Remembering is a vital part
of worshipping a gracious God
Remember . . .
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God,” says Num. 15:41.
Think back, for just a moment to a vivid memory. First day of school – remember the smell of glue, and paper, the pigtailed girl in front of you. Remember the color of the walls in that classroom, the sound of the teacher’s voice.
Remember something else, maybe a tragedy – Sept. 11, 2001. Do you know where you were when you heard the news? Do you remember the room, the people who you were with? Some of you reading this article may remember me as I remember you at that moment, since I was at an associational officers meeting in Wright City.
Do you remember your salvation story? Every once in a while, I ask my kids (who are now grown), “Tell me about your salvation experience.” Why? Because I want them to remember.
It is interesting how our Creator made our memories. He didn’t make it chronological; this is why it is very hard to remember a calendar appointment in the future – because that is not our natural wiring. This is the same reason that you can, in the blink of an eye, remember your past from infancy to yesterday, accessing that data in a nanosecond. If we were chronological in nature – we would have to rewind the data – which could take weeks or months to access.
But because of the random-accessibility of our memory, we find that one of the greatest uses for memory is that of a worship-enhancer. A huge use of this powerful tool is to memorize Scripture, taking in volumes of the Holy Word and allowing it to consume us. If you are not memorizing Scripture actively – I urge you to do so, it is one of the most powerful weapons the worshipper can have in his arsenal against the evil one.
Perhaps though, the greatest use of memory for the worshipper is to remember what God has done for them. In our prayer life, it would not hurt us, as we speak to the Lord, to verbalize our remembrances of His goodness back to Him. It’s powerful. Take King Jehosophat for example. In 2 Chronicles 20, when praying for deliverance from the imminent threat of the Moabites, Ammonites and Meunites – Jehosophat remembers the last 1500 years …
“Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, ‘If disaster comes upon us – sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine – we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir – whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them,” says 2 Chron. 20:7-10.
In just three sentences, the good king reminds God, and more importantly himself, of promises, moments of deliverance, and even how at one time God protected the same intruding enemy from Israel.
Did God know this? Sure. But isn’t praising God telling Him things that He already knows? For instance, when a child reaches for their father, with uplifted arms, you know the father already logically knows that he is larger and stronger than the babe – but what a feeling to hold and protect the little one in his arms.
In our prayer life, are we remembering? Or is it just a list of wants and needs – maybe a quiet time should include a quiet moment of remembering.
God knows that He created heaven and the earth. He remembers that He delivered Israel out of Egypt. God painfully relives the day He sent His Son to die for you. He gleefully recalls the angel’s rejoicing the moment that He saved you. God knows that He delivered you from danger, gave you the spouse of your heart. He knows all – He simply wants you to …
Remember. (John Francis is the Worship Specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and produces MoWorship, a monthly worship podcast available at www.mobaptist.org/worship.)