Prayer, intercession, calling out to God from within the depths our own hearts and souls with groaning that cannot be understood…
At various times in our lives, our cirumstances often dictate how we pray. I’m sure when Jonah was first thrown overboard and swallowed up by a giant fish he was relieved and scared all at the same time. The Lord “provided” the fish for Jonah. See Jonah 1:17. I would bet his repentance was in the first several seconds of being eaten alive. I’m sure the circumstances of the next 3 days and nights dictated a different kind of prayer.
Jonah 2:2 lets us in to see how Jonah prayed,
“In my distress I called to the LORD,
and he answered me.
From the depths of the grave [a] I called for help,
and you listened to my cry.
I’m learning I can run from God but I cannot out run Him. In fact, I don’t even think God tries to chase any of us down. I am beginning to think that our running from Him actually catches up with us on its own -through our circumstances. I look at the various times I have run from God and I can see the destruction that has followed. There have been many times when I decided to do plan B because somewhere down the road I thought plan B would help me accomplish plan A. WRONG!
In fact, look at Jonah 2:2 one more time. Jonah prayed, “In my distress…” The distress he caused himself by not doing what God told him to do in plan A.
The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you. (Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 7).
I got up this morning and knew I had to get up and go cry out to Him. I want answers, I want a word from Him, I want Him to speak to me, and I want Him to deliver me from the circumstances I find myself in today. Today, I call out to Him out of my distress (the distress I brought on myself). I remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
I have an anticipation of the future – that’s a good thing. I am calling out to God not so that I can obtain those things but rather so I can know Him. I’m sure many of us feel the same way with a different set of circumstances. It’s time to get on our knees and seek the Father. For some, life has never been better. For those of you who are experiencing that I ask you to get on your knees and intercede for the many who are in need of seeking God… the many who are in need of a miracle from God.
I’m reminded of the intro to a song by Jerusalem on the live Album… “I am a warrior, you are a warrior, in the Army of God. Stand up, take your sword, take your shield, and start fighting – don’t sit down.” No matter where you find yourself today: On dry land living life, in the belly of ship sound asleep (Jonah 1:5), or in the belly of a great fish… it’s time to take your sword, take your shield, and start fighting – PRAY!