1- You can use it first of all as material for prayer.
In addition to your prayer before and after reading, reading the Bible kindles in you specific feelings that you will find yourself in need to transform them into prayer, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. And so, reading the Book of Psalms for example teaches you how to pray and in what manner you should talk to God. It is the same when you read the prayers of God’s men in the Bible, such as the prayer of Daniel the Prophet (Dan 9), and the prayer of Ezra (Ez 9), and also the prayer of Nahum (Nah 1), and the prayer of Solomon (1Kings 8), and the prayer of Jonah while in the belly of the fish (Jonah 2), and the song of Mary (Lk 1), and the rest of songs and prayers that are in the Bible.
2- The Bible could be a material for contemplation:
By selecting a specific event from the historic books and contemplating on it or on one of the miracles or a verse, with your heart and thoughts.
3- Make the commandments of the Bible a field for spiritual exercises.
Choose what suits your spiritual level and need, in order to grow in the life of virtue. You will find a detailed explanation of this in our article on spiritual exercises.
4- Or make the reading of the Bible an opportunity for repentance.
If you read, for example, the Lord’s saying: “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Mt 5:23,24) , you will find inside you a strong urge to go and reconcile with whoever you have offended. And if you read verses about vows (Eccles 5:4,5), you will find yourself obliged to pay to the Lord your vows which you may have delayed.
5- Memorizing many of the verses.
Exercises to memorize the Bible
1- Memorize some of the important main chapters of the Bible:
For example, the Sermon on the Mount, the constitution of Christianity (Mt 5:3-10), the chapter on love (1Cor 13), the beautiful commandments (Rom 12), Christ’s long prayer before going to Gethsemane (Jn 17) and some of the Lord’s words to His Disciples (Jn 14-17).
2- Train yourselves and your children to memorize alphabetical verses.
Verses that start with letters of your names, names of saints, virtuous characteristics or verses of a suitable word such as church, education, clergy...
3- Memorize verses that include specific words:
You may say to a child: recite verses that relate to the room (chair, bed, floor, lamp, door, light) or verses about the members of the body (face, eye, lips, leg, hand..)
4- You may also memorize objective verses:
Verses about joy, comfort, gentleness.. verses to fight certain thoughts. Verses to encourage those in despair, verses to advise the sinner or to give thanks..
5- You may practise the use of memorized verses while conversing with people.
Let the language of the Bible be ready in your mouth to be used in your speech, your talk and your stories. By doing this you will reduce the chance of sinning and so you shall be a true Christian role model. In every situation, try to remember a verse..
6- You may also write down in a note book your favourite verses - Write the verses that touch you and are significant for you, then memorize them.
I would like to work on arranging a competition in memorizing or publishing booklets to help in memorizing verses on various topics...
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