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Home » Thoughts for the Week » Does God suffer with memory loss? (29 July)

Does God suffer with memory loss? (29 July)

Good morning my friends

I wonder whether God suffers from memory loss? It’s possible to come to that conclusion when you read the Bible because the pages are full of people reminding God of his promises and his character, his faithfulness and his love. Why do they do that? Of course it’s most definitely not because God has forgotten these things, or that he is prone to lapses in character in the same ways that we can be. In Psalm 25 David does this:

Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good. (NIVUK)

I think there are several things going on here at the same time:

  • We are reminding ourselves of God’s promises and nature. God hasn’t forgotten who he is, but when we call out to him reminding him of who he is, what he has done, what he has promised and how he acts we are reminding ourselves of all of those things and God’s Spirit bolsters our faith through that. The act of recollection that precedes the reminding is perhaps more important than the reminding because that is when he reminds us of how he is a part of our faith story and the story of history. When calling out, “Remember how you helped me when…” we are actually saying, “I remember how you helped me when… and so I am trusting you now.”
  • We are ensuring that God is in control. Often in the Bible the reminders to God are made in difficult circumstances. But instead of telling God exactly what they want him to do people are calling on him to act in a way that is consistent with what they know of his nature and character. There are times when our praying is very prescriptive: we tell God exactly what we want (and if we are feeling generous we tack on ‘but your will be done’ at the end). Yet God’s response to our praying is not limited to our imagination. “God, please send me £150,” may be an appropriate prayer to pray, and God is gracious and generous and sometimes answers in the way that we have asked. But an alternative way of praying in the same circumstances is: “God, you are gracious and generous. You know my needs. I trust you whatever happens.”
  • We are aligning ourselves with God. Praying is far more interactive than sometimes we imagine. Intercession is not simply giving God a shopping list of needs. When we pray we are opening ourselves up to be changed by God as much as we are seeking his intervention. By reminding God of his nature and character and promises we attune ourselves with him. We join in the music of the Spirit and move to his rhythm rather than trying to sing our own discordant song or dance out of step with him.
  • We are declaring truth to others. There is something significant about a statement of truth about someone – it is affirming for the person hearing it and it is a declaration to others that this is true. That is one reason why when people make acceptance speeches when receiving awards they usually have a list of people to thank – they want to give credit to those who have helped them. By declaring God’s nature and promises aloud we are enabling others to hear of his nature and promises and ensuring that they know we are giving him the credit for what he has done in our life.

So… here’s a little homework for you. Try it. Maybe write down three things that you remember about God (try to make at least one of them personal to you and him). Then pray your intercessions with those things in mind and remind God of them as you pray. You could even tell other people about them. Does that make a difference to your praying?

This week we are praying for Blackmore Baptist Church (https://www.easternbaptist.org.uk/prayer-focus/blackmore-baptist-church/)

On Sunday Beth is preaching at Swavesey Baptist Church and Graeme will be joining virtually with another church. I will be in the virtual congregation for my home church where we have a ‘preach with a view’.

“God remember that you are the one who called and equipped me in ministry and you have been consistently with me – be gracious to all who minister in your name this weekend. You are a generous and loving God whose faithfulness never ends and your love knows no limits, may the people of Blackmore experience you in that way through the Baptist church there.  You promise to guide us through your Spirit within us, and you have guided me in my ministry. May that be the experience this week of any who are seeking your will.”

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