Of all the spiritual disciplines, which is the most important discipline for Christian spiritual growth?
For the longest time if someone would ask me that question, I would answer “prayer” without hesitation. After all, prayer forms the basic building block of our relationship with God; it’s how we talk to him. For many of us, prayer is how we came to commit our lives to radical discipleship.
A close second for me would have been simply reading the Bible.
What if I told you it wasn’t prayer, or even simple Bible reading was the most important for Christian spiritual growth? What if I told you it wasnt any of the 12 spiritual disciplines as we usually talk about them?
That's right, the one most important discipline for Christian spiritual growth doesn't even usually make the list.
Yet, it hides right under our noses, in plain sight. It’s common sense, really.
It’s memorizing the Holy Scriptures.
Hiding the word of God in your heart. This is perhaps the most neglected of the disciplines, yet the one with the most power to supercharge every other spiritual practice.
Committing the Scriptures to memory lays the best possible foundation for all of the other disciplines!
Bible memorization as a discipline can effectively combine prayer with Bible study and meditation, with the added benefit of lodging the very words of God deep in our minds. How can this not change us?
Memorizing the Scriptures as a discipline will teach us how to pray, give us words when our own fail us, make the wisdom of God part of our very being, strengthen our confidence in God, sharpen our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, open our heart for contemplation, and can even make us smarter!
If you are looking to grow spiritually, you must start here. Begin by committing the revealed word of God to memory, and watch how he uses this to draw you closer to himself.