What is Muttering?
- In Jewish culture, when a rabbi taught his students to pray, they would use a form of Jewish Biblical meditation, called Haggah, which means "to tell, to utter, and to mutter" - to speak aloud quietly. This basically means to keep the Word of God on your lips. It is meditation by confession - by speaking it forth.
- Muttering is reading the Word of God in a repeated pattern (a loop), at a good, constant pace, for at least a few minutes.
- As you read the verse, you may want to put emphasis on a different word each time to highlight variation in what you read. This may give you deeper insight into the verse.
- Volume also is key. Though you are reading the verse softly, you are doing it audibly, and in such a way that if someone is sitting right next to you they could hear the whole thing. You are ultimately targeting your own heart to hear the Word of God.
- To try it out muttering for the first time, I would recommend you try it for 3 minutes with one verse.
Why is Muttering Helpful?
- Muttering is repeatedly reading a Bible verse or passage for the purposes of hiding the Word of God in your heart.
- Muttering the Word of God is the opposite of complaining. You are putting God's truth in your heart instead of a negative outlook.
- In muttering you are speaking to your heart. Your heart loves to hear your voice and follows it well.
- You are inundating your heart with the Word.
- It puts a buoyancy into your spirit, a lightness, a rising sense of hope, faith, and peace.
- Muttering the Scriptures helps you to stay attentive.
- It may seem similar to reviewing a Bible verse for the purpose of memorizing it but there are no short pauses or engaging your mind to check progress. The focus is not on checking if I have memorized a verse but on just repeated readings of the verse without pause. A byproduct of muttering a verse, though, is you will find that eventually you will have the verse or passage committed to memory.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. - Psalm 1:1-2 NIV
"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." - Joshua 1:8 ESV
"So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ." - Romans 10:17 ESV
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." - Deuteronomy 6:4-7
"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits." - Proverbs 18:21
"Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up." - Proverbs 12:25
"For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” - Mark 7:21-23 NIV
"My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." - Proverbs 4:20-23 NIV
"My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways..." - Proverbs 23:26a NIV