From the Belly of Hotchkiss

November 6, 2007

For the past several Sundays I have had the privilege of attending and serving at Compass Bible Church. My brother Bobby is the high school pastor there, and I have been helping in the high school group by leading singing. Compass is a dynamic church. Their vision for ministry is aggressive. The teaching is scriptural, encouraging, and challenging.

This past weekend my brother finished a series on bibliology by talking about how the Bible should give us hope. He ended the message by taking us to Jonah 2. This chapter starts off with these words: “From inside the fish…” When you read this chapter, you are reading words that were spoken inside a fish! That’s pretty incredible.

This prayer of Jonah is full of hope, and my brother pointed out that it is full of direct references to the Psalms. This is just an example of Scripture giving hope in a dire circumstance.

Based on this chapter, Bobby challenged his high school group to write a prayer like this. So here is the Psalm-filled prayer that I put together not from the belly of a fish, but from my room in the belly of Hotchkiss:

I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

My soul clings to the dust
and from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Be still, and know that he is God.
He will be exalted in the earth!
Return, O my soul to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

My heart is steadfast, O God,
My heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

The Bible is awesome, and it should give hope to believers as it takes their focus off of temporal circumstances and on the everlasting God and all that he has done for us. The Psalms give countless examples of this hopeful process, and I was amazed at how writing this prayer helped me battle doubt and worry by focusing on the hope that I have in the Lord.

Remember, the Bible is supposed to give us hope.

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One Response to “From the Belly of Hotchkiss”

  1. Ben, this is such a great post! Thanks for the reminder to write my prayer this week and the idea to post it on my blog!

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