The Prayer of Jonah

  • Home
  • Resources
  • Articles
  • The Prayer of Jonah
  • The story of Jonah is recorded in two acts. Jonah 2 is the second scene of the first act. Chapter 1 is the first scene of the first act, in which we see Jonah’s disobedience. In chapter 2, we see Jonah’s deliverance.

    Verse 1 tells us that Jonah prayed to the Lord from the belly of the fish. And verse 10 tells us that the Lord commanded the fish to vomit Jonah onto the dry land. But sandwiched in between these two verses is a psalm in which Jonah gives thanks to the Lord for answering his prayer for deliverance. Some challenge the unity of the book of Jonah at this point, questioning how a psalm fits in the middle of a historical narrative. But there is no legitimate reason to question the place of this psalm. From a literary perspective, the place of this psalm may seem odd. But from a spiritual perspective, the place of this psalm is obvious. God the Holy Spirit moved Jonah to place this psalm of thanksgiving here in order to leave on record a word of hope, comfort, and encouragement for every other Jonah: There is nothing you are into that God cannot deliver you out of. God can deliver you!

    Here is the sermon skeleton from last night’s message:

    Title: “God Can Deliver You”

    Text: Jonah 2

    Theme: The prayer of Jonah

    Point: There is nothing that you are into that God cannot deliver you out of.


    I. God can deliver you, if you pray (2:1-2).

    II. God can deliver you, when there seems to be no hope (2:3-6).

    A. God can reach you no matter how for you go (2:3-4).

    B. God can reach you no matter how low you sink (2:5-6).

    III. God can deliver you, before it’s too late (2:7).

    IV. God can deliver you, but you must trust him alone (2:8-9).

    IV. God can deliver you, because he is in charge of everything (2:10).

    Conclusion: If God can speak to a fish and make it obey him, can he not speak to your situation and deliver you?


    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.