Jonah For Kids Part 2

Jonah Prays

Begin by reading Jonah chapter 2, either in your own Bible or one online.

Have you ever put something off that you didn’t want to do? It might have been homework, washing the dishes, cleaning your room, mowing the grass or any number of things. You planned to do it later, just not right then. Later the job has gotten bigger so you really don’t want to do it. If you keep putting it off then the assignment will come due, you will run completely out of dishes or the grass will be so tall it is almost impossible to cut. Sometimes we know what the right thing to do is but putting it off until later keeps making things worse.

When we read through Jonah chapter 1 last week we noticed that lots of people were praying. The men sailing to Tarshish quit praying to their gods and started praying to the Lord God when they learned the storm was because of Jonah; but at no point did Jonah himself pray. If the thing you need to do is talk to someone putting if off too long can make it awkward. Whether it’s a grandparent, a friend or someone else, speaking to someone we have been avoiding can be uncomfortable. When we go a long time without talking to God, the first thing we have to do is ask forgiveness for not talking with him in so long. It was wrong to wait, now it’s weird, and then on top of all that the only reason we are doing it is because we need to ask for something. Do you know anyone that only comes by or calls when they want something? If we don’t like other people doing that to us we should not do the same thing to God.

Jonah knew the storm at sea was because of him but he did not pray to God. When he was thrown overboard perhaps he thought he would die. Even when he was swallowed up he may have thought for sure that was the end. Only after three days in the fish’s belly did he finally pray. God called him to preach at Nineveh and was not going to let Jonah simply walk away. Jonah’s prayer, even from the belly of the great fish, went up to the throne of God. Everything in Part 1 went down; down to Joppa, down in the ship, he laid down to sleep and was later thrown down into the sea. But his prayer went up, all the way up to God in heaven. We are never so far from God that he cannot see our needs or hear our prayers. He heard Jonah’s prayer and then spoke to the fish. Then the fish spit him up onto dry land.

There is an old saying that goes “When all else fails, pray.” That is terrible advice. Jonah went through one trial after another as God tried to get his attention. If we only pray when all else fails that means we tried everything else we could think of first. Prayer should not be our last resort. If we begin each day in prayer, if we seek God’s will and ask for his blessing, our will not attempt things on our own that end in failure. It is never too late to pray but there is no reason to keep putting it off and wait for things to get worse.

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