“Let us pray…” When we hear those words our response is conditional, expected and routine. We know to bow our head, close our eyes and tune our hearts to God and His Will. Our prayer then follows a typical type of pattern; concern for self, concern for others, praise of God, or request for something.
While studying this final prayer of Habakkuk I found myself thinking about some of the “great” prayers in the Bible.
- Hannah’s Prayer of Praise - 1 Samuel 2:1-10. When Hannah received the child she begged God for, her first instinct is to praise the One who provided. She wants to thank Him for His greatness and His deliverance. Too often we pray before receiving, but then forget to pray after God answers.
- David’s prayer for deliverance - Psalm 3. This prayer provides a concise portrait of crying out to God in the midst of great stress. David’s words are no less relevant to our modern workplace and lifestyle as they were to his battles.
- Jonah’s Prayer for Salvation - Jonah 2:2-9. We may never be swallowed by a great fish, but we can still experience the shame and regret that Jonah felt after he ran from God. The prophet’s plea to the Father provides a rising scaffolding for our own prayers of repentance. And remember that God heard and answered this humble, honest prayer.
- The Lord’s Prayer - Matthew 6:9-13. This prayer is the true classic. Most of us have said this prayer and could likely recite it right now. But there’s much more to this model that Jesus gave us than rote recitation. This is a prayer with real power: God’s kingdom coming, God’s will being done, all that we need for the day. It’s truly power packed.
Then there is today’s prayer - Habakkuk 3:1-19. Habakkuk prayed because he was overwhelmed by God’s splendor. “I stand in awe of Your deeds” (Hab. 3:2). He had seen a vision of the greatness of God, recorded for us in verses 3–15, and this vision left him weak and helpless (v. 16). All he could do was cry out to God. “Let us pray…” Pastor Jeff