“And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
When you think of a memorial, you can’t help but think of a place or a monument that has been erected to honor a person or people who did something great. It would be hard to imagine having a memorial for a prayer. However, God said that the prayer of Cornelius had “come up for a memorial before God.” In other words, Cornelius’ prayer was so great a prayer that even God wanted his prayer to be memorialized. There are several things that point to what Cornelius did in his prayer that caused God to memorialize his prayer. Let me share with you the things that make up a memorial prayer.
First, a memorial prayer is one that is conjoined with fasting. Verse 30 shows that Cornelius was fasting before he prayed because he needed an answer. Great prayers are always interwoven with fasting. There is something about fasting and praying that grabs God’s attention. If it has been awhile since you have seen God answer a great prayer, you might want to add fasting to your prayer. The greatest prayers that need a miraculous answer are the prayers that are conjoined with fasting.
Second, a memorial prayer is one that prays expecting. Cornelius prayed expecting God to answer his prayer. Prayers of doubt are rarely answered because they are filled with uncertainty in God’s ability to do. If you want God to answer your prayer, you must pray believing that He is very capable of answering your request.
Third, a memorial prayer is one that is full of faith. When Cornelius prayed and was told to send for Peter, he stepped out on by faith and sent for Peter. My friend, a faithless prayer is a worthless prayer. There is no need to pray if there is no faith involved. Every prayer must have an element of faith for God to get involved in what you need. The reason you need God to answer a prayer is because you don’t have the ability to get the answer; that is why it takes faith in prayer to get an answer. The greatest reason you must remove doubt from your prayers is because doubt is the water that douses the prayer of faith.
Fourth, a memorial prayer is one that is followed by righteous acts. Peter said about Cornelius’ prayer in verse 35, “…he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Prayer has a way of causing the believer to live for God. You will never find a believer of prayer sitting and doing nothing for the LORD. The believer who prays knows that God always honors their works for Him. A prayer that is filled with faith and righteous acts gets God’s attention more quickly than the unbelieving, lazy believer.
Fifth, a memorial prayer is a prayer of power. Verse 44 says, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.” You will never find the power of God without prayer. The believer who grabs God’s attention in prayer always finds God’s power on their life.
Let me ask you; are your prayers memorial prayers? You may get answers to prayer without a memorial prayer, but memorial praying always grabs God’s attention. If you need God to answer a prayer, I challenge you to make your prayer a memorial prayer. The believer who prays memorial prayers always finds God’s favor in their prayer life.