When we pray to the Lord, He may respond immediately, or He may take a long time to respond, or He may never give an answer. The life of Habakkuk demonstrates a life of prayer and how to dialogue with the Lord while waiting patiently and rejoicing in Him.
– What’s the goal of prayer? How is this idea enforced by the translation of the name “Habakkuk?”
– What complaint does Habakkuk “pray” to the Lord? What’s the Lord’s answer? What’s worse–receiving no answer from the Lord or receiving a word you don’t like to hear? Is there a clear word from the Lord that you may have dismissed because you didn’t like the content? Spend some time revisiting that word.
– Hab 2:1. Habakkuk stands and waits after complaining about the Lord’s first answer regarding the coming of the Chaldeans (Babylonians). While we wait, we can expect 3 types of responses from the Lord. What are they?
– How does the fact that these 3 chapters spanned Habakkuk’s entire lifetime give you a perspective about God’s timetable vs man’s timetable when it comes to answers to pray? It takes time to hear the Lord and when He does speak, it takes time to accept His word–do you agree or disagree? Read 2 Peter 3:8-9. Why does the Lord delay?
– Ask God questions but don’t question God. Explain this statement. Why is it dangerous when we begin to question God? Remember to whom we are praying–we are praying to Almighty God, who is not a peer, who is not accountable to us. How does this change your attitude when it comes to prayer?
– What is the Lord’s second answer to Habakkuk’s second complaint? [Hint: God describes the fate of the Chaldeans.] – Read Hab 2:4. The righteous will live by faith. This verse is quoted twice in the NT (Rom 1:16-17 and Heb 10:37-39). We have a greater revelation than Habakkuk did. Take all these verses and explain Hab 2:4 in your own words.
– Read Hab 2:5. How is arrogance linked to restlessness? Habakkuk is learning how to rest. How has the Lord been teaching you to rest? Explain how Hab 2:13 describes God’s judgment. How is the Lord setting you free from this kind of endless laboring?
– Explain Hab 2:14 in your own words. When will this day come? What’s the danger of Christian triumphalism? What if God answered Habakkuk’s prayer and caused repentance and revival on every person living in Judah during his day? How long would that have lasted and what percentage of the world would’ve been filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord?
– Read Hab 3:12-13 and Rom 16:20. As people of the new covenant, we know the fuller picture. Explain how these passages are connected.
– Read Hab 3:16-19. Things are going from bad to worse, yet faith and worship are being birthed. Nothing changed in his circumstances, yet all is different. What must have happened during his prayer time? How can you apply these verses personally and corporately?