March 6th 2010

Revive The Work

9th of a series of studies from Habakkuk

“Renew them in our day, in our time make them known…”

Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV UK)

How do we begin our prayers?

Habakkuk began one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible by thinking about the work of God. “Lord”, he said, “I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds” (3:2). The New King James Bible puts it this way, “O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!” Habakkuk’s prayerful response to crisis is to ask for a revival of the work of God.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he began with a focus on God’s work. He reminded them of their shared relationship with the sovereign God, with the phrase “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Then he referred to the work: let God’s name be revered, let his Kingdom come, let his will be done. In the early church people prayed for the work. For example, Paul prayed for “the work of faith in power” among the Thessalonians, “that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified among” them (1 Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJV). The work of God is this: “to believe in the one whom he (God) has sent” (John 6:29 NIV UK).

Many of my prayers begin by my going on about my situation and praying in detail about my family members and friends. And then praying about my daily concern for the church. And giving thanks when I remember to, which is not always. Nothing particularly wrong about that. I guess in one way it is praying that God will work in people’s lives. But Habakkuk guides me in a slightly different direction. What a mess my country and people are in! Nothing is what it should be. Sin abounds. Truth has fallen in the streets, as another prophet said somewhere. What we need is a revival of the work of God! I should pray about that when faced with the crisis before us.

Let’s pray for the work of God.

Prayer

O Lord, revive your work in the midst of these years. In Jesus’ name.

Amen

Study by James Henderson

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