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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for November 20, 2017

<i>Jonah Leaving the Whale</i>, by Jan Brueghel the Elder, ca. 1600.
Jonah Leaving the Whale, by Jan Brueghel the Elder, ca. 1600. (See Full-size.)



299 people in our community are currently praying with you.

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


If Christ carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brothers and sisters that He will carry you. Glory be to God.

Prayer for the Morning

Dear Lord, please give me the patience to make it through this busy day with all the hustle, demands and distractions of modern life. Let me find the quiet time to hear your voice and feel your calming presence. I ask this in your son's name.


The Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision.

Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.



[The broken heart is the healed heart.]

Blessing of Mark

O  Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.

Jonah and the whale, "and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land".
Fresco in the ancient Holy Trinity Church, western Ukraine.

Christian Education

Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that Sunday School is intended to ease them of their personal duties. The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

~ Katherine Walden

Blue Latin Cross

Jonah 2 (ESV)

Jonah’s Prayer

Then Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from the belly of the fish, saying,

“I called out to the Lord, out of my distress,
    and he answered me;
out of the belly of Sheol I cried,
     and you heard my voice.

For you cast me into the deep,
     into the heart of the seas,
     and the flood surrounded me;
all your waves and your billows
     passed over me.

Then I said, 'I am driven away from your sight;
    yet I shall again look.'

The waters closed in over me to take my life;
     the deep surrounded me;
weeds were wrapped about my head
    at the roots of the mountains.
I went down to the land
     whose bars closed upon me forever;
yet you brought up my life from the pit,
     O Lord my God.

When my life was fainting away,
     I remembered the Lord,
and my prayer came to you,
     into your holy temple.

Those who pay regard to vain idols
     forsake their hope of steadfast love.

But I with the voice of thanksgiving
     will sacrifice to you;
what I have vowed I will pay.
     Salvation belongs to the Lord!”

And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.

Notes on the Scripture


onah’s prayer, in the form of a psalm, is laden with meaning and makes unmistakable metaphor of the entire incident. He directly compares the whale to Sheol, the Hebrew concept of hell. But oddly, he does not treat his own disobedience or sinfulness, nor speak directly of his odd circumstances. It is a general psalm, praising God for his mercy in saving a man from the punishment inflicted on him by the world.

Jonah spends three days in the whale’s belly, just as Jesus would spend three days in death before his resurrection. It is said that Christ descended into hell during that time, in order to offer salvation to all those who had died before His coming.

So Jonah becomes, with this prayer, an important prophet of the Messiah, for his song is a statement of confidence and thanks: that God will rescue those who have been condemned by the forces of earth. We do not have to stretch far, to say that the inescapable sinfulness of mankind is the product of being created to live on earth, or that sin comes from our mortal incarnation.

Jonah contrasts people who worship idols, because they have forsaken their “hope of steadfast love.” But for those who worship God, that steadfast love will come to save them from the pit (of hell), even though God’s wrath has put them there. Thus Jonah specifically, if indirectly, prophesies the three days following the crucifixion, when Christ will offer His salvation to those who have already died.

And immediately after, we get the wonderful last line, “the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land.” He is saved from his destruction, as the faithful dead would one day be saved in the three days of Jesus’ death.

endless knot

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Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

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