Prayer Thought: Remember to Remember
“Worship is forgetting about what’s wrong with you and remembering what’s right with God.”
Remember, remember, remember! How good is your memory? Are you better at remembering your sins and screw-ups, or do you recall your successes and encouraging moments more frequently? Either way, what we remember says a LOT about who we are and Whose we are as Christians. Paul David Tripp has this wonderful quote that I wish I could rehearse every day, every hour, and sometimes every 10 minutes. He says, “No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.”
You see, we are in a constant conversation with ourselves. And we have the ability to instill disillusion, despair, and death into our hearts or we can choose to renew our minds/hearts and speak life, peace, purpose, clarity, and God’s unrelenting grace to ourselves. But, make no mistake, it takes some effort to continuously remember His goodness to us at times.
All throughout Scripture this concept of REMEMBERING occurs. Specifically, in the Old Testament, God is said to be a God who remembers. Exodus 2:24 says that God heard the Israelites’ groanings and remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Exodus 6:5 states again that God remembered the groanings of His people and the slavery they experienced by the hands of the Egyptians, recalling the unilateral and unconditional covenant He made with Abraham. God’s chosen people were protected because He remembered them and is still remembering them to this very day.
There are a few beautiful principles here that I don’t want us to miss:
- God is FOR us! He was for His chosen people, Israel, in the Old Testament and is FOR His people (Believers) in the New Testament age as well. There never has to be a time of doubt or fear for those who believe in Jesus Christ, because God remembers the sacrifice of His Son on our behalf and, therefore, declares those who call on His name for salvation righteous! Oh, what a beautiful thing for God to remember for us!
- Passages of Scripture such as, Isaiah 54:4; Jeremiah 31:34 that state, “He (God) will remember your sins no longer” have been largely mishandled and misinterpreted. It’s not as though as soon as we repent of a particular sin, God somehow gets amnesia and forgets what we did in the first place. If He did, He wouldn’t be omniscient any longer, and therefore, would cease to be God. We definitely don’t want that kind of theology floating around. The correct interpretation is that He doesn’t treat us as our sin deserves…mentioned in the last prayer blast from Ps. 103:10-12.
But isn’t this so much better than if He somehow forgot what we had done. He knows everything about us, the good, the bad, the ugly, and still gives us the grace afforded in His Son, Jesus. I don’t know about you, but I know how sinful my own heart is. For God to desire a relationship with me after He knows every sin past, present, and future before I even know them is nothing short of miraculous. I then have the opportunity to preach this joy, to remember how forgiving God is, to remember Christ’s sacrifice that was in no way in vein, which bolsters my faith and trust in a God who truly loves me.
- Somewhat already stated in #2, remembering helps me see how sinful I am and just how much I’ve been forgiven. When I realize just how much I’ve been forgiven I am more conscious of how I need to forgive my other brothers and sisters in Christ. I, in no uncertain terms, “take the log out of my own eye” before pointing out the speck in my fellow believer’s eye. This is a humbling act of remembering to treat others with dignity and respect rather than judgment and criticism.
How can these few principles benefit our personal prayer lives? Think about how God’s grace in REMEMBERING you has directly impacted your life. Now, pray with a heart filled with gratefulness and thankfulness, recounting all the ways He has blessed you through this concept of remembering.
Let me know how your prayer life changes this week on account of God’s faithfulness to remember you.
Heavenly Father, thank You for remembering me. Thank You for remembering me even through my sin, guilt, and shame and drawing near to me anyways. I pray that with each passing day I would really focus on this concept of how You remembered me…how You rescued me from the bondage of sin and death and brought me into joyous fellowship with Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, it is only because of Your sacrifice that I have a life of any kind. May I remember to bring You all the praise and glory even in the 10,000 small moments of every day. In Your Mighty name, the name that remembers me, Amen!
Pray this way 3 times this week.
Clayton J. Elliott, Kontaktmission USA
Director of Pastoral Ministries and Prayer