Praying Our Memories

There is power in memory. A song can take you back to a different place and time. A smell can remind you of your childhood kitchen. Memory has power.

It’s something the psalmist knew very well.  Take the time to read Psalm 77. 

We can describe verses 1-9 as lament. 

We see the typical phrases of anguish.

  • “I cried to God for help”
  • “Will the Lord reject forever?”
  • “Will he ever show is favor again?”
  • “Has his promises failed for all time?”
  • “Has God forgotten to be merciful?”

Yet, this lament takes a turn after verse 9.

We can describe verses 10-20 as hymn.

The second half of the psalm is a hymn signing the praises of the mighty works of God. It is in the midst of lament that the psalmist relies upon his memory. He gets through the anguish by reflecting back on the miracles performed by God.

Verse 12: “I will consider all your works and meditate all your mighty deeds.” 

Memory has power.  Thus, we need to consider all that God has done. Memory has power but we often suffer from spiritual amnesia. It seems far too easy to forget all that God has done.

It can happen in two common ways:

  • Something bad happens and we shake an angry fist at God forgetting all the good he has done for us. Spiritual amnesia.
  • God does something amazing in our lives and a few weeks down the road we begin to think, “I’ve done an amazing job here.” We begin to take credit for things thinking we did it ourselves. Spiritual amnesia.

We need to meditate on all the works of God. We need to consider God’s mighty deeds as a cure for spiritual amnesia.

Verse 19: “Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.” 

 … This is a reference to the moment when God led the people of Israel out of slavery in Egypt.  It’s that last phrase that grips me: Though your footprints were not seen.

 You see, sometimes God works miracles … but his footprints are not seen. There might not be a billboard stating “God is working here” …. but God is working.   There might not be a voice from heaven crying out “God is working here” … but God is working.

It might not look like it … but God is working in your family.

It might not look like it … but God is working in your workplace.

It might not look like it … but God is working in your addiction.

It might not look like it … but God is working in your soul.

When it looks like God is not working we need to rely on our memory. We need to remember the works of God.  In encourage you: reflect on the ways in which God has worked in your life. Write them down Share them with someone. Cement them in your memory. Memory has power.

When you are asking questions like …

“Will the Lord reject forever?”

“Will he ever show is favor again?”

“Has his promises failed for all time?”

“Has God forgotten to be merciful?”

Rely on the power of memory. Our God is a mighty God. He has done mighty works and he will do them once again.

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