“Oh God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture? Remember your congregation which you have purchased of old. Which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage. Remember Mount Zion where you have dwelt direct your steps to the perpetual ruins. The enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary.”
– Psalm 74:1–3
What a powerful, heartfelt prayer born from a painful hurting situation. The picture here is God’s people crying out for him to remember them. Now let’s think about that. To ask God to remember us, feels kind of bold, doesn’t it? To say to the omniscient God of the universe remember us? Like maybe you have forgotten about us, but the picture is not saying, maybe you forgotten about us God. Do you even remember us? Instead the picture, and we see this all throughout the Bible, is calling on God to be faithful to the promises he has made. And obviously we know he is faithful, and he will be faithful to his promises. But when we pray, we are bringing those promises before God and we are asking God, show yourself faithful in this way and that way. And this kind of prayer is pleasing to God.
Calling Upon God for His Promises
God’s people are right to call upon Him to keep His promises. How much more should we pray this way today since we have seen God’s promised redemption fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Christ?
To say, God, I’m trusting in your promises, and I’m asking you to be faithful to them. This kind of prayer, we see all throughout the Old Testament. I think about Exodus chapter two when God’s people were slaves in Egypt, and the Bible says God remembered them. God heard them. He knew their suffering. It’s not that God had forgotten them, but it’s a reminder that God does not forget his people. That God will be faithful to his promises. And that God’s people are right to call upon God to be faithful to his promises. Let’s just pray and think about how this affects the way we pray, particularly in light of God’s faithfulness to send his son to his people.
Psalm 74:1–3 Asks God to Be Faithful to His Promises
Oh God, with fear and trembling we come before you right now, and we ask you to be faithful to your promises. Lord, I know there are people who are walking through suffering and trial and struggle right now who are listening to this. And we just bring before you promises. We bring before you your promise in Romans 8-28 you promise to work all things together for the good of those who love you and have been called according to your purpose. So God, we pray. Be faithful to that promise. Remember, look upon. Hear, see, your children who are suffering in all kinds of different ways right now and God, be faithful to your promise.
Work together what they’re walking through for good. Conform them more into the image of Jesus. God, I just pray that over them right now. I pray that as they walked through trial, you would bring them into deeper union with Jesus, experience of intimacy with Jesus, conformity to the character of Jesus, as a result of this work, this together for that good and your love for them provide for them in that way.
Psalm 74:1–3 Praises God for Not Forgetting Us
God, we praise you that ultimately in our sin and our suffering, you have not forgotten us. You have sent your son to save us from sin. Ultimately to save us from suffering in eternity. All glory be to your name for not forgetting us, for your faithfulness to us and so we trust today in your faithfulness to us. Even as we ask you to remember us in our suffering, we know that you do not turn away from your people.
We are asking you to be faithful to your promises to your people, and we are confident that as we ask, we have what we have received. That indeed according to Romans 8-28 you will work everything we’re going through together for good to those who love you and have been called according to your purpose. All glory be to your name for remembering your people, for sending your son to save us from our sins and for your faithfulness to your promises day after day after day, as we cry out to you. You hear us, and you answer. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.