Scripture Memorization and Meditation: Biblical Tools for Handling Life’s Challenges
Meditation can be found in the Bible and is a useful practice for dealing with the stress and chaos of life. Biblical meditation is to fill your mind with the word of God. Meditation and memorization are two sides of the same coin. Practicing them together will give you the tools to reset your heart and mind in the midst of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Why should you meditate?Meditation practices are tools that help train your mind and your heart to focus on the work of God rather than the ways that you may feel incapable of handling life circumstances.
These Bible verses will help you focus your mind while you meditate on God’s Word.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3, NIV
The practice of meditation trains your mind to trust in the work of God. God tells his people to trust him and through the pages of Scripture he demonstrates why he is worthy of that trust. By learning and knowing the Bible you will be able to trust God more willingly and faithfully.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. – Joshua 1:8, NIV
Meditation works in tandem with memorization. Taking the words of Scripture with you beyond the simple reading of the pages. Building a practice of memorizing the words of Scripture will help you both in meditating and also in finding encouragement for the difficulties you are experiencing.
By reading the Bible regularly, you will start to understand the ways of God and how to apply the Word to your life. When you memorize and meditate on the word of God you become more aware of the power it has to change you from the inside out.
When your mind tends toward worry and anxiety, the reminders of Scripture can be helpful to redirect your thoughts to God and his work. Focusing on some good and positive things is helpful when battling despair and depression. Remembering the words of God can reach in the darkness and give you hope.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. – Philippians 4:8, NIV
Struggling with dark thoughts is hard, especially when those thoughts are connected to a mental health issue. Repeating the words of God over and over to yourself can help you break the cycle of negative thoughts that threaten your mind and heart.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. – Psalm 19:14, NIV
Meditation is a practice that is closely tied to prayer. It links the reading and memorization of God’s words in the Bible with how you speak to God. By repeating, rephrasing, and rethinking about the Bible you are given language to pray.
When you are struggling with how to pray, it can be helpful to turn to the familiar words of the Bible and repeat them back to God. When you don’t think you know how to pray you can use the words that God has given to people in the Scripture and speak them back to him. The Bible is full of prayers and you can use them for yourself.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. – Psalm 119:148, NIV
Lying awake with stress and anxiety is a common experience, so having words of Scripture to think about can be helpful practice to soothe yourself when you are lying awake. Memorizing the promises of God will be the answers to the worries that threaten to destabilize your mind. It is not a magical spell to soothe insomnia. However, repeating the words of God to yourself will have a far more calming effect than the largest herd of sheep you could possibly count.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. – Psalm 1, NIV
This psalm offers a contrast between someone who knows and loves the word of God and someone who does not. When you are finding ways to incorporate the word of God into your life through memorization and meditation you are creating roots that go down deep into God’s unchanging character.
While life around you may continue to be chaotic and overwhelming, you will not falter. If you have ever seen trees in a storm, you know that they may lose some leaves or branches, but they stay put. When you practice meditating and memorizing the word of God, you are preparing yourself to face the storms without being uprooted.
As you learn to meditate and memorize God’s Word, choose to focus on the readings that feel most accessible to you. Read through the Psalms or the Gospels over and over again, letting the words fill your mind and heart to overflowing. Use a concordance or online search engine to find verses on topics that resonate with you now, and apply those verses to the problems you are facing.
Techniques and tips for meditation and Scripture memorization.
There are lots of ways that you can use to help you develop habits of meditation and Scripture memorization. Here are some techniques and tips to try.
- Find an audio Bible playlist and listen to it during commutes, or while you doing your morning bathroom routine. This is filling your mind with God’s Word in otherwise empty spaces.
- Copy passages of the scripture onto notecards and tape them above the sink in the kitchen or bathroom. Maybe onto the workbench in the garage. Make the lock screen of your phone a Bible verse to memorize. (A quick search will yield many results for wallpapers for your device.)
- Keep a journal with your Bible. Write out passages and the thoughts that come to you while you are reading your Bible. Then review this weekly to track your spiritual growth.
- Practice breath prayers, saying a short phrase from Scripture while you inhale and exhale to calm you down when feeling anxious.
- Memorize Psalm 1, Psalm 23, or the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) for when you are lying awake with anxiety in the middle of the night.
- Purchase a guided journal that helps you with reflective questions for meditation and review.
- Learn about different meditation practices from historical Christians, such as Lectio Divina, the Daily Examen, or prayer books.
Christian counseling for your thought life.
While Scripture memorization and meditation are excellent ways to handle life’s challenges, you may need more help that is customized to the problems you are facing. A caring Christian counselor can offer biblical principles to help you in the specific struggles you are facing now. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how our counseling services can help you overcome thought life problems.
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