In recent weeks I’ve been challenged to start memorising God’s word in a systematic fashion. During Lent I read a resource from Open Doors about life as a Christian in North Korea. It made me think how unbelievably blessed I am to have such easy access to the Bible, in multiple formats and translations, in my own language. I’m ashamed that I take it so much for granted.
It also made me think how I would fare in a place where it was illegal to own a Bible. One of the safest places to keep the Bible would be in the mind and heart!
The writer of Psalm 119 talks of how he has hidden God’s word in his heart, or in the ESV translation:
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
If I will do the work of committing God’s word to memory, he can bring it to my mind just when I need it. I’ve discovered that the process of getting the words and phrases to sink into my mind makes me look at certain verses in a new light, or notice small details that I would have overlooked. Having verses from the Bible buzzing around my neural networks can work on my heart, even when I’m doing other things or falling asleep! I’ve been surprised by how it is eminently possible to memorise extended portions of the Bible – I’m currently committing the book of Philippians to memory using a technique described in the first resource below.
Here are a few resources that are making my memorisation challenge easier and more enjoyable:
1) An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture, Dr. Andrew Davis (Kindle link here)
This short book sets out a technique for memorising longer sections of scripture. It’s not rocket science, but it’s helpful. There’s also a helpful and motivating introduction that explains the benefits of memorising the Bible.
This website is the work of a collaboration of creative and gifted people who are committed to helping Christians memorise God’s word. Each week there is a new section to memorise, complete with a musical rendition of the verses and visual art that can be downloaded, printed or just appreciated online. Parts of the Bible are tackled in a systematic way, building week on week.
3) Scripture Typer
This is an free online resource and pay-for app (currently priced at £3.99, available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire) which allows you to learn Bible verses and then test yourself on them by typing them out (first letters of each word only) or viewing flash cards. Being a rather competitive soul, I love this! You can choose from a selection of pre-loaded themed verses or choose other sections of the Bible.
So, do you already memorise Bible verses? Or do you feel prompted to start?
Are there other resources or techniques you’ve found helpful?