A friend of mine who is a gifted prayer warrior relishes the opportunity to pray for the needs of others. He and I are in a Bible study group together so I’ve had the opportunity to hear him pray out loud many times over the last few years.
Recently I began to notice a pattern to my friend’s prayers. He always starts his prayers with an attitude of thanksgiving as he invites the Holy Spirit’s presence. He proceeds to petition God for whatever the particular need is for the person he’s praying for. Towards the end of his prayers he always mentions how God answered personal prayers for him – almost like he was reminding God of previously answered prayers. Initially I thought my friend to be very self-absorbed and I wondered why he always felt the need to bring up his personal business with God. I began to think, “Geez, does every prayer always come back to him?”
What I’ve since learned and been humbled by, is the fact that my friend is doing what the Lord commands us as believers to do– remember. I did a simple word search on Biblegateway.com and found over 250 Scripture references containing the word “remember” in the New Living Translation.
Remembering God’s promises is also the subject of a new book I’m reading by authors Rob and Lisa Laizure, entitled “Remind Me, Remembering the Promises of God in Difficult Days.” In the book the authors’ state, “We live in a world where we are plagued with very real fears, doubts and struggles. In a world weighed down with conflict and trials we tend to forget that God is sovereignly in control. “Remind Me” will remind us of the promises of God!”
As much as I love the subject of this new book, it makes me realize I’ve fallen short in this area of remembering what God has done in the past. This realization prompted me to adopt a new tradition in my family that I read about on Facebook (which is of course, the source of all wisdom). This tradition is very simple and only requires a jar (or a box), a stack of “Post-It” note pads and a pen.
For the upcoming year I’ve instructed my family to write down and date every answered prayer and stick it in the REMIND ME jar. No matter how large or small the answer to a prayer might be – it goes in the jar. The purpose of this new tradition is for us all to gather one year from now on Christmas Eve to read all of the answered prayers in the jar that God will surely answer in 2015.
A lot can happen over the course of one year. Most of us are good at forgetting the many things God does for us on a day-to-day basis. Sure, we remember the BIG answers like someone’s healing or salvation; a big raise or new job, but do we remember the little things like asking God to give us peace during a difficult trial or asking for a good grade on a test?
Christmas is a time for remembering the birth of Jesus who offers salvation for all mankind. Rather than getting caught up in endless complaints about the busyness of the season and spending money we don’t have, why not make the season about the simple act of remembering? A year from now we can empty our jars and be reminded of God’s sovereignty and the many answered prayers. What a Merry Christmas it will be!
But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. Psalm 77:11 (NLT)
Blessings in Christ and as always, Happy Reading! Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year,