According to an article in Psychology Today, we remember what we want to. That’s hard for me because I’m very forgetful. I always have been. My ADD brain is usually thinking of a hundreds of things at once, so it can take a while for me to get through the haystack in my mind. I’m also a deep thinker, so it can take some time and effort to dig down deep enough to retrieve the needle. (Excuses, excuses.)
The article suggests we remember what we value. Or, we remember things as we wish they were. When we don’t remember, or don’t want to remember something as it was, we recreate the memory falsely in our mind.
Another article stated that no one remembers everything. (Whew! That’s a relief.) One of the tips this article recommends for remembering is to envision what forgetting will look like. For example, I frequently forget to turn the stove off. (Yes, I remember that I frequently forget to turn the stove off, so why can’t I remember to actually turn the stove off!) According to the suggestion in the article, we should use our senses to help us remember. In other words, I should picture what not turning off the stove would look like, sound like and smell like when, say, the house is burning down. I’ll try that – if I can remember.
In my last blog, I mentioned Christians being called “sleepy” – being busy and distracted and not praying fervently or often or regularly enough (because we’re busy and often forget), and therefore not being alert to the enemy’s havoc in the world; that we need to be proactive about prayer.
This time let’s talk about another aspect of being “sleepy” – forgetfulness. But now I’m not talking about the kind of forgetfulness when we lose our train of thought leave the stove on. I’m talking about forgetting God and what He has done for us, and what He can and will do for us through fervent prayer.
Jesus began the Lord’s Prayer with, “Our Father in Heaven, Holy is Your name.” And so we see when Jesus taught us how to pray, He began by remembering who God is – Father, Creator, Holy and separate from anything else we know. He began His prayer with worship. Unless we’re reciting the Lord’s Prayer, many times we can pass right by this important aspect of prayer as we bring Him our requests. And yet, we see that Jesus worshiped first. This reminder builds our faith as we remember God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise.
In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan states, “There is an epidemic of spiritual amnesia going around.” Yet in the Bible, God tells us repeatedly to “remember” and “do not forget.” For example:
Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children. Deuteronomy4:9 (click to tweet)
Remember the former things of old; I am God, and there is no other. Isaiah 46:9
Why does God want us to remember who He is and what He has done? Because when we forget who God is and what He has done for us, we can stop obeying His commandments resulting in unwanted consequences, we stop being thankful and worshiping Him resulting in the weakening of our faith. And when we stop remembering Him, we stop praying.
I live by notes and lists (sometimes I even forget my list – wink). I don’t know about you, but I need reminders – for everything, including prayer. There are ways to remember things we want to remember. That’s why I created an acrostic for prayer to help us remember the different elements of prayer Jesus taught in the Lord’s Prayer, like worship. Perhaps if we’re reminded of the power of God, we will remember to pray and want to pray more.
Perhaps we need to envision what the world will look and feel like without God and prayer (or just look around us).
And, to further help us remember to pray, you can receive my free download, “Ten Prayer Tips for Busy Days” here. Have you ever finished reading your Bible or devotional and gone on with your day neglecting to spend time in prayer (other than the popcorn prayers we shoot up throughout the day)? Or is that just forgetful me?
It’s so easy to check things off our list and go on to the next thing. We must pause our frenzies long enough to remember to pray fervent prayers that are effective (James 5:16). (click to tweet) Fervent prayers begin with worship. Let’s not forget to remember that, because as the article stated, we remember what we value.
I look forward to sharing with you next time another aspect of prayer that Jesus taught,
“Acknowledge Sin and Ask Forgiveness,” which results in His amazing grace,
from the acrostic in Pursuing Prayer – Being Effective in a Busy World. Make sure you
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