How many verses of Scripture do you know "by heart"? I knew plenty when I was a kid because the children's ministry program at my church focused on memorization. Those words—or at least the concepts—are still there, stored in a back drawer of my memory banks, providing me with a vocabulary for prayer and comfort in my time of trouble (see 2 Cor. 1:4).
I grew up memorizing Scripture, but the only prize was gold stars on a chart or candy bars at summer camp from a smart counselor who would bribe us to learn required verses. These days, it appears the stakes are higher. A recent Chicago Tribune article highlighted a "Bible drill" where students had to recite verses from memory in a contest modeled after the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Winners in each age group walked away with $50,000. (Click here to read the article.)
Reading the article got me thinking about Scripture memory and the fact that being required to memorize was actually quite a gift to me. "Thy Word I have hid in ...1