When my endurance was weakening,
I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
to your holy temple.
Those deceived by worthless things lose their chance for mercy.
But me, I will offer a sacrifice to you with a voice of thanks.
That which I have promised, I will pay.
Deliverance belongs to the Lord!” -Jonah 2:7-9
Jonah prays to God from the belly of a big fish. It’s a typical “I’m in a pinch” prayer: O Lord, get me out of here and I’ll do whatever you want. I’ve prayed these from emergency room waiting areas and on the sides of highways and all kinds of places in between. How about you?
Jonah’s prayer is a confession of faith. He thought he could deliver himself, get himself out of God’s guidance for his life. He also thought he could avoid helping God deliver the Ninevites, who were not on his list of favorite people. But in this prayer, Jonah acknowledges, “Deliverance belongs to the Lord!”
Not to Jonah to keep from himself or others. Not to me or you. God rescues with abundant grace, and that’s God’s business. Our part is to let ourselves and others get delivered.
Hear my prayer from wherever I am today, O Lord. Help me to remember you in all things and at all times. You have set me free too many times to count, and I thank you! Amen.
Make a list of the times God has been there for you in a tight spot. Share at least one of these times with a friend or family member who does’t know this part of your story.
Write or draw a prayer for the next time you are feeling tired or scared like Jonah. Put it in a special place together so you can take it out and pray this prayer when you need it!