Day 9

Meditation & Memorization

Deuteronomy 6:1-9, Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 119:11, Matthew 4:1-11, 2 Timothy 3:14-17

BY Kristie Anyabwile

I don’t have an excellent memory or attention span, so I never really thought I could remember large portions of Scripture. I was content with picking up verses here and there as I studied, read, or listened to sermons. And I thought it was pretty cool if the pastor happened to be reading through a passage and I could follow along from memory every few verses or so.

Fast forward a few years later, when our pastor challenged our church to memorize the entire book of 1 Timothy. I found a little guide on extended Scripture memorization, and a group of us decided to take one chapter each and commit it to memory. This gave me confidence that I could do more, so I decided to work slowly toward memorizing a whole book of the Bible. Again, our pastor challenged the congregation to memorize it as he preached through short sections each week.

I decided to memorize one verse each day. I broke the verse down into two or three parts, focused on learning shorter sections, and then put the whole verse together. Once I had a few verses memorized, I worked on understanding what I’d read by following the argument of the author or the storyline presented. That’s when I saw how memorization and meditation work together. 

Memorization is the ability to recall what you’ve read verbatim, so I had to practice a lot! I’d listen to a verse on audio while brushing my teeth or taking a shower or folding laundry, while waiting in the carpool line or shopping. I filled my downtime with the Word of God. Eventually, it became a sweet habit, and I found myself rehearsing God’s Word throughout the day.

Meditation is an ongoing conversation between the Holy Spirit and yourself about what you’re learning in God’s Word. In this way, you learn to hide His Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11) and discover meaningful ways to apply it to your life. Through the practice of meditation, I found myself starting to incorporate verses of Scripture into my prayer life. Soon, I found that I had God’s Word ready to encourage a friend. When I couldn’t sleep at night, I would rehearse my verses and fall asleep with God’s Word on my lips.

I have experienced the truth of Deuteronomy 6:6 that says, “These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.” Even in more anxious times—through the whirring of the MRI scanner or when counting down as the anesthesia put me to sleep—God’s Word came to mind, comforting me. God’s Word, memorized over days and weeks and months, had made its way from my eyes and ears and mouth to my heart. And out of the abundance of what was in my heart, my mouth began to continually speak the words of life and truth to myself and to others (Matthew 12:34).

Post Comments (130)

130 thoughts on "Meditation & Memorization"

  1. Heather Robinson says:

    Let me not be satisfied with just a memorized verse here or there!

  2. Katie Fredrickson says:

    Tara, this is an area I have really never focused on, as an adult anyway. But I love how comforting the author from today’s study made it sound. And I want that on going dialogue with God & the Holy Spirit that it would create!

  3. Katie Fredrickson says:

    Susan, this is a great idea! I’m going to try this!

  4. Tara Craig says:

    This is an area I’ve needed to work on + these verses just seemed to bind to my heart! I love how using memorizations in prayer can be so comforting, if we know His word don’t we also know Him better? Why wouldn’t I want that? Such a great message on this discipline.

  5. Rhonda Jury says:

    LYNDI…this is so good!

  6. Lyndi Goodman says:

    I was encouraged to memorize psalm 27 last summer with a group of ladies and it was life changing. I found myself reciting it in my head while I was in the shower, falling asleep at night, etc.

  7. Susan Clifton says:

    You can take a small book of the Bible (less daunting) and make a note book by copying scripture. Leave room on the side for questions, comments, or jotting down what God puts on your heart or a new interpretation you find. You can use colored pencils, highlighting scripture you want to memorize. Look at those highlights often. Good luck. I struggle with memorization and am grateful to have little books to look over year after year.

  8. Heather Austin says:

    I’m currently working on memorizing Romans 6:1-14 for a class at seminary. Through repetition deeper meaning and understanding unfolds. I thought it was a daunting task at first but but by bit – bite sized pieces – I began to recite it in the car, before falling asleep, while taking a walk…and it has become my way of being. It is a beautiful discipline!

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