Our spiritual lives require this important discipline. The more I practice praying, the more I realize I'm truly talking to God with no pretense, fear, or entitlement. Kindness grows as we practice seeing the needs of those around us. Generosity grows as we practice meeting those needs. John Ortberg wrote a book teaching about the purpose in training for the life you want verses simply trying to obtain it. (Consider reading this good book.)
Of course you know I'm going to say the same is true in memorizing scripture. The more you practice, your ability to remember verses will grow. The more you practice, your ability to apply them to your everyday life will grow. The more you practice, your ability to calm your heart and mind, obey a prompting of the Spirit, and even spontaneously pray scripture will grow and grow and grow.
Unfortunately, many of us as children took the word "practice" and put it in the negative word folder of our minds. How many of you were forced to practice piano or violin? Did you just shiver a little bit? For me, it was practicing math facts. Just typing that sentence made my lip snarl and nostrils flare. Ick. Well can we just please stop a minute and reclaim the beautiful word of practice? How about these words:
Review, carry out, persist, work out, get in there, make progress, labor, and my favorite, do your thing!
A few times a week, say the verse you are memorizing out loud over and over. A few times a week practice remembering the verses you already know by reviewing them. This practice makes the power of His word a very tangible reality in our hearts, minds, and souls. Don't you desire this fruit in your life? I do. I so so SO want this in my life and in yours.
Click on this photo, so you can get a good glimpse at theses dates. I've been practicing my verses for many, many moons.
You will have to look closely, but there are some antique cards in that pile. 1991! Raise your hand if that card is older than you. Yes. I know. Quite a few of you. Amazingly, I still know each of those verses because I PRACTICE them regularly and have been since I learned them! So whatever your method is, review should be a vital part of your practice.
This next photo is only a point of encouragement. Jeremiah 9:24 says, "Let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows me." I'm not promoting my skills, but wanting to show you what your heart, mind, and soul can take in if you practice.
Review your verses, friends. REVIEW YO VERSES! Practice. Practice remembering. Practice learning. Practice living. Practice loving. Practice being. And then when you practice doing, your heart and mind will be set on heavenly things where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)
This month I'm continuing to take in the passage in 2 Timothy about how the world will be full of junk worming its way into weak-willed women's homes. I'll be working on verses 3 through 5.
2 Timothy 3:3-5
heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Such "happy" verses, aren't they? A good explanation of all of this will be written up soon. I promise.
Please post what you will be memorizing and/or practicing this month. I can't wait to read what you have to say!
What are you memorizing? Are you reviewing? How are you practicing what you are learning?
Blessings in your practice, my friends!