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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Too Important to Not Remember

"Like a bird singing in the rain,
let grateful memories survive in time of sorrow."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

As I work through the book of Numbers, today's post is out of order with yesterday's. It's presented as part of the Blog Carnival hosted by Peter Pollock at Rediscovering the Church on the theme "Remember."

Too Important to Not Remember

"Command the children of Israel, and say to them, 'My offering, My food for My offerings made by fire as a sweet aroma to Me, you shall be careful to offer to Me at their appointed time.'
~ Numbers 28:2 (NKJV)

"Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you."
~ 1 Samuel 12:23 (NKJV)

Something too important to not remember has entered my life.

While recently visiting with a friend I sensed distress. As I gently probed, I learned of deep hurt. My heart ached with compassion. We talked. We prayed. Then as I prepared to say, "I'll be praying for you," I knew in my spirit this would not comfort. The words are said often among Christians, but prayers for one person are often forgotten when supplanted by new concerns.

So I boldly spoke something which immediately filled me with fear that I wouldn't follow through: "I'm going to be praying for you every day."

I prayed and fasted that night and the next morning. I prayed again the next night. I wrote the prayer down on the cover of my prayer journal instead of an inside page. I resolved that I'm going to be lifting up this person in prayer every morning and every night until resolved, so that if that one morning or night comes along when I forget, I will still daily pray for a matter too important to not remember.

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

In Numbers 28 and 29, the Lord outlines the many offerings of sacrifice to be made for six annual feasts, every new moon (new month), every Sabbath, and every evening and morning. He called them a zikkar├┤n—a memorial or remembrance. The Lord is too important to not remember. He did wonderful and mighty things to prove Himself trustworthy. But memory of the past is soon supplanted by the moment's anxiety and fears for the future if we do not actively commit to remember.

How have you seen the Almighty's hand of blessing in your life? Is a sacrifice of thanksgiving offered to Him so regularly that you remember His faithfulness in the face of new concerns?

Does the grateful memory enable you sing His praises in even a storm?

Almighty God, how is it that we should know You as our loving Abba? Thank You for caring for us so tenderly and so completely. Please draw us to remember You often, from the heart.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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  1. I pray for certain people every day. When I see them I feel like I'm seeing a superstar, I've been holding them up before the throne so often. It's a wonder in only my eyes since they have no idea I pray fro them so often and I would never want to tell them other than the initial I'll be praying for you. I almost hate saying it, it does sound trite as if it's something we're expected to say. It is after all isn't is? But the follow through is the real reward. The best part is the Lord listens and always answers, and since I pray His will be done, I'm always content with the outcome.

  2. Thanks for sharing this very important post, love you my friend.

  3. Sometimes I wonder if our third child came to us because of or in light of prayer. I am thankful. I am thankful, God.
    ~ Wendy

  4. That's a beautiful quote and a good reminder ...

  5. It's so easy to say "I'll pray for you" and then not do it... I do that all the time.

    Great post and great reminder, Anne!

  6. T. Anne, one of Heaven's joys will be seeing the results of our many prayers, and finally knowing who was praying for us when we could feel ourselves uplifted.

    Denise, I know your heart to remember the Lord and to uphold others in prayer, and I am blessed.

    Wendy, though we may never know the exact cause and effect of prayer, I am comforted in the assurance that the Spirit lifts prayers before the Lord in accordance with His will, so every one is answered for some blessing. Reason enough for "pray without ceasing."

    Susan, I'm pleased that a heart of quietness such as yours finds beauty here.

    Rosslyn, there's too much to remember! God first, God last, and in between, with trust to remind us of what's important. How I wish I never let go of His hand in the crowd! How glad I am His eye never leaves me.

    Peter, do I sense an echo here of "failing to plan is planning to fail"? He is the One enabling anything we do. :D

  7. My husband's friend, who is also my cousin's husband, has pancreatic cancer. My mom tells his wife, my cousin, that she prays for him every day, whenever they talk. And she does. Sometimes we pray together.

    The one blessing of my mom's illness is she is so much more focused in remembering to pray for people...there is not much else she can do.

  8. Prayer is so important! I ususally stop and pray the moment I tell someone I'll pray for them (or I might not 'remember').

    Praying for them daily would be an amazing thing...thanks for the reminder, Anne.

  9. My online cancer support group at NPR, Our Cancer, maintains in the discussion forum a place for Prayer Posts. We often say our prayers there; so many are needed. I've been a recipient of others' prayers and I add my own often. The Prayer Posts continue to grow. . . because we all know their power, have faith in them.

  10. I'll have to admit that sometimes I ask myself "why should I pray for this - God's going to do what He wants anyway." But He really wants to hear from me and I have had SO many instances that it was then that He spoke to me. I wouldn't have heard if I hadn't prayed. Duh. When will I learn?

  11. Helen, I am inspired by people like your mom who choose to use infirmity as opportunity to pray rather than complain. I hope the Lord would make me as faithful.

    Bridget, believe me, I've rarely made this kind of prayer commitment, because I do take it seriously. And even when I sense the time has come to lay down a prayer I've taken up, it's difficult for me to release it to the Lord. With most prayer requests, I prefer to simply pray on the spot rather than make a commitment I may fail to keep.

    Maureen, that is the kind of prayer commitment I truly admire. I've been a part of such groups on occasion. They take a level of dedication that the Lord rewards with many answers.

    Candace Jean, the "duh" is pretty common. I still kick myself for all the times I get frustrated before I think to pray. And God does do what He wants, which is to involve us. I appreciate this quote from Tom Wright:

    "I pray because God always intended to bring humans in on the act, without letting them get proud in the process."

  12. I admire your commitment to pray your friend through her circumstance. Thank you for a beautifully written reminder on what a privilege prayer is.

  13. "rejoice, again I say rejoice", Your post reminds me that I must rejoice and give thanks for all things, and pray,

    Those words are words to live by...

  14. Marni, prayer is indeed a privilege, and not one to be taken for granted. Thank you for seeing beauty in the words here.

    Bernadette, I'm blessed by your words of rejoicing, and to have your sweet spirit here. You will surely know God's favor as you give thanks for all things.

  15. "Pray without ceasing." That's what I think of. But I wish I was better at it.

  16. Fatha, my version of "pray without ceasing" is my endless mental chatter with the Lord in the continual awareness of His presence.


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