A few months ago I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Voice of the Martyrs Radio. The podcast episodes were a split interview (part 1, part 2) with Peter Jasek, a missionary that was arrested & jailed in Sudan for months. I won’t tell you the whole story because I would love for you to hear it for yourself & begin supporting this ministry. Part of the interview, though, included him describing his experience being jailed in a cell for months with numerous ISIS fighters & everything he endured there. The thing that struck me in his experience was what helped him get through- recitation of scripture he had memorized & prayer.
His experience struck me because it made me think about what I would have done if I were in his place. I realized I wouldn’t have had much scripture to sustain me without having a physical Bible. Even if I weren’t in such an extreme situation, I realized I still didn’t have scripture I could just dwell on in my daily life- in good or bad situations, so, I decided to start regularly working to memorize. Over the years, I’ve come to notice that I learn better when I write out whatever it is I’m trying to learn, so I applied that to this method for memorizing scripture. Whenever I do my quiet time I now write out the scripture I’m trying to memorize, plus the scripture I’ve previously memorized. I work on adding a new scripture at the beginning of each new rotation at work, so a new scripture every 8 days.
This practice has truly helped & I have found I do dwell on those scriptures throughout my day & especially when I run into difficult circumstances. If you’re looking for ways to encourage or help yourself memorize scripture, maybe you can use this idea. You could tweak it if you learn better by hearing, reciting, or reading by recording yourself on your phone or making flashcards.
Here are the scriptures I’ve learned thus far:
- “Teach me Your way, O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart & I will glorify Your name forevermore. For great is Your mercy toward me & You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” – Psalm 86:11-13
- “Take careful heed to keep the commandment & law which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to keep His commandments, to hold fast to Him, & to serve Him with all your heart & all your soul.” – Joshua 22:5
- “My flesh & my heart may fail; BUT GOD is the strength of my heart & my portion forever.” -Psalm 73:26
- “For we do not wrestle against flesh & blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” -Ephesians 6:12
- “I Am the Vine, you are the branches. he who abides in Me & I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5
- “For none of us lives to himself & no one dies to himself. FOr if we live, we live to the Lord & if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.” – Romans 14:7 & 8
- “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship [reasonable service].” -Romans 12:1
What I’m learning now:
- “The Lord will fight for you, & you shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:14
There are plenty of strategies & apps out there to help you learn, but ultimately, what it comes down to is not the number of scriptures you learn, but that you are writing God’s Word on your heart. There may come a day that you don’t have access to a Bible…but no one can ever take your heart.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, & when you rise up.” -Deuteronomy 6:6-7
What scriptures have you/are you learning? What about favorite scriptures? Do you use any special techniques to help you learn?
Be blessed, friends.