Jonah Turns to Prayer

John Koedyker

READ : Jonah 2:1-6a

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish . . . (v. 1)

The evolution of Jonah the prophet continues in chapter two. This initially disobedient servant of God, who ran the opposite direction when God called, is starting to remember who he is. We saw earlier that, albeit feebly, he did witness to the sailors about the God he worshiped. Now in these verses we see Jonah remembering to pray.

This was not your typical prayer—a bit of thanksgiving and praise, a few petitions for the sick. This was a prayer of desperation. Jonah was in big trouble. In fact, he was a goner. He didn’t have a chance unless God intervened. The old saying, “There are no atheists in foxholes,” comes to mind. When faced with imminent death, Jonah cries out to God.

Sometimes you and I have times like that. Our backs are against the wall. There seems no way out of a situation. And we think about praying. Or maybe we don’t even think, we just pray. We need help. And amazingly, God answers.

I read a great quote the other day that Bill Hybels mentions in one of his books. It goes like this: “When we work, we work. When we pray, God works.” If you want God to work in your life, pray!


Lord, teach us to pray. Amen.