Time to Pray: The Word Hidden

Well, nap time didn’t start off as planned, anybody else?! Our too cute for words girl is wailing her head off, repeating the chorus, “I need you. I need you.” It’s a Hayley Beth original. Hm, we will see how this goes. I so wish I knew what you were up to today. Is it an easy day around the house or a regular work day at your place of employment? Was it hard to drop off your kids at nursery or the sitter today or were you, with blushing face, a tad relieved? Are you in over head in laundry sorting your way through, or is it all folded and put away? If so, perhaps I need to steal your system ;) Are you tired and hoping to catch a nap later…are you well-rested and refreshed (the latter makes me want to laugh aloud…yes it happens, but is it the norm, um, no)? I just wonder about you on the other side of that screen and wish we could chat a good long while and just relish in the goodness of the Lord and what He is doing, by incomparable grace, in our lives & in this fallen world. Nap time update: After pausing to resettle sweet miss three times, at last she bit the dust…at least for an hour or so I think. She’ll polish off the last two hours after another resettle…thankfully she doesn’t do this at night unless sick.

If you’re a mom and even if you’re not do ever feel like life is moving at a frantic pace, one you could not keep up with even if you were an Olympian sprinter?! Do you feel like once your feet hit the floor and the snooze button is finally shut off the day is done before it ever began? This is why you NEED to memorize & meditate on God’s good Word. The pace of a busy life necessitates that you be able to take it with you so to speak. Who is going to correct that quick anger? How are you going to make split-second decisions (you cannot plan for everything) on how to discipline your children? How are you going to react to something someone says to you in a tone and way you did not like? How are you going to respect & submit to your husband after running the household all day long? How are you going to find the energy to remain loving & gentle after the 100th discipline of the MORNING?! hehe. I am telling you, it is made easier if you can recall to mind quickly the Word of God for your situation. You will not always have time to stop and look it up. You need to remember it like it’s your life, because it is. In Jesus Christ, there is life, life indeed, and His Word is life-giving, because it is truth. It is how we are meant to live life as the children of God. We flounder so much in insecurity and ignorance, because we retain so little of what we read, much less can we meditate on it. That is why it so common to ask someone what they read in Scripture that morning or afternoon and receive in response a blank stare. The one asked is alarmed by the feeling of not knowing, not remembering though the reading took place only hours ago. Tell me, how will reading & forgetting transform your life?! I know the answer is obvious…right? Fact is it will not. I would never go as far as to say that reading has no place and that if we can’t remember everything we have wasted our time. That is NOT true. We must read and we must read a lot AND study (which is different than reading) AND memorize AND meditate AND you DO have time for this. Do not underestimate the power of sin, self, & Satan. We need to be inundated with this refreshing Word, with this wise counsel pouring forth from the mouth of our God.

So, let’s get to it. How do you do it?! Again we are specifically talking about memorizing Scripture today. I will share at brief how anyone can do this. There are a thousand ways I suppose that you can memorize but I want to persuade you to this method because of the immense value of knowing a section of Scripture rather than knowing a verse here & there (although that too is quite beneficial).

Pick a Passage of Scripture. This could be a chapter (like Romans 8), a section of a book of the Bible (like the Psalms of Ascent), or an entire book of Scripture (think Epistles here).

Then, make a plan to READ the passage you choose. Read it again & again until you feel over familiar with it. I usually spend a couple of weeks here. By the end, you have the context. God is speaking to you and probably you’re getting excited about deliberately putting it in your mind.

Next, STUDY it (2 weeks or more if you like). Pray through the passage. Take notes. Summarize. Write the portions out that are just grabbing your heart. Repent of sin.

Finally, take 1 to 2 verses a day and memorize them M-F. Say them aloud, write them out and review them at the end of the week, Saturday. By the end of your first week of memorizing you will have memorized 1/4 to 1/2 of a typical chapter in one of Paul’s epistles. That’s amazing!! And you are well on your way to a renewed mind… That is something the Spirit does inside of us by His grace by means of the Word of God & prayer.

Here’s the passage that served me today in the midst of exhaustion and a bit of annoyance…my spirit just felt a little harsh. Do you know what I mean?! It wasn’t a bad morning either, just taxing. After Bible time, craft time, playing with the kiddos…just feeling a little toasted and noticed the harshness was starting to make its way out of mouth. This passage came into my mind,

James 3

“But the wisdom from above is first all pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable (or open to reason), full of mercy and good fruits, uwavering, without hypocrisy…” I put in bold letters the words I forgot just for you to see.

I memorized this passage (the book of James), hm, probably 8 or 9 years ago. It comes to mind all.of.the.time. Can you see the immense treasure this adds to my life? I did not need to have another quiet time (although that would be wonderful) or go look up something for encouragement…because His Word is hidden the Spirit used it to calm my heart & mind. If that’s not life giving and refreshing, I cannot imagine what is!

I also practice memorizing Scripture with my children. Of course before they can speak we are reading it to them, but once those little words that can be interpreted by momma only start to come along it is time!! At least it was for me with my own first-born. Just so you know, Micah was and still is more verbal than his age would indicate he would be. Someone recently asked me if he was five. Um, no, he just happens to be quite articulate. If your little one isn’t chatting up a storm at 18 months, there is no reason to be alarmed. I just want to encourage you to start this discipline early and enjoy the way they mispronounce things, because there is treasure here, I am telling, worth its weight in gold to watch your child memorize then understand (as you teach them) and apply God’s Word, repenting when wrong.

I will detail for you how I got both of mine started later this week Lord willing. Oh, the suspense. Just don’t want to give you more to chew on than possible AND can I point out that you cannot very well give away something you do not have. Cultivate the discipline of memorizing God’s Word for yourself, then when you teach your children you do it from the position of a lover of the Word rather than a legalist who knows that memorizing is something that ought to be done though they have not the heart for it. Thankfully God can change a heart and mind…be convinced this day that MEMORIZING and MEDITATING on Scripture is for you & your good. It is not meant to make you guilty or overwhelm you (these feelings reveal that we have approached the issue incorrectly). The grace of memorizing & meditating on God’s Word is meant to set you free, so that you may walk about in the glorious freedom of the children of God.

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