Editor's note: This is the last day of our monthly devotionals on prayer, republished from 31 Days of Prayer by Daniel Berk. Share on Facebook how this series has helped you. We look forward to an amazing year as we seek God together!
Read Habbakuk 3.
We've reached the last day of our 31-day journey. If you're anything like me, your heart is just starting to be changed and transformed from within. Don't let this 31-day jump start fill you up! Allow this to be an opportunity to grow your prayer-life even more, far beyond this book. If this book has helped you in any way, consider sharing it with a friend.
Today we read an incredible, powerful prayer to God by Habakkuk. The illustrious metaphor written throughout is characteristic of prayers of praise in the Old Testament and elsewhere. Words cannot come close to representing the truth of God, and illustrations or metaphors paint a somewhat different, sometimes more accurate, picture of who God is in comparison to us and his creation, but there is still so much to discover and learn about our God in heaven. Language fails to comprehend the greatness of God.
“Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself. Impossible. Confusing. Frustrating ... but there are other ways to understanding.” ― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind
“Emotions, in my experience, aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." I'd like to show how "intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members" connects with "the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age." I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever. ” ― Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
“Human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.” ― Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
"Words are an inevitable failure to represent that which cannot be contained, written down, imagined, drawn, or perceived. Words can only imagine those things that are imaginable, can only describe that which has been conceived, can only illustrate that which has been seen theretofore. From which starting point should description itself be described? How can creativity be created? What does it mean to illuminate illumination? There exists existence that transcends comprehension; it is there where God exists, creates, and rests."― Daniel Berk, Lifestyle Evangelism
Our prayers should be a full effort of our mind, body, and strength to conceive of God and to praise him in all of our thoughts. Use whatever words you have to praise him, and learn more words to utilize. Learn how to transcend words by using your unspoken thoughts, your actions, and your entire being to glorify him in all he is.
As the scripture in Habakkuk shows above, there is so much that God is that cannot be described with words. When we attempt to express him in all his majesty, we stop making sense. Read Ezekiel chapter 1 and see the image of the Son of Man. Words simply fail at describing the God we serve. However, as you see with Habakkuk, there are ways we can go above and beyond to be reminded of how much bigger God is than us, and how much more powerful he is than all the things that exist in the world. He is all of those things and infinitely more. He is. His name is I AM.
Write a short psalm or poem of your own. Use imagery that attempts to reach God in all his glory. Be creative. Use metaphors. Use emotion. Understand that nothing you can say or write can ever get close to who he is, but try anyway.