Chat with us

Date: 14 April 2024

Skewed Priorities – Part 2

Despite an encouraging 2014 study conducted in the USA by “Pew Research Center,” indicating that 68% of Christians pray “at least daily,” why do I get the idea that what that means for most believers is “having an urgent conversation.”

In other words, we pray when we’re in trouble, enduring a trial, encountering an obstacle, facing a challenge, suffering a loss, and feeling overwhelmed, but when we are experiencing smooth sailing, prayer isn’t nearly as important to us. We established last week, in the first message in our series, “Skewed priorities,” that the prophet Jonah was literally experiencing the very opposite of smooth sailing. A violent storm was threatening to tear the ship that he was travelling on to pieces.

This was, of course, a difficulty he had brought upon himself. Instead of going to preach against the Assyrian city of Nineveh as he’d been instructed to by God, he headed 180° in the opposite direction, to the city of Tarshish. Terrified that they were about to die, the ship’s crew asked Jonah what they should do to calm the storm. He suggested that there was only one thing to do – they needed to pick him up and throw him into the sea – something which they eventually did do, albeit reluctantly, and after first trying to row their way to shore.

Jonah was right. The minute he hit the water, the raging sea immediately grew calm, prompting the heathen sailors to revere God, offer sacrifices to Him, and make vows to Him. In the meantime, Jonah disappeared beneath the surface, and as we read last week, ended up in the belly of a huge fish which had been provided by the Lord. And what did Jonah, the errant, defiant, deliberately disobedient prophet of the Lord do inside the belly of the fish? Why, he prayed of course.

This week we'll see and learn from him as he: 1. Prays in the belly of the fish 2. Is puked up on dry land by the fish, and 3. Preaches to Nineveh.

Back to Messages