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Fine-Tuned Prayer

Habakkuk 3:This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: 2 I have heard all about you, Lord I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. The prayer of this prophet is filled with complaints about what is happening in their time. His first complaint was found in Chapter 1 verses 1-4 1 This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision. 2 How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save me. 3 Must I forever see these evil deeds? Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. 4 The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted. that God has not answered his prayer about the ungodly conditions, and then to his surprise, God answers by telling him He will use Godless Babylon to punish His people.

If you have ever prayed and not really gotten the answer you were looking for, then you can relate to Habakkuk and his concern and disgust. The second complaint was in Chapter 1 verses 12-13 12 O Lord my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal— surely you do not plan to wipe us out? O Lord, our Rock, you have sent these Babylonians to correct us,

to punish us for our many sins. 13 But you are pure and cannot stand the sight of evil. Will you wink at their treachery? Should you be silent while the wicked swallow up people more righteous than they?

Here is the Lord's answer to his complaint. 4 “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God. 5 Wealth is treacherous, and the arrogant are never at rest. They open their mouths as wide as the grave, and like death, they are never satisfied. In their greed, they have gathered up many nations and swallowed many peoples. The problems of his day were many and Habakkuk was frustrated and hurting because life seemed so unfair. When we go through things that are frustrating for us and seem unfair, our best move is to trust God and also ask Him to give us peace and strength.

Habakkuk does have a realization of God's love and faithfulness and in Chapter 3 he wakes up to the fact and reality of God's presence. Habakkuk 3 shows his prayer to God and his ongoing realization that God is in the works. I love this prayer by a prophet who was very real and very honest in his thoughts about God. Read these verses and see if they don't encourage you. This fine-tuned prayer came out of a situation that was certainly beyond anything Habakkuk could do to remedy the situation. Habakkuk 3:1 This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuk: 2 I have heard all about you, Lord. I am filled with awe by your amazing works. In this time of our deep need, help us again as you did in years gone by. And in your anger, remember your mercy. 3 I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. 4 His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden 5 Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. 6 When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills He is the Eternal One!

Life at times can seem so unfair and we wonder where God is in all that is going on. That is what causes us to fine-tune our prayers and voice our concerns and hurt over specific problems that we are facing. When we realize that God is doing work beyond what we can see and understand the work God is doing causes our prayers to be very specific. We being to realize there is a whole lot more going on in this Big Picture mentality where we are driven to trust God in all of it.

We can trust God and the following story illustrates this truth really well.

One day, while my son Zac and I were out in the country, climbing around some cliffs, I heard a voice from above me yell, "Hey Dad! Catch me!" I turned around to see Zac joyfully jumping off a rock straight at me. He jumped and then yelled, "Hey Dad!" I became an instant circus act, catching him. We both fell to the ground. For a moment after I caught him I could hardly talk.

When I found my voice again I gasped in exasperation: "Zac! Can you give me one good reason why you did that???"

He responded with remarkable calmness: "Sure...because you're my Dad." His whole assurance was based on the fact that his father was trustworthy. He could live life to the hilt because I could be trusted. Isn't this even more true for a Christian?

What is your Fine-tuned prayer that arises from the situations of your life? Speak it to God because He is listening and moving.

The Pilgrimage Continues...

David Warren

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