Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is: Forget
There were so many things jostling for position in my thoughts when considering the word ‘forget’:-
all my experiences and understanding of dementia; the call to ‘forget not’ the wonders and commands of the Lord; and my own clumsy stories of forgetfulness; but the subject that won my attention, to consider for these five minutes, is ‘forget’-fulness as the reason for my monthly gratitude blog.
About 18 months ago, in the space of about 48 hours, I witnessed three wonderful, miraculous and diverse answers to prayer. Of course this was tremendously encouraging to my own faith and prayer life – I saw what an enormous privilege and honour it was, to pray and see the power of prayer changing lives.
But what struck me most was that I so often pray about things and then completely forget about them. When the emergency has passed and all is well, I forget about the sweat, anxiousness and concern of those moments and I slip so easily into taking for granted the healings, the protection and the countless blessings that have taken place. Sometimes I didn’t remember to even ask the person how the situation had progressed, for which I had been praying.
The emergencies capture my attention and I pray, but then I forget.
So I began not only writing down my prayers, which helps me to focus intentionally in prayer, but also every couple of days to reflect on what I was praying for and check in to see if those prayers were already answered, or need revising.
Those answered prayers are then recorded in a little thanksgiving book.
The practice of reflecting allows me to see the miracles, blessings and answers to prayer all the time and to constantly encourage me to pray more.
More importantly for me, it reminds me to stop and say ‘Thank You’. I always have this image of the ten lepers who begged Jesus for healing and were cleansed as they went on their way… but the one who came back to thank Jesus, he was made whole!
I want to always remember to acknowledge, notice, recall, remember and praise and thank my God for all the prayers He has answered every day and to never forget all of His benefits.
I like to do this publicly each month, to praise God publicly and to encourage you to not give up praying, and to keep looking for those answers to prayer in your every-day life.
My five minutes are over now, but I will take this opportunity to now include my heartfelt gratitude for all the prayers answered during the month of July – those specific prayer intentions, as well as all of those general heartfelt longings for loved ones and the groans of the Spirit, that I know He hears.
(I had not forgotten to do my monthly thanksgiving, but I have been extra-specially busy these past Summer weeks. It is too easy to let it slip and allow busy-ness to become an excuse to forget again.)
So specifically I thank and praise God for:
For help, ideas and blessings during the two Sunday School lessons
For the kindness, prayers and support of friends and church family during some difficult weeks
For the prayers for me for freedom
For your many promises to me, especially psalm 103
For the safe travel connections for my sons and for the opportunity for them to holiday together
For another powerful EH weekend training and for all the work You did in and through us
For a blessed visit and couple of days with J and V
For the dedication of the refurbished building, and for the dedication of K, and the blessed fellowship connections and gatherings for each
For showing me images and memories, and guiding me in my own healing journey with You
For a blessed trip to Cheltenham and laying to rest of R’s ashes and for the smooth arrangements and renewed relationships and contacts.
For precious times with grandchildren
For breaking strongholds and revealing truth
For J and J and their willingness to help professionally
For your Peace in the storms and for financial help
For a lovely party for J and S and all the precious guests
For a precious family day out together
For a blessed time of fellowship and connection with S
For faith, peace, hope in you
Glory to God in the Highest Heaven and Glory to God deep in my heart.
Please be the one leper who comes back daily to say thank you.