Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
I have said, I want to be clear headed enough that I am still able to pray for people around me, even when I am completely disabled physically. But many of you will identify with something that has been happening to me. I will be talking about something that interests me and won't remember the name of someone I have read and respected for years. Or I will step out into our garage, but won't remember why I am there. Last week someone asked me if that was caused by chemotherapy. I don't know. Whatever the cause, I have begun to work at preserving my mind.
Many people do things to this end. A friend recently told me he plays Sudoku. His wife works crossword puzzles. Other people play mind games found on luminosity.com. Last year my wife and I went to The Cowboy Poetry Gathering at Elko, Nevada. There I met an aging man whose name I can't remember. He said he started writing poetry because his doctor told him it would help maintain his ability to think and remember.
Over 30 years ago, David Snowden chose a small group of nuns as subjects for a study on aging and brain deterioration. Through the years, the study has grown to include nearly 700 sisters and monks across the United States. Many of these people continued to be sharp well past 100 years of age. Some had remained mentally sharp even though the brain pathology from autopsies showed that they had full blown Alzheimer's. The articles that I read about this give only one reason. All of these people had continued to be intellectually active. I would also point out what researchers did not mention. The nuns also prayed extended, formal, daily prayers.
I admit that all these things that I have mentioned must be helpful. But I doubt if any of them is foolproof. Still, I need to do something. And what I have begun is proving to be a blessing in my life. I am memorizing scripture. I have actually done this some since I was a teenager. And I always led churches in scripture memorization. But I am doing more now than ever before. And I am using a different system than I have used in the past.
This has to be incorporated into my daily devotional times. I read the same chapter of Scripture every day for a week. I memorize a portion of the chapter each day. (Longer chapters require a week and a half to memorize.) The next week I go on to the next.chapter. Every third week I memorize a chapter from the Old Testament. Although it does not take as long, it seems I have to re-memorize each segment every day. I review a chapter for two weeks. I know this is enough to put many of you off. But I need to tell you, God blesses me more as I review or re-memorize those verses than anything I can remember doing.
Slowing me down is crucial for thinking, understanding, and hearing the voice of God. As I do this God overwhelms me with peace and an assurance of His nearness. Again and again, God has shown me what He is saying to me as I go over these verses. And I am thrilled with joy, wonder and praise as I have never been before.
I fear a couple of terrible results from my writing about this. First, some of you will be impressed with me rather than, God and God's word. Next, some of you will be put off by the very idea of this. That will be sad. Many of you would be blessed far more than you know, if you were to try it or something like it. I would like some response from you to these ideas. And I pray some of my readers will try Scripture memory for your mind and for your soul.