“Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the fish’s belly” Jonah 2:1 Both the devil speaking into Jonah’s mind along with the natural, logical reasoning of man could have easily convinced Jonah that it was too late for him.
- “You should have prayed before going onto the ship. You should have prayed on the ship. You should have prayed when the captain called you. You should have prayed when you were dropped into the sea. The Lord could have saved you, even when the fish swallowed you, but now it is too late. Now God cannot help you, even if He comes down from heaven, it is too late for you, Jonah”
But Jonah said, “My God will answer. Salvation is of the Lord.” The devil and men will discourage you, but don’t give up. Put your faith in God and you will see God at work in what appears to be impossible circumstances.
Jonah remembered the Word of God in his prayer. He quoted Scripture (Psalms). Though he was in the deep sea and in the belly of the fish, the Word of God was in his heart. It is always good to quote Scripture in your prayers. Having Scripture in your heart strengthens you in prayer and in life. The obstacles in life can become stepping stones to fervent prayer.
Jonah confessed his sins to the Lord. “Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight” Jonah 2:4. This is also what we must do. Repent, admit our sins and look to the holy and righteous God for mercy. He is rich in mercy, He pardons and He saves.
Jonah prayed with thanks. “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed” Jonah 2:9. From the belly of the fish he began to thank the Lord. He had perfect peace when he prayed, confessed his sins, and called upon the Lord for mercy. He remembered the experiences of great men of God and began quoting them in his prayers. He thanked God for hearing his prayers and requests. Prayers of faith and confession always lead us to praise God.
He prayed with confidence and declared his trust in the Lord. “Salvation is of the Lord” Jonah 2:9. There was no one to hear his prayer. There were probably lots of questions in his mind and the darkness of unbelief tormenting him, but he still declared, “Salvation is of the Lord.”
Jonah’s prayer is an encouraging model for prayer. He declared his faith and confidence in circumstances that were hopeless. Jonah seemed to be too late in turning to God. But the Lord did speak to the fish and it obeyed by vomiting Jonah onto the shore. Jonah’s prayer was answered and he responded by being an obedient servant of God. This is what happens as a result of prayer. The Lord used Jonah, after all his mistakes, to inspire the greatest revival of the world in Nineveh. More than 120,000 people were redeemed. How wonderful to pray sincerely even if it is late!