“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. . .” Deut. 6:6
“Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psa 119:11
“For the word of God is living and powerful, . . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
When I was a little kid, when my Momma wanted me to memorize something, she’d say, “Can you say it by heart?” Like my ABC’s, or the Pledge of Allegiance, or the Lord’s Prayer, or the 23rd Psalm. “Do you know it by heart?” And the funny thing is, I’m 69 now, and I still have those things memorized. I still know them, and can say them, By Heart! Makes me grin.
And the Lord has been telling me for a long time now that we as disciples of Jesus should memorize God’s Holy Word. It has all kinds of benefits. After Deuteronomy 6:6, the passage goes on to say, “You shall teach them [His Words] diligently to your children; and talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk down the road; when you lie down and when you rise up. . .” You should memorize God’s Words so they will be available, on the tip of your tongue, when you talk to others about Jesus; you will have HIS words to say, because it’s not you that speak, but the Holy Spirit.
You should know God’s Word by heart, so you won’t sin against God, just like David said. Knowing God’s Word by heart forms a barrier, a wall, against all the tricks of the devil, when he says, like he did to Eve, “You don’t really believe God really meant what He said, do you?” And if you’ve spent enough time thinking about Bible verses to memorize them, then you KNOW that you really DO believe what God says.
And that last verse quoted above, about the Word of God being “alive and powerful, and piercing . . and is a discerner of the thoughts and the intents of the heart.” I’m convinced that if you memorize God’s Word; if you hide it in your heart; if you obey God as He commands that “These words shall be in your heart”; then you will be able to discern what is going on in peoples’ hearts; both in other peoples’ hearts and in your own; so you’ll know better how to pray for them and for yourself.
I have a list of about 250 separate scriptures that I’ve been memorizing over the last several years. I take one new one a day and work on it that day. About the third time I come to it on the list, I have it memorized. If you’d like I can send you a copy.