READ JONAH TWO
Jonah has broken his silence against God and has prayed (פָּלַל) to God from the belly of the fish. For the remainder of this week’s study, we’re going to look at Jonah’s prayer to God. Today, we’re focusing on verses 1-3.
First, read the whole prayer through – ideally, read it aloud.
Does Jonah’s prayer remind you of any other part of Scripture?
It is clear to most scholars (and to you and I!) that Jonah knew the Psalms. Jonah’s prayer to God is so intrinsically tied to the style and language of the Psalms that we can have great confidence that Jonah was very familiar with the worship manual for the people of God (which the book of Psalms, or the “Psalter” which means “hymnal,” was for the nation of Israel).
Look up the following verses. Make a note of what lines of Jonah’s prayer (in verses 1-3) are similar:
In one of his darkest moments, Jonah prays the faithful words of Old Testament poetry. When he probably felt like he had no idea what to say to God or how to break the silence between him and God, Jonah fell back on the words he likely learned as a young Jewish man – the words of the Psalms.
Let Jonah’s lesson be ours as well: when we don’t know what to say to God, we can always go back to the Scriptures. When we feel as through the weight of our sin, grief, or despair is too much to bear, we can whisper the words of the text to our God.
What passages of Scripture would be helpful to have in your “arsenal” to pray back to God in difficult times?
PRAY & REFLECT
Spend some time thanking God for His Word. Ask Him to help you hide His Word in your heart, and to help you pray His Word when you don’t know what else to pray.