A Prayer inspired by the prophet Zephaniah

Sovereign LORD,
we know that a time is coming,
the great day of the LORD,
when You will stretch out Your hand
to judge the nations of the earth
and sweep away everything
from the face of the earth.

We tremble before You, LORD,
for who can truly stand in that day?
We seek You, LORD our God,
we seek righteousness and we seek humility
that You might shelter us on that day,
and save a remnant for Your name.

In this present day, we also tremble
over the distress that has come upon us.
Our strength is demolished
and the streets are deserted.

But You, LORD our God, are with us;
a Mighty Warrior who saves us.
Show forth Your great delight in us,
and in Your love rejoice over us with singing.
Remove from us the grief of our losses
and restore our fortunes before our very eyes.

All this we pray, through Jesus Christ,
to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit
be all honor and glory, now and forever.
Amen.

Turning to God in Troubling Times: a five-week study on Habakkuk

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This past weekend, I continued our series “God in the Ruins: The Message of the Minor Prophets” at Eastbrook Church by looking at the prophet Habakkuk. You can watch the message here.

I also wanted to share a five-week series I did on the book of Habakkuk in 2015 entitled “Turning to God in Troubling Times.” Each of these messages dives into topics of fear, faith, trouble, worship, and what it looks like to be a person of God in the midst of distress. I am loading the video links for each message of this series below.

Part 1 – Crying Out When God Seems Absent


Part 2 – Suffering and the Surprising Plans of God


Part 3 – Talking with God When Pain Looms Large


Part 4 – Faithfulness in a Confusing World


Part 5 – Singing the Songs of God’s Salvation

A Prayer for Distressing Times inspired by the prophet Habakkuk

LORD God, you are our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in times of trouble.
In these days, we are deeply aware
of just how greatly we need Your help.

We see the pestilence that stalks at night
and the plague that destroys at midday.
Like Habakkuk, we say to you,
“How long, Lord, must we call for help?”

Be our refuge in the gathering trouble;
be our strength amidst feeble bodies.
Teach us to dwell in the shelter of Your presence,
and to rest in the shadow of Your might.

And even if the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vine,
grant us, God our Savior, great joy in You
as we tread upon the heights by Your power at work within us.

All this we pray, through Jesus Christ,
to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit
be all honor and glory, now and forever.
Amen.

A Prayer inspired by the prophet Nahum

LORD God, King of the earth,
You have created all peoples
and reign over all the nations
that inhabit this earth.

When the nations rage
and put themselves forward as mighty,
You still have the final word,
promising to put all the prideful in their place.

Although tempted to trust in our own strength,
we turn to You, even as the psalmist says,
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God’ (Psalm 20:7).

Teach us to live with trust
in light of the prophet Nahum’s words,
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).

All this we pray, through Jesus Christ,
to whom, with You and the Holy Spirit
be all honor and glory, now and forever.
Amen.

Talking with God When Pain Looms Large

This past weekend at Eastbrook Church I continued our series “Turning to God in Troubling Times” drawn from the 7th century B.C. prophet Habakkuk. This week, we walked through Habakkuk 1:12-2:1, where the prophet lifts up his second prayer of complaint to God. I offered special attention to the idea of standing at the watchtower of our lives in waiting on God.

You can view a video of the message and the accompanying outline below. You can listen to the message via our audio podcast here.

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