God instructs us to write God’s word on our hearts, to meditate on it day and night. It is important to God that we know not only the stories but also those verses that speak to us, through us, and for us when we lack the words to pray, praise, or even speak. Memorizing scriptures is not for the goal of winning competitions or conversations or even for a litany of moral takeaways but rather for the nourishment and encouragement of our hearts and the hearts of others. It helps form the spiritual foundation we stand on as we grow from children to adults, from young Christians to mature disciples.
Memorizing scripture also helps form a common prayer language—praise, lament, dependence on God, grace, hope, peace, and joy. In praying the scriptures we identify with the sadness of the Jobs and the Josephs and discover the joys of the Sarahs and the Marys. We speak our beliefs with the words of the scriptures when our hearts feel doubtful and uncertain. We claim the promises of God when the circumstances of our lives are shaky. And we pray the scriptures when we simply don’t have the words ourselves.
—Jenny Youngman, Scrambled Starts: Family Prayers for Morning, Bedtime, and Everything In-Between (Upper Room Books, 2015)
What Bible verses do you remember most from childhood? What effect do they have on your daily life? Join the conversation.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
—Psalm 119:105 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him, all creatures here below;
Praise him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
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(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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