Jonah 2

1 Jonah had not apparently prayed during the storm, but after being in the fish he finally does.
2 Obviously being in the belly of a fish for this time was very distressing, and Jonah cried out to God for mercy and forgiveness. Jonah felt as if he were calling out from the grave itself. The prayer is written in past tense indicating that it was written after the experience (the "then"s in verses 1 and 10 confirm that these events are sequential). Verse 6 shows that God must have assured Jonah at some point that he would certainly survive the ordeal.

It is comforting to know that God hears us, even when He disciplines us. It is likely that we will endure the full measure of discipline, but we can be assured that God is compassionate and will continue to work His assigned purpose through us.

3 Jonah knew that he was in the sea, and probably that the storm he had encountered passed by.
4 He probably felt like he had been rejected and hidden from God's site. He had sinned and deserved to die, yet he had an assurance that he would live through the ordeal. He did not know if he would ever return to see the Temple in Jerusalem, but he was certain he would be able to pray towards it (1 Ki 8:38-39).
5 Some speculate that Jonah was dead inside the fish, but this verse indicates he was only near death. Even if he was not claustrophobic, his cramped conditions could have given way to despair. Three days and nights inside the fish fully awake (at least at times), would have given Jonah time to ponder his disobedience, God's rebuke, and the second chance he would be given.

He was aware that he was in the depths of the ocean and had seaweed wrapped around him, probably from the fish's eating along the way. Certainly the fish seemed like a tomb and the seaweed was like grave cloths. Jesus illustrated His own death as being similar to Jonah's experience except that He would be in a rock tomb on land with cloth grave cloths (Mat 12:40).

6 It is interesting that Jonah knew that from the ocean floor, the land and mountains would look as if they were rooted there. One could imagine that being surrounded by these, they could appear like bars - perhaps like one who is standing in the middle of a forest. The allusion is undoubtedly abut death, and Jonah felt as if he had died and been brought to life again. Jonah acknowledged that it was God who saved him.
7 While Jonah was despairing inside the fish, he prayed. Jonah had previously thought that he could escape to Spain to get away from God, but he learned that God could both find and hear him, even in the depths of the ocean. Obviously, Jonah's voice could not be physically heard in the Temple, but Jonah learned that God transcends space. He is not confined to any one place because He is everywhere.
8 Perhaps after watching the crew pray in desperation to their lifeless idols and contrasting that with the real and effective acts of God, Jonah confirmed that idols had no power at all. He came to the conclusion that those who worshiped idols forsook the mercy that God freely offered. Jonah, in contrast, though he had been unfaithful still received God's mercy because he knew God.
9 In response to God's mercy and attaining a second chance, Jonah recommits his life to the Lord. He will not merely go through religious routines, but he will be truly thankful for the salvation he received from God. He would not sacrifice in any attempt to appease or persuade God, but in true worship.
10 During all this time, God was directing the fish towards land. After the three days and nights were completed, the fist swam ashore at God's command and vomited Jonah up.