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Memorising scripture

Our home group has been memorising Psalm 91. This is a step up from Psalm 23. My memorisation app says there are 273 words in Psalm 91.  I can now recite all of it! That's a lot of words to remember in precisely the order they appear! What has struck me as I have been memorising these psalms is two things :

First, words come alive. I have found that the words I struggle to memorise are words that I miss easily when reading the passage. Words that unlock the mean of passages or even the entire psalm. For example as I have read psalm 91 I kept missing a key word in these two verses :
"Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent" (v9, 10 ESV).
The word I missed repeatedly was "allowed". It speaks to the sovereignty of God over all that comes near him! And once you focus on that word the entire psalm fits into place. For example, because God is the one that permits or allows things to happen, he is already victorious even against the lion and the serpent!

Secondly, prayer comes alive. I have found that when I now have a moment to pray, I am not lost where to start. I don't always want to just pray me, me and me prayers. Of course God is interested in me, but what I really want is to pray according to his words. With memorising scripture I have now found myself praying a variety of prayers.

Recently when I was commuting to work, rather than read, I felt like being lost in prayer. And immediately the words of Psalm 23 appeared and I was able to pray through them expositionally. It allowed me to digest the words again and own the words. At the same time as I pray, I preach to myself! This is particularly so when I am driving. I now increasingly switch off the music and recite a psalm! In short not only is my prayer life growing fuelled by memorisation, but living in the word is growing!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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