Summary: One of the most powerful prayers ever uttered came from a desperate preacher that found himself in a unbelievable situation. YOU will learn how to pray when the storm is beyond your control.
FERVENT PRAYER FROM THE BELL OF A FISH
We come the theme -- Character’s that build Character.
We will park in Jonah 2 and discover a desperate prayer from a desperate Preacher who was cast into the sea and swallowed by a big fish.
Jonah 1:17 unequivocally states, “7 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
The Lord appointed and prepared this fish to catch and swallow Jonah alive. IN the normal course of human events, men catch fish – Here we have a fish catching a man.
This is all orchestrated all be the hand of God. It was a divine miracle God saw to it that the fish appeared at just the right moment in just the right place, with just the right appetite to swallow Jonah.
SO Jonah goes from a nice nap on a boat headed for Spain to being tossed in a treacherous sea and spends three days in the occupancy of a fish’s belly.
Can you imagine what it was like INSIDE THAT FISH? I have a vivid imagination.
It’s dark, you can’t move around very much, the fish is swimming constantly, salt water washes over you, seaweed wraps around your body, and unidentified objects knock against you.
The big fish eats other fish and you have the seafood of whatever the fish has eaten floating all around you.
One other thing. Can you imagine how much it must has smelt. The inside of a fish really stinks. It’s greasy, slippery, slimy and the fish is trying to digest you.
This was not on his itinerary. This was not on his to do list on his way to Tarshish.
The worst preacher or missionary that has ever lived finds himself in a life or death circumstance. Notice how Jonah feels.
Jonah 2:1 says, “From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.
Jonah cries to God for help. “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help,
It is amazing how prayer becomes significant to us when we are in trouble.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.
Jonah is a desperate man praying a desperate prayer.
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.
The Pilot worked the controls back and forth, trying again and again to unlock the landing gear but had no success.
He then asked the control tower for instructions as he circled the airport.
Responding to the crisis, airport personnel sprayed the runway with foam as fire trucks and other emergency vehicles moved into position. Disaster was only minutes away.
The passengers, meanwhile were told to place their heads between their knees and grab their ankles just before impact. It was one of those “I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me” experiences that led to many tears and even a few screams of despair in the cabin.
The landing was only a few seconds away when suddenly the pilot announced over the intercom: We are beginning our final descent.