Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her. Genesis 30:22
In the large African church, the pastor fell to his knees, praying to God. “Remember us!” As the pastor pleaded, the crowd responded, crying, “Remember us, Lord!” Watching this moment on YouTube, I was surprised that I shed tears too. The prayer was recorded months earlier. Yet it recalled childhood times when I heard our family’s pastor make the same plea to God. “Remember us, Lord!”
Hearing that prayer as a child, I’d wrongly assumed that God sometimes forgets about us. But God is all-knowing (Psalm 147:5; 1 John 3:20), He always sees us (Psalm 33:13–15), and He loves us beyond measure (Ephesians 3:17–19).
Even more, as we see in the Hebrew word zakar, meaning “remember,” when God “remembers” us, He acts for us. Zakar also means to act on a person’s behalf. Thus, when God “remembered” Noah and “all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark,” He then “sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded” (Genesis 8:1). When God “remembered” barren Rachel, He “listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son” (30:22–23).
What a great plea of trust to ask God in prayer to remember us! He’ll decide how He answers. We can pray knowing, however, that our humble request asks God to move.
In what area of your life do you need God to remember you? How willing are you to pray with such intent and purpose?
Dear heavenly Father, grow my understanding of Your remembrance of me. Then, where I need You to act, please remember me.
Jacob had twelve sons from whom came twelve tribes that formed the nation of Israel—these are the simple facts. But Genesis 29 and 30 describe the complicated backstory of Israel’s genesis. Included is how scheming and striving, competition and rivalry—and prayer—factored into the making of this nation. Leah, the wife that Jacob didn’t choose (29:25), became the fruitful wife who bore him six sons (30:20)—half of the tribes! His beloved wife Rachel, though initially barren, was the mother of two of Jacob’s sons (vv. 22–23; 35:17–18). Two female servants, Bilhah (30:3–8) and Zilpah (vv. 9–13), bore him two sons each. We’re told that God heard Leah’s (v. 17) and Rachel’s (v. 22) prayers regarding childbearing. The dynamics of a very complex household included hearts crying out to God in prayer and God remembering them.