When God miraculously brought His people out of slavery in Egypt, they quickly succumbed to ingratitude toward God. They grumbled and complained and murmured every time they faced a new challenge instead of thanking God for His ever-present hand. Their attitude prevented them from entering the Promised Land for 40 years until that grumbling generation had died out in the wilderness.
God wants to see prayers that are filled with genuine praise and thanksgiving for what He has done in the past.
After God's people finally reached the Promised Land, God told them to create a monument as a reminder of His supernatural aid in crossing the Jordan River (see Joshua 4:1-3). Joshua carried out the Lord's commands and explained to the men that this would "serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. . . . These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever" (Joshua 4:6-7).
God wants to see prayers that are filled with genuine praise and thanksgiving for what He has done in the past. He wants our hearts to be filled with awe and gratitude for His blessings. He wants us to set up memorials in our hearts testifying to the provision He has given us.
God does not want to be taken for granted. He does not want to be given our lists of wants without any true desire to know Him. We dishonor God when we relegate Him to the role of magic genie. God answers our prayers to strengthen our faith in Him, to help us trust in His Word, to glorify Himself, and to express His love for us.
Prayer: God, help me to be mindful to set up memorials in my heart, that I would always remember the many blessings You have poured out on me. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago" (Psalm 77:11).