I woke up early this morning and the Holy Spirit was prompting me to pray about something that is going on. I felt the power and presence of God as I prayed about it and then I found that I was just enjoying the presence of God and I really wanted to just spend some time praising God and worshiping the Lord.
"Lord, thank you... thank you... thank you..." I couldn't think of anything else to say, anything fitting enough to speak in God's holy presence. I considered what else I wanted to say, what else I could say to a God so holy, and that's when the words of Psalm 103 started coming to my mind.
"Lord, thank you... You forgive all our sins. You heal all our diseases. You crown our lives with love and compassion. You satisfy our desires with good things..."
It was great to have beautiful, true, and most of all, fitting words to speak to God in His presence. The words poured out of my mouth like jewels pouring out of a velvet sack.
Interestingly, Psalm 103 is the portion of Scripture I decided to start memorizing after I went for a hike and realized that I really wanted to start memorizing Scripture. Here's a blog post about that.
This morning was the first time that I had the opportunity to use that Scripture I memorized. I had considered some of the ways I might use the Bible passages I put to memory. Perhaps I could quote them to my kids as they went to sleep or to myself as I went to sleep, or sat in a waiting room, or walked in the woods. It never even occurred to me that I might be able to use the Scriptures I had in my memory to praise and worship God in my private prayer and worship.
That seems obvious now. And it occurs to me that the time we spend with God in private is precious Him, more precious than it is to us since He loves us so much more than we love Him. So now I see that of course He would equip us with the words, the language, we would need to reach out to Him and to praise Him fittingly.
I can't think of a better motivation for memorizing Scripture now. I imagined that I might be using the words I memorized in front of human audiences, but no, at least, not yet. This morning, I was able to turn the Word of God into praise for the audience of God Himself. It was a surprising joy, a great privilege, and it will be the truest and best motivation to memorize even more.