10 Practical Tips for Memorizing Scripture


This post is a follow up to a post called 10 Reasons to Memorize Scripture.

For some reason God made it easy for me to memorize. When I was a boy, I memorized a lot of meaningless stats on the back of baseball cards and the nutrition information on the side of cereal boxes. Why? Because I liked numbers and could. Now that I’m following Jesus, I can use that to know Him better and commit Scripture to memory.

Unfortunately, not everyone has it easy as I do. Some people can’t remember other people’s names, where they parked their car, or Bible verses without blood sweat and tears. And that is OK! God made us all different and those who cannot memorize Scripture as effortlessly as I can might find a few of the following practical tips helpful.

10 Practical tips to Help You Memorize Scripture:

1. Memorize the Word of God in community.

With a small group or with the larger congregation, memorizing scripture as a community is a powerful way to learn the Bible together through purusing mutual goals with accountability. Push each other to memorize  the Word of God more.  This is one way to live out Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

2. Memorize along with your family.

Memory verses are not just for kids!  If your children participate in programs like Awana that memorize Bible verses, invite the whole family to memorize together. This is a great way to teach the whole family the truth of the Bible.

3. Use note cards.

When you encounter a Bible verse you want to put to memory, make verse cards and place them in areas of your house or workplace that you will notice: on the bathroom mirror, in your living room, on your refrigerator, etc.  Some people even memorize Scripture in the shower!

Deuteronomy 6:8-9 says we are to bind God’s commands on our hands, on the doorposts of our houses and on our gates so that they be constantly reminding us of God and His commands. When we post verses all around our house we are able to more frequently mediate on God’s word, which helps us renew our minds.

Blog: Just How Important is Renewing Your Mind? Research Study Results

4. Listen to an audio Bible.

A good way to redeem the time is to listen to Scripture while in the car, at the gym, or cooking. This is an ideal method for memorizing longer passages of Scripture and to set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2).

A good sermon can ingrain the truth of the Scriptures in your head as well. By downloading the Unlocking the Bible Podcast, smartphone app or listening to the Unlocking the Bible Radio Program, you are taught God’s Word in an encouraging and refreshing way.

Faith does come by hearing, right?

5. Pray for God to help you.

God is the one who commands that we know Scripture and let it dwell in us, would he not answer a prayer to see his will done?  Pray to God for help, pray to God for guidance, pray to God for understanding, pray to God for a deeper love for His Word.

  • Psalm 119:33, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.
  • Psalm 119:35, “Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.”
  • John 16:13, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth.

Pray for illumination and help. God will answer!

6. Study a passage of Scripture deeply.

I have found that when I pour myself over one portion of Scripture for days and weeks at a time, I can memorize a passage fairly easily. Reading the same set of verses over and over again will not only draw out riches from God’s Word, but it will engrave those verses on your heart through repetition and deep meditation.

Suggested passages to start studying are Romans 8; Psalm 1; Ephesians 2:1-10; Ephesians 6:10-20; John 3.

7. Find Software to help.

Scripture Memory? There’s an App for that! There are many websites and programs that can help you memorize Scriptures by providing plans and tools for your aid. Popular ones include MemVerseRememberMe, and MobilizeFaith.

8. Put it to song.

Chances are you know the ABC’s because of the Alphabet song, or you know the major music scale (Do-Re-Mi…) because of The Sound of Music.  Getting a song stuck in your head is another proof that music is a powerful tool to help memorization. That is why putting the Bible to song or listening to music filled with biblical lyrics is a useful way to internalize the Word of God.

9. Always be on the lookout.

During your normal study of Scripture or while you are listening to a sermon, be on the lookout for good verses to memorize. Having fresh Scriptures to meditate on will deepen your understanding of God and knowledge of Scripture.

Recently after reading about the Gibeonite Deception in Joshua 9, verse 14 stuck out to me describing why Israel made a bad decision: “…but did not ask counsel from the LORD.” That was a verse I wrote out, thought about throughout the day, and memorized.

10. Read out loud/write it out.

Reading out loud is a common tip for how to best memorize.  It is one of the best memorization methods because it combines two learning styles: visual and auditory. Writing out the Scriptures is another way to memorize because it targets two learning styles as well: visual and tactile.

Other Tips:

  • Before you set to memorize a verse, read the passage the verse is from to make sure you know what it means in context.
  • Don’t forget to memorize the reference! This helps in your own personal study and for sharing with others.
  • Think about how you can apply the verse to your life and then pray for God’s help in applying it.
  • Use it or lose it! If you don’t keep Scripture fresh in your mind, it may be easy to lose! Plan to review what you memorize from time to time to keep God’s Word fresh in your life.

What helps you with verse memorization?  What are the ways of memorizing that help you the most?

Photo Credits: joybot, tedsblog, Connor Tarter, the US Army, Big C harvey

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Kevin Halloran is a Christian, blogger, and coffee aficionado. He serves with Leadership Resources International, training pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart. Follow Kevin on Twitter or visit his blog.

Date Posted: May 16th, 2012

  • Wes

    A variation on the “Put it to song” technique is to turn it into a rhythmic chant, like a rap “song”.  The rhythm can make it memorable.

  • Robin Williams

    So far you must have tried various methods to memorize Bible
    verses, but sometimes we are not able to remember it correctly. One of my
    friends gave me an excellent idea to memorize the Bible verses. He showed me
    his android phone to which he had downloaded an application which puts holy verses
    on your phone wallpaper. What is more amazing is that the verses keep on
    changing after some time. In today’s world everyone keeps their phone with
    themselves every time, so whenever you see your phone you see a verse. What could
    be more better way to memorize the verses other than this. The application can
    be downloaded from the link https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nbs.free.goodfriday  to your android phone.

    You can send the verse as a message to your friend or post
    the verse to your friend’s facebook wall.

    What could be more better way to share the Word Of The Lord.
    God bless us all.

  • Sebastián Gómez

    It helps a lot, and maybe is the best way, to memorize listening to music, specially if the music is word for word, verbatim. There is a band that has the Bible in songs, but
    it’s unique in that the author has been working in the songs for over 35
    years and have a high quality. This band has a lot of Psalms of the NIV in songs:

  • Dave Cook