10 Practical Tips for Memorizing Scripture

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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

Listen to an AudioBible

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?

Pray for Illumination of the Spirit

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.6143018482_01f756363c_z

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.

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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.

Author: Kevin Halloran – Kevin blogs for Unlocking the Bible, loves reading, baseball, and coffee, and can be found on Twitter @Kp_Halloran or at KevinHalloran.net.

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

Date Posted: May 16th, 2012

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