This message was given during the fourth meeting of a conference on Practicing to Live with the Present Christ, given by Titus Chu in Chicago, IL on the weekend of April 1-3, 1994
Four Ways for Daily Practice
There are four basic ways to come to the word which I would recommend to you. There are other ways to get the riches from the word as well, but during this time we will cover these basic ways. We should daily come to the word for life by spending time to pray-read the word, read-pray the word, memorize the word, and to read and study the word.
How do you know when to exercise which of the four? When you feel weak, pray-read the Word. When you feel dull, read-pray the word. When you feel that you are poor, memorize the Word. If you desire to be a blessing to the Body, study the Word.
These four practices meet the basic needs.
1. Pray-Reading: For Strengthening in Spirit
Pray-reading is for the strengthening of your spirit. Come together and learn to pray-read with the saints without formality. As long as there is a form, the Spirit cannot be free. You have to break through any kind of form. Try different things. Mix proclamations, exhortations and testimonies into your pray-reading. Be really free. Imagine what would happen if the saints were meeting just to do this one thing! In many small churches the saints don’t know what to do as they are meeting together in their group of five or eight. Do this! Come together to pray-read.
2. Reading-Praying: For the Inspirations Concerning Christ, Ourselves, and Spiritual Things
Pray-reading seems more advanced than read-praying, but read-praying has its value. Since we don’t practice read-praying, we need to demonstrate it to you. You begin by just reading the word out loud. In your reading, some word, phrase or verse will touch you more than other. When you hit upon something that touches you during your reading, you turn it into prayer. Pray out your inspiration. As you pray out the inspiration you have received, you will be further inspired and led to further prayer through your further reading.
As you read-pray, read the word slowly. Do not try to “squeeze out” inspirations. It is not that you are seeking to find inspiration as you read; just let the inspiration come. At a certain point in your careful and deliberate reading, some word or phrase will stand out. That word or phrase should then become the basis of your prayer. The word will yield you real inspiration. Through such an exercise the word will abide in you much more richly.
3. Memorizing Portions of the Word: For Equipping, Utterance, Strengthening, and Future Spiritual Understanding
Memorizing is actually the best form of pray-reading. When you pray-read some verses, you will receive strengthening to your spirit, but if they have not remained in memory, they will not be able to continually be your supply. The verses you memorize will not only strengthen you as you pore over them; they will be able to strengthen you next month, next year, and even all your life. Today, forty years later, I am still strengthened by those sections of the word I memorized when I was a young man in high school.
As you memorize, try to memorize verses in sets, such as by chapters. To memorize shorter sections is easier to do, but also easier to forget. To memorize sections of verses is harder to do but also harder to forget once memorized. This is why you should memorize longer portions. With longer portions you also experience more enjoyment as you memorize.
4. Studying: For Storage of Divine Riches and for Life
Besides memorizing, you should study the Bible for the sake of storing up the divine riches, and for life. It is best to do this kind of study in small groups, although you also need to study the Bible on your own as well. Make an effort to get together as a group with some saints to study the Bible. In addition to using the morning revival material, you should make the effort to study the portion of the word being covered. Locate the key verses, gain inspirations, and get into the thought of that portion of the word. Help one another in this kind of labor.