belly of a whale, but alter the words to fit your walk with the Lord and pray. Get on your knees in your belly of the fish and praise the Lord.