A God of Second Chances #2


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Take a minute or two and sit quietly with God.  Let your mind go towards situations where you are experiencing blessing and also where you are experience trial or God’s absence.  Try not to dwell on either of these, but simply allow them to arise and pass as you consider God’s presence with you at this time.

Now consider Jonah’s situation. God has told him to prophecy to Israel’s enemy, Assyria, and Jonah has refused and tried to escape in a ship to Tarshish. A great storm arose and at Jonah’s request, the sailors toss him overboard and the storm ceases.  A great fish swallows Jonah.  Jonah then prays to God, as recorded in Jonah chapter 2, verses 1-10.

Considering Jonah’s prayer of thanksgiving in the whale, where are you experiencing gratitude? It’s easy to focus on everything that is wrong, the suffering, pain, and disappointment we experience daily, yet are we welcoming gratitude to hep us live in a world that isn’t as it should be? 

Read this prayer through once slowly, paying attention to places where you relate personally to Jonah’s prayer.  Sit quietly with God for a minute, then reread the prayer, even more slowly this time, stopping briefly at those places where you personally connected the first time through.

Sit quietly again for a minute or two.  Now jot down what the prayer means to you.  You can have Jonah’s predicament in mind, or a situation that you currently find yourself in.

Can you  thank God for something happening with you right now?  If so, you might spend a few minutes thanking God for this and anything else that comes to mind.  If you find yourself stuck focusing on difficulties and problems, if God seems absent, lift these up for you and God to both look at.    Pray for whatever you need and for God to be with you in these trials.  But then consider Jonah’s situation.  How do you think he could pray this prayer after everything that happened to him.  What would it look like for you to do something similar?  If something comes to mind that you are thankful for, go ahead and thank God.

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: spiritual.practices@annarborvineyard.org.

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