I will stand at my watch
and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,
and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
Habakkuk 2:1 NIV
Ever struggle with feeling socially awkward? I am well acquainted with this experience. I have DAILY social fails. Just yesterday I had a friend over and I told TWO five-minute long stories that ended with me saying “Why did I just tell that story? When I started it, there was definitely a point…”
I should probably take a class on small talk.
Sometimes that awkwardness even carries over into my prayer life. I’m not joking. Sometimes, mid-prayer, I try to picture if this is actually how I would talk to God if I were face to face with him. Most of the time I look & sound like Milton from movie Office Space…
But then this week I got to sit in on Habakkuk’s conversation with God and it was seriously the best three chapter prayer-demo vision EVER! He does three things dramatically different from my awkward Milton talking prayer:
- BE HONEST. Habakkuk even calls his questions to God “complaints.” They are bold and raw and heart-breaking. “How long, O LORD, must I call for help? But you do not listen! ‘Violence!’ I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see this sin and misery all around me? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight.” (Hab. 1:2-3 NLT)
- GIVE GOD TIME/SPACE TO RESPOND. The first verse in chapter 2 still gives me chills to read it. I love how Habakkuk is willing to wait for God’s answer as long as it takes because he trusts God will answer. “I will climb up into my watchtower now and wait to see what the LORD will say to me and how he will answer my complaint.” (Hab. 2:1 NLT)
- LET HIS ANSWER SOAK IN. Repeat God’s answer back to him in thankfulness, fully embracing the truth in what He says. Believe it. Find qualities of God himself in the God’s response: does this answer display his faithfulness? His justice? His grace? Meditate on how this answer brings you closer to God – the ultimate goal of our existence. “I have heard all about you, LORD, and I am filled with awe by the amazing things you have done. In this time of our deep need, begin again to help us, as you did in years gone by. Show us your power to save us. And in your anger, remember your mercy.” (Hab. 3:2 NLT)
Goodbye, awkward Milton prayer conversation. Hello, purposeful, two-sided conversation prayer. I can’t wait to try it out!!!
Dear Lord, I see myself get consumed with what others think of me and how they might mis-judge me. I need your help. I will wait patiently for you to tell me how I can become more confident in YOUR thoughts of me. You are more powerful than my weakness and your mercies are new every morning – let me rest in your promises. Amen.
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