In a "Taste and See" article found here in its entirety, John Piper says of Scripture memory:
"First, a few testimonies: I have it third hand, that Dr. Howard Hendricks of Dallas Seminary once made the statement (and I paraphrase) that if it were his decision, every student graduating from Dallas Theological Seminary would be required to learn one thousand verses word perfect before they graduated.
Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote, "Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization" ("Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person" in Vocatio, Vol. 12, no. 2, Spring, 2001, p. 7).
Chuck Swindoll wrote, "I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified" (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], p. 61)."
Doesn't that sound like a worthwhile endeavor? It does to me!
There are many, many ways to effectively memorize scripture. There are card systems, audio cd's with Scriptures set to music, and curriculum and programs for adults and children alike. All of those things are great, but if you simply have a Bible (something we often take for granted, for there are people in the world who do not have access to written copies of God's Word) you can get started today! Piper shares his own method in a short audio clip here. The keys, he says, are to pray for discipline and to set aside the time. I'll summarize his steps:
*Choose your passage of Scripture, choosing verses that will help your soul. This is not for mechanical memorization, this is to fight the devil, to minister to others when you don't have your Biblewith you... this is to help strengthen you at 3:00 in the afternoon. These are for you!
*Mark an "M" next to the passage in your Bible.
*Read the verse 10 times in your Bible.
*Say it 10 times with your Bible closed.
*Carry it with you on a piece of paper or notecard and review, review, review.
*The next day, add the next verse and repeat the steps.
*All in all, he says, 5-10 minutes a day is all it takes!
Is Scripture memory part of your day? If it is, please share in the comments effective techniques you've found or share which passages you're working on. This is something we should all be doing. Let's encourage each other to do this daily!
Have a blessed weekend!
Cyndi blogs at One Day More and Mater Magistra.