You are My Memory Keeper: A Prayer

memorial-candleO Lord, you say that you keep memory of all my tossing and wanderings; that you collect my tears as if in a bottle so that none are lost to your remembrance. (Ps. 56:8)

I feel sometimes like I have that bottle in my nervous anxious hands and drop the bottle shattering my tears and the memories of me into the floor, dripping into wood crevices and lost forever. And yet that isn’t true is it? I don’t hold the memory of me in my hands do I? You are the one who holds the bottle. You keep the memory of me in your hands. I forget that a lot. It seems like I’m always trying to maintain the memory of me in this world. I’m sorry. I guess, I doubt that you’d really want to hold on to my life like that. I keep expecting you to get fed up and throw the bottle into the wall or something. But you aren’t like that.

I think I’m also prone to remember my worst moments but forget that you did not abandon me but stood strong and advocated for me. Or sometimes, I actually do recall my best moments but then I act like they came about because of me, myself and I, as if I don’t need you or anybody. I’m all over the map Lord! I can’t seem to walk a straight line!

Sometimes I overestimate myself and forget your humility.
At other times, I underestimate myself and forgot the identity and calling that you’ve given me for my courage and joy.

I’m clueless about my own neglect or mistreatment of others. And yet, I remember all the awful ways that others have sinned against me. I forget that you can heal me moment by moment, that you have wisdom and tender-mending for every cry of my soul. Instead I’ve made a grudge out of some of my memories. My soul has grown bitter toward this person and that one.

Rescue me my Savior! You remember the grace that I forget! You are my memory keeper!
You remembered that thief on the cross. He did nothing but earn disfavor. And yet, you heard his earnest prayer. I pray his prayer today too: “Remember me.”

I cherish deep in my soul and take for my own life, the words of promise that you gave to him on that cross paying for his sins and mine. I take hold of the promise you gave when you said, “Today, you will be with me.” You made this same promise to others. “I will never leave you or forsake you,” you said. Does that include the times when I forget or remember wrongly? I’m counting on it O Lord! Thank you for remembering your promises and saving me. Thank you that you will never leave or forsake me.

I thank you that you remember the grace and promises that I forget amid all the ugliness and grudge that I too often remember. Thank you for not letting go of me. Thank you! Amen.

Author: zeswine

Zack (Dr. Eswine) is often spoken of as a "Pastor to Pastors." He serves as Pastor of Riverside Church in Webster Groves Missouri and Director of Homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary. To learn more about his books and other resources, go to zackeswine.com

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