Habakkuk opens his short book with a question voiced many times by many people: Who’s listening to my prayers? Several psalms echo the same sentiment (see Psalm 6 and 10).
We usually answer this common complaint by observing that human time and divine timelessness do not always match well. God is not limited by time. A delay to us is not a delay to God. This answer fails, however, because God the Creator established the circumstances of temporality and understands perfectly how time-bound people feel. God would no more insist that people disregard feelings about time than that they disregard the law of gravity. Both are absolute conditions of human experience.
The appropriate explanation to delayed answers to prayer is that God wills it so. God’s will is not open to human review or judgment; neither is God obligated to pick up the phone, so to speak. God hears our prayers by His own generous will, and He answers likewise. God’s wise answer may not correspond, either in substance or in timing, to our own choice in the manner. Neither is God likely to debate His will for us, as if His answer or timing needed justification.
The key to prayer is faithful communication with our Creator and Redeemer. Pray without ceasing, Paul urges (1 Thessalonians 5:17). In Habakkuk’s case, prayer took the form of a complaint concerning God’s willingness to listen. But the complaint itself demonstrates the prophet’s underlying faith. There’s no point in complaining in prayer unless you believe that God hears your prayers. Habakkuk believed this, and so should we-even when we are impatient for answers.
HABAKKUK 1:1- The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.