“Prayer changes things.” I’ve seen that motto on bumper stickers, on plaster-of-paris plaques, on wall hangings, bookmarks and in more recent years, screen savers. The truth is GOD changes things in answer to prayer. It is not simply prayer, any old prayer offered in any old way but GOD has chosen to use this means of grace for His glory.
In Habakkuk 1:5-11 the LORD’s answer to Habakkuk’s request is recorded. How long did Habakkuk wait to hear back from the LORD? What jaw-dropping question came out of the mouth of Habakkuk as he heard the LORD’s answer? (We’ll soon find out!) The LORD answers prayer – in His perfect time and in His perfect way! The hard part for us is sustaining faith while we wait. (Psalm 130 declares a clear ‘waiting on the LORD’ and declaring our faith in His word, but that’s a topic for another day.)
I’m not sure what kind of “global awareness” this prophet had thus far in his life and ministry, but God calls him to a new “world-view.” Isn’t that evidence of spiritual growth? Doesn’t God change our thinking, call us to a new perspective in answer to the perplexing doubts, local, national and international concerns we lay before Him in prayer? Prayer is an act of surrender. It is a declaration that we are unreservedly yielding to God once again, leaning on Him and watching Him at work.
“Look at the nations and watch–
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe,
even if you were told.”
The LORD invites Habakkuk to track world events. He calls him to “amazement” and “wonder” as HE moves in an ‘unbelievable’ way. Some answers to prayer are not clearly seen by us, often because we are not paying attention. God is at work. His will is being advanced and He invites us to pray “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” that we may align ourselves with His plan.
What is GOD doing in your life, your family, your community, your country, your world? Tomorrow’s newspaper (as was today’s) unfolds a record of events, but what is lacking is a divinely guided editorial assessment. That’s where the Bible belongs as God’s truth challenges our misinformation. Another prophet reminds us that God’s ways are NOT our ways and HIS thoughts are NOT our thoughts. The gap between our mind and God is measured as that between the heavens and the earth. With a recent spacecraft landing on a comet from a flight launched ten years ago, we begin to grasp the scope of our universe.
Part of my assignment in today’s living is to pray for God’s perspective, to ask Him to show me, to teach me who He is and how He is at work. My faith needs to grow! I need to move from anthropology (the study of man) to theology (referred to as the queen of the sciences.) As I begin to catch even a faint glimpse of the work of GOD, I stand amazed.
Perhaps the motto of Oshawa, the city I currently call home, gets it right – “Prepare to be amazed!”