Prayer in our house is as common as opening the refrigerator. Desiree, our four children, and I make time for prayer in the morning and at night as a family, especially with the two older ones. As I am dropping the oldest two off for school in the morning we say a prayer. When we have our evening meal together as a family we pray our meal prayer and give thanks for the blessings of the day. Finally, at bedtime we pray one final time together. I have heard my two oldest children say that they recite the prayers we pray with them when they are on their own. We encourage them to pray on their own, whenever they feel the need to be closer to God.
I have been working on reading the Bible from cover to cover. I have gotten through Micah so far in the Old Testament. I started reading some time late last spring. Abraham, Moses, David, and many more relied on prayer to bring them closer to God. I believe that in order to share the Light of the World, we have to be plugged in to the electrifying Word. There is only one Word that I am taking from the Bible and that Word is a man and his name is Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament we get glimpses of the loving and merciful God as well as the pain God feels when His people abandon His ways. When I get to Heaven, I want to have answers when St. Peter quizzes me on the Bible. I have read so many books in my lifetime…doesn’t it make sense to read the Bible??
Recently, I was moved immensely by Jonah’s prayer in 2 Jonah. One of the most amazing aspects of reading the Bible is that the conflict, concern, and prayer to cure those are all applicable some 2500+ years later.
This prayer is extremely powerful. Here is Jonah’s prayer:
1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. 2 He said:
“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.
3 You hurled me into the deep,
into the very heart of the seas,
and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
from your sight;
yet I will look again
toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,
the deep surrounded me;
seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you brought my life up from the pit,
O LORD my God.
7 “When my life was ebbing away,
I remembered you, LORD,
and my prayer rose to you,
to your holy temple.
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
9 But I, with a song of thanksgiving,
will sacrifice to you.
What I have vowed I will make good.
Salvation comes from the LORD.”