17. Speed Prayer: Courage

In English, we have a construct to demonstrate a diminutive.  John becomes Johnny.  Bob becomes Bobby.  Mike becomes Mickey.  Etc.

In Hebrew you accomplish the same thing with the suffix “kuk.”  So the name Habakkuk is a diminutive of Habak.  And habak means a hug.  So by extension, this name is probably more of a nickname but it means “The Little Hugger.”

My guess is that Habakkuk was a Mercy gift who never turned down a good hug when he was a little guy and probably asked for more than were offered.  He loved to snuggle.

Based on the fact that his poetry is second only to Isaiah’s in terms of depth, complexity and elegance, we assume he was born into an upper middle class home and had access to a superlative education.  He seems to be from the tribe of Levi and was part of the choir at the Temple, writing both the music and the lyrics on at least this one occasion, but probably more regularly.

Even though Habakkuk was at his prime during the reign of Josiah, one of the finer of Judah’s kings, he still struggled with the corruption in the courts and the prevalence of gratuitous violence in the community.  As a Mercy, it violated his desire for safety for all.

He queried God, requesting an explanation for God’s passivity in the situation.  Clearly a good king was on the throne, so why was God not investing in solving the problems in the culture?

God replied that far from being passive, He had been actively growing a fairly obscure tribe into a vicious military powerhouse that would come spank the nation with intensity.

The Little Hugger was horrified at the plans and desperately appealed to God that it was not right to use a really unholy people to spank a moderately unholy people.

God was unmoved by the argument, simply assuring Habakkuk that when He was quite done using Babylon for His purposes, He would spank them much more savagely than they had spanked Israel.

So much for world history from God’s point of view.

The Mercy musician was understandably rocked.  His theology got shattered.  His sense of national security was obliterated.  His personal safety was totally stripped away.

In the place of extreme shock, he wrote one of the most majestically defiant pieces of poetry in world history.

“I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.  Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.”  Habakkuk 3:16-19  NIV

Where did that come from?

At the risk of making some people mad at me, the stereotype of middle age Mercy artists who were born with a silver spoon in their mouth tends a bit more toward being pansies than towering spiritual giants.

But The God Who Plans Ahead was preparing The Little Hugger for such a time as this, when he didn’t even know he was being prepared.

So what about you?  Got some weird chapters in your life’s journey that just don’t make sense?  Have you been drug through the rat hole backward when you were doing everything right and you never were able to understand how things turned so ugly so fast?  Do you have a finely honed body of knowledge that there seems to be no place to use?

What if The God Who Plans Ahead has read the story of your life and He was meticulously preparing you for something you never imagined could happen, and in the moment, you will find within your core wisdom and strength that came with God-speed in your time of need?

17. Speed Prayer Courage

Copyright July 2015 by Arthur Burk

From The Hub



  1. says

    These prayers were all sent so fast. . . 🙂 I am going through them, reading and listening and praying. This one just really hit me. . . . I was the middle class mercy that was drug through a hole backwards and knew all I had to cling to were the promises of God. This spoke to me and I so appreciate you writing it and praying it. Thanks so much!!! Blessings to you, jkp

    Janet Kay Pierce 918.770.2189 jkpfree@gmail.com High school math teacher

    “Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” Helen Keller


  2. Heather :) says

    Love this. God is so good. …Tickled by your description of Habakkuk. . . “The Little Hugger.” 😀
    I totally relate! Thank you.


  3. Rosa says

    This is one of my favorite prayers so far. I love reading Habbakuk, it’s one of my favorites in scripture as well. I know there have been situations in my life that have been preparation for a time when the stakes will be high. Thank you for this series of prayers and teaching.


  4. nita7932014 says

    Huge answer to prayer today. We have been working on this situation for months with no action in the legal world.


  5. Debora says

    Arthur, thank you. These prayers are a real blessing to me. You standing for us right now encourages me to take a stand myself and to keep my heart in the right place.


  6. viviennehines says

    Arthur, I have never looked at the Prophet Habakkuk, although I will say that I have often times identified very deeply with his frustrations with God. However this posit is one than I can today wrap my mind around. So, thanks.


    I have been legendary for not coming out of anesthesia well at all, as in days for recovery, BUT yesterday I had a medical procedure and before the procedure I instructed my spirit to be in total charge of me and of everything and everyone, that staff would operate at 100% efficiency during my procedure and for the day not just while I was there, not sure if that is legal and wont find out. While waiting for my procedure I hummed worship songs very quietly behind my curtained off cubicle. Well, I came out of the anesthesia in about 10 minutes. I was up, alert, my spirit felt very wonderful actually. My soul kicked in a few hours later and my body began to rally late in the day. BUT what is awesome is that I was alert after anesthesia in about 10 minutes, this is phenomenological for me. It worked Arthur, it worked. This was my first opportunity to direct my spirit in this manner. It works!!!!!!!!!!


  7. Louise says

    Good day Arthur, thank you so much for all the revelation that you are sharing with us! I recently joined and prayed over our family the posts on the Egypt curse and cleansing land and time 101! Then suddenly all on the same day beggars came to our business! When we drove into town beggars will sit in front of our car. Some we gave money and others we did not, but one even cursed us after we told him that we did not carry money with us? Arthur why is this happening?! I would love to understand! Thank you so much!


    • says

      Louise, I don’t know. My first question is whether this is God or the devil. If it is God, this abrupt shift means he is positioning you for authority in the future by bringing something to you now.


      • Louise says

        Thank you very much Arthur I really appreciate your feedback! I will ask God to reveal His will and plan for us!


  8. says

    This is one of my favorites! Thank you for the perspective you give us through Habakkuk’s life, this is very encouraging! I also like what you point out, that God prepared him without him knowing that he was being prepared. A special prayer.


  9. Joyful says

    Freeways are my “on-ramp” for worship, intercession, and all around joyfulness. Lately I’ve been witness to some things in the parking lots of stores near freeway off-ramps that turn my stomach.

    Your description of Habakkuk’s struggle with issues in the community struck a chord. Somehow it seems that God is opening my eyes to the human trafficking that runs along our freeways but isn’t yet giving me anything on the “what to do” end of the equation beyond “invite me” and “weep”.