Bible Society of South Africa
Hennie Symington

Prayer – Day 4

Praying even in the worst of times

Bible text(s)

17Even though the fig trees have no fruit

and no grapes grow on the vines,

even though the olive crop fails

and the fields produce no corn,

even though the sheep all die

and the cattle stalls are empty,

18I will still be joyful and glad,

because the LORD God is my saviour.

Habakkuk 3:17-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

17pray at all times,

1 Thessalonians 5:17GNBOpen in Bible reader

The litany of complaints concerning the times we live in is endless. There’s hardly a person you come across who isn’t fed-up with the way things are going — in their marriage, in their job situation, in the country’s affairs, and in the state of the world. Of course, there’s plenty to complain about. There are wars and uprisings springing up in an already volatile Middle East and terrorists plotting to destroy as many people as they can, while natural disasters such as global warming, floods and earthquakes make us even more anxious. When you watch CNN and BBC, you cannot be blamed for thinking it cannot get worse.

Well, the bad news is these complaints are nothing new. And if you need reminding of this, read the words of the prophet named Habakkuk who took his complaints right to the top when he demands of the Lord: “How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2a). But does he complain just for the sake of complaining? No, he waits for God’s answer. This was a two-way conversation.

God answered that wickedness would be punished at its appointed time. Meanwhile “the righteous will live by his faith” (Habakkuk 2:4b). God tells Habakkuk to cling to his promises no matter how dark the days: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14).

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