Memorising a passage of Scripture as an academic exercise never worked for me. But if, when I read some verses and mused on them, my heart was burning within me, I wanted to know the passage more deeply and thoroughly. So I started to learn passages, to store them in my mind and muse on them any time I had the opportunity, knowing that I wasn’t just musing on one verse. I think that also gave the Holy Spirit a better opportunity to make the Scriptures personal and vivid to me.
When it comes to memorising verses, things do stick better if they are actively learned and not just taken in passively. Meditation upon the word of God is vital…
What other benefits did I gain? I had more opportunities to pray to and praise the Lord, and to say to the Lord that his word mattered to me. I had learned poems and dialogues for exams, but this was for him. Furthermore, I had the accuracy and the relevance of the word impressed on me.
The passages I learned over time helped me to celebrate Christ. Examples of my favourites are John 1:1-18, Colossians 1:12-20, Philippians 2:1-11, Revelation 1:12-18, Song of Songs 5:10-16, Isaiah 53, Proverbs 8:22-31, Hebrews 1, Psalm 22:1-18.
When it comes to memorising verses, things do stick better if they are actively learned and not just taken in passively. Meditation upon the word of God is vital, like digesting our food. This is about treating the word not as a buffet meal to be dipped in and out of, taking tasty titbits, but as a meal that he has taken time and trouble to prepare. A meal that is healthy and balanced, nutritious and satisfying.
How do I set about learning a passage? What worked for me was to read the chosen passage out loud (quietly to myself) very slowly three times. Then I took the first bite-sized chunk of it and said it without looking, checked if I had it right, and then when I had it right I’d do the same with the next bite-sized chunk. Then I put both chunks together and repeated the process until the passage was learned. The slow reading helped, as does sticking to one version in one edition or device, and being focused.
shorI am a ‘words person’. Not all of us are ‘words people’, but we can all in some way show our Lord that his Word matters to us.
Peter Doël, The Church of God in Crowborough
Geoffrey M Hydon9 May 2021 at 20:42
Many thanks for the advice in this post. Matches my own experience, so I heartily endorse it! We are promised the Holy Spirit will bring to our mind what we need to say when we need it (Matt.10:19-20), but I was long ago warned that it is best for me to put the Scripture in my mind daily so He can subsequently extract it effectively.