Monday, April 18, 2011


Sometimes we find ourselves in a crisis that is beyond our control and all we have left is prayer. It’s beyond our control. There is nothing else you can do but pray. What can we learn in situations like that?

God uses crises to teach us 3 truths:


When Jonah was swallowed by the big fish he prayed. From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God (Jonah 2:1).

It was “from inside” the fish. He prayed from within the fish. It’s when we’re “inside” the crisis that we cry out to God with all our heart. It’s when we are under water, trapped, and in the dark. Sometimes that’s what it takes for God to get our total attention, our whole heart.

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 was totally exhausted and at the end of his rope. He had no where else to turn. Only then did he cry out to God for help.

When Jonah had turned his back on God, it didn’t bother him to be separated from God.  But suddenly, when Jonah was thrown over board, as he faced death, he found that it bothered him tremendously to be separated from God.

The most terrifying aspect of Jonah’s crisis was when he realized that God had almost given him what he wanted – to be free of his presence. Jonah wanted to run from God. Now the implications of that separation bring Jonah to repentance.


Jonah recorded in Jonah 2:2, “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry”.

How do you pray in the middle of a crisis? IMMEDIATELY and SCRIPTURALLY.
I don’t think Jonah waited. As soon as he cleared his throat he was praying. As he was sinking deeper in the sea inside the fish, he was praying. He prayed immediately.

What do you pray when you don’t know what to pray? Jonah prayed back to God what God had already said. He prayed God’s Word back to God. He prayed Scripturally. He quoted from the book of Psalms in his praying. He counted on the promises of God and prayed through Scripture.

In your crisis, pray God’s Word back to Him. That’s how we stand on what He says. That’s how we express our belief in Him. That’s how we claim His truths and promises.


And the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land (Jonah 2:10).

Growing in faith may not be a beautiful emotional experience. It may not be a spiritual high. Most of the time it’s not.

Jonah left on a ship bound for the city of Tarshish, but he didn’t return in the same way. He spent 3 days and 3 nights in the digestive system of a big fish only to be vomited up on the seashore.

The good news is that no matter how much we mess up, or how disobedient we’ve been, or how far away we get from the Lord, or whatever uncontrollable crises we’re going through – there is always a way through it when we trust and obey the Lord. And the journey through it leaves you a changed person from what you were before.

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