We all know that reading the Bible every day is an important task. But sometimes life catches up with us, it ends up being 11pm at night and nothing has been read—it would feel token to read the Bible now, we think, and so we go to sleep, vowing that the following day will be different.
On those days (and any day really) it can be helpful to have verses memorised, so that during our day the Holy Spirit can call them to mind. This can also be helpful for when you're in a situation where you can't quickly reference check something in the Bible, as you're driving or cleaning up spilt coffee or some other two handed task.
I am probably preaching to the converted here when I say that memorising the Bible is a good idea, it's just hard to do.
Our society has lost the habit of memorising things (in New Zealand, Primary Schools no longer focus on memorising times tables), and so we have little practice at doing this. There have been a few things that help me remember parts of Scripture which I'd like to share with you.
There is a particular app called Fighter Verses, although I'm sure there are many others. Downloading one of these apps and going through them when you're waiting for an appointment can be a helpful way to kill time and do something that honours God. The thing I like about Fighter Verses is that there are quizzes you can do.
Strange as it may be, some parts of liturgy are quoted from the Bible.
I grew up in Anglican churches where prayers around the world are the same. It has just struck me that the prayers being said in Switzerland are the same ones that are prayed New Zealand, and this has helped me remember them.
I find something about saying a prayer out loud together quite powerful, although I know for others their minds switch off at this point. Everyone's different and finding what works for you is the key.
Liturgy has helped me learn parts of 1 John off by heart, something my parents would not have predicted when taking me to church.
I'm quite a musical person and so memorising song lyrics for me is easy if I know the tune. I especially tend to remember the songs if they're children's songs, as they are designed to be easy to sing along with. And thankfully, due to people like Colin Buchanan (whether you love or hate his music), we have verses that you can sing along with.
This may be 'uncool' or whatever, but if it helps you to remember the Bible then it cannot be knocked!
Teaching Sunday School
The times when I was more diligent at remembering verses from the Bible was when I was teaching them. I taught Sunday School for three years and during that time memorised quite a few verses, as you're teaching them and going over them with children.
Most churches are always in need of more Sunday School teachers, even if they can relieve a class now and then. This way you can serve and be served simultaneously.
Old fashioned and not technologically difficult, this method of memorising verses has been used for decades, I'm sure. I have a habit of keeping a few in my cell phone cover and pulling them out when I'm waiting for something or am bored. This has been a fun way of learning memory verses, and doesn't require a lot of skill. All it requires is patience.
May I encourage you to make a habit of memorising a couple of verses every month. This way by the end of the year you will have memorised 24 verses. Do this for 10 years and that's 240.
Committing God's Words to memory so that we can encourage one another with them is an important way we can serve one another.
Rachel Bartlett lives in Christchurch, New Zealand with her husband James and her puppy Pip.
Rachel Bartlett's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/Rachel-Bartlett.html