No one said praying where we need to would always be easy.
The theme of the freezing day on the ocean was disappointment. Always wanting to see a whale, I embarked on a whale-watching trip out of Bar Harbor, Maine. We saw a few finback whales from a distance. Not exciting. Where’s the massive tail? Can’t they jump out of the water and smash down?
Sitting in my seat, I felt the captain slow the boat and then tell us to watch. On the left side of the boat, a humpback whale emerged and fed on krill. We could see its massive mouth open and slowly shut before the whale slid back into the water.
I was stunned, thinking about the size of the boat and this leviathan’s mouth. It was a Jonah moment. How could Jonah have survived in the stomach of a fish? What was it like inside with all the krill, maybe some fish, and a lot of cold water? Considering my issues with heartburn, how did the whale’s stomach acid not consume Jonah? And Jonah had the presence of mind to pray to God? I’d be calling the Coast Guard if not the Discovery Channel.
Jonah demonstrates we can pray anywhere and anytime. God listens to prayers not only from a beautiful sanctuary but also from a hospital room, a funeral home, a courtroom, or even a whale’s belly. The place is not important, just that we lift prayers to Him.
Sometimes we limit ourselves by only praying in the “right place.” Jonah shows us the right place is wherever we feel the call to prayer. Maybe we are on the road and see an accident. Perhaps we’re sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting for a diagnosis—which, by the way, can feel like a whale’s belly.
Pray wherever you need to, especially when you need a larger boat.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Andrew Hart grew up in Wayne, Pennsylvania. He attended college at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Feeling the call from God, he then attended Princeton Seminary. He has served churches in South Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania. He has published several articles on PTSD, won awards from the Civil Air Patrol, and was a Guthrie Scholar at Columbia Seminary. He is a former chaplain for the Civil Air Patrol and currently serves the Chambersburg Hospital as a chaplain.