Summary: In our desperate times we often pray as a last resort. God may answer but how much greater would it be if prayer was our first impulse?
1. An older lady lay ill in her bed. Her family had gathered to encourage her. Her daughter said, “Mama, we’ve asked the preacher to come and pray for you.” The lady replied, “O no, has it come to that?”
2. In the story of Jonah:
a. God is concerned about Nineveh – Jonah is not
b. The storm shows the pagans’ concern for Jonah
c. God turned Jonah back to Him and his mission with the great fish
d. Jonah was successful once he surrendered to God
e. Irony – Jonah appreciated God’s grace in the shade but not in saving people
f. The story ends and we don’t know if Jonah opens his heart to God or not
3. Let’s focus on his prayer in Jonah 2:1-10
I. Just Like Jonah, God Has Called Us to a Mission
A. A SHOWING Mission – 1 Peter 3:15 in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
B. A SERVING Mission – Mark 10:45
C. A SHARING Mission – Matthew 28:18-20
II. Just Like Jonah, We Resist Our Mission
A. We Have Areas of Discomfort
1. People we dislike
2. People with whom we disagree – Israel and Assyria; Israel and Samaria
B. We Have Times of Discomfort
1. When we are angry
2. When we are selfish
3. When we resist God’s direction
C. Solution – Love as God Loves; Love Neighbor as Self
[PraYukon and Beyond in October//Blesseveryhome.com
[Prayer Conference 9.21.19 8 AM- 1 PM
1. There is a Tarshish in your life
2. There is an Open Door with your name on it what will you do?
III. Just Like Jonah, Gives Us Course Corrections
A. Through Trials – James 1:2 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
B. Through God’s Direction (Jonah’s Call)
IV. Just Like Jonah, We Have ONE Place to Turn (Jonah 2:1-10)
R. T. Kendall put it this way, he said: “The belly of the fish is not a happy place to LIVE, but it is a good place to LEARN.”
A. God Had Jonah’s Attention
B. Aspects of His Prayer
• 2.1-3 Nearness and Greatness of God
“I called out to the LORD, out of my distress,
and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
and you heard my voice.
• 2.4-6 – Hope in and Mercy of God
6b -- yet you brought up my life from the pit,
O LORD my God.
• 2.7-8 – The Focus on God
7 When my life was fainting away,
I remembered the LORD,
and my prayer came to you,
into your holy temple.
• 2.9-10 – Salvation of God
9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving
will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
Salvation belongs to the LORD!”
1. We ALL have our desperate times –
In his book “Growing Strong In The Seasons of Life” Charles Swindoll recounts the story of an airliner in 1968 bound for New York that began its descent when the pilot realized the landing gear had refused to engage. After several attempts the to engage the landing gear, pilot knew he would have to do an emergency landing. The landing was only a few seconds away when suddenly the pilot announced over the intercom: We are beginning our final descent. At this moment, in accordance with International Aviation Codes established in Geneva, it is my obligation to inform you that if you believe in God you should COMMENCE PRAYER.
2. We “Call out” to God in times of desperation as Jonah
3. To “Call Out” = utter a loud sound
• When you are lonely – you can pray “Lord you have said in your word that you would never leave me nor forsake me.”
• When you are afraid – you can pray – “Lord you have assured me to fear not.”
• When you are in need – you can pray – “Lord you said that you would meet all my needs according to your riches in Christ Jesus”
• When you need forgiveness – you can pray – “Lord you have said that if I would confess my sins you would be faithful and just to forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.”
4. We ALL have our desperate times – why wait for those times to begin praying?
a. Pray for your neighbors as well as yourself
b. Use our Prayer Conference as a way to learn to pray