Part 3 - Growth Through Prayer
PART 3 - GROWTH THROUGH PRAYER
Prayer is essential to the Christian life. But so often prayer becomes whittled down to memorized dinner table lines and recited prayers in services.
PRAYER CAN BE DIFFICULT FOR US: WHY?
• The ongoing excuse of “time.”
• Selfish reasons for praying.
• Lack of spiritual discipline.
• Feeling awkward.
• Fear that prayer doesn’t do anything.
PRAYER IS POWERFUL — DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?
Let’s return to our friend Jonah, who we left in the raging sea.
After he’s thrown into the ocean, he’s swallowed by a great fish, and the story picks up here in chapter 2.
Jonah 2:1-10 (WEB)
Then Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God, out of the fish’s belly.
“I called because of my affliction to Yahweh.
He answered me.
Out of the belly of Sheol I cried.
You heard my voice.
For you threw me into the depths,
in the heart of the seas.
The flood was all around me.
All your waves and your billows passed over me.
I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight;
yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
The waters surrounded me,
even to the soul.
The deep was around me.
The weeds were wrapped around my head.
I went down to the bottoms of the mountains.
The earth barred me in forever:
yet have you brought up my life from the pit, Yahweh my God.
“When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Yahweh.
My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple.
Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving.
I will pay that which I have vowed.
Salvation belongs to Yahweh.”
Then Yahweh spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land.
• What can we learn here from Jonah’s prayer?
• He believes and knows that his God will hear him.
• In his time of great distress, he is in open communication with God.