My Kind of Prayer

images-1Though I like the way Jonah prayed in Jonah 2:1 (“prayed”), I love the way he prayed in 2:2 (“called”). Let me explain.

The Hebrew word “pray” in 2:1 has more of an official sense to it. Nothing wrong with this kind of praying (like the secret kind of praying mentioned in Matthew 6), but it is just more routine. Scheduled. May be we call it disciplined praying.

However, the word “called” in 2:2 has the connotation of a 9-1-1 call attached to it. “This is an emergency!” is the idea behind this word. Maybe we call this disaster praying. And who of us hasn’t prayed that way, eh? Sure, we all have at times. Truth is, I have often discovered that disaster praying can often be my most effective communication in certain situations. I’m cutting to the chase and begging God for help! No pretense, show, or religious jargon; I’m drowning and all I can do is cry out, “Help me God!”

Kind of reminds me of the story of three pastors who, while at the office one day, were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background. One of the pastors shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong—the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.

By this time the phone man couldn’t stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected, “I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground.”

Jonah would agree.

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