Saturday, July 11, 2009

When Was The Last Time?

I have this friend who seems to have time-sensitive memory. I’m going to refer to him as “Dentist.” Dentist is great with relationships, relating with people, getting involved with their lives and making them feel valued. That’s a wonderful skill that I wish I had. But his memory is time-sensitive. He will get to know you as best as he can given a little time.

With me, however, I’ve showed up here and there. We have several mutual friends so one time Julie will bring me over to see Dentist and his family; a few months later I’ll show up with Shayna. Several years go by. I see his wife at a friends’ wedding and I talk with her. She always remembers me.

Another few years go by and we’re all at a high school graduation dinner. Dentist stops to talk to another friend, Joker. I’m sitting right next to Joker. Dentist doesn’t seem to see me, as I sit talking to his wife and kids.

We all go inside as the dinner begins. I sit at the end of the table across from his wife. Dentist starts talking with Joker again. Then Dentist looks at me, his eyes grow wide. He calls out, “I know you!”

I don’t mean to embarrass Dentist; he’s a good man.
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I want to ask you something: When was the last time you prayed? How long has it been since you’ve talked to God? Was there a time in your life when you weren’t sure if God remembered you?

Like my friend Dentist- actually, even better than my friend- God remembers you. Not only does he say, “I know you!” but God knows your name. It reads in Isaiah 49: 15 [NIV], the Lord says “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”

Psalms 139: 1-4 says: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord.”

And Joshua 1: 5b, 9b: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. [9b] Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.”

God remembers you. God has never left you. If you pray today, God will say, “Yes my child, tell me. I’m here.”
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I often mention how for me last year, 2008, was about prayer. I prayed constantly. Before 2008, I prayed a lot, but I didn't depend on it so much and I didn't know what it meant to pray constantly. That practice didn’t stop when 2009 began; I am still praying, constantly! When I pass on from this world, I hope my headstone reads, “She prayed.”

And today, I felt a strong urge to encourage you to pray. It doesn’t matter if you prayed yesterday or a year ago…or even never at all. God knows you and he’s waiting to hear from you. It doesn’t matter if you pray to complain, to unload a heartache, or to praise and thank God. He delights to be in conversation with you. Yes, YOU. And you, too! And me.

Mahalo for reading! Off to pray…

[Photo of friends coming together to pray over a church family who moved recently. We miss them! And...you'd better believe that wasn't the last time I prayed! :) ]