Memorizing scripture has never been an easy task for me. A bit of apathy mixed with forgetfulness, and I have committed only a few verses to memory. However, it’s something I’m trying to work diligently on.
Why memorize Scripture?
Why would it be important for Christians to memorize Scripture? A few reasons…
Scripture conforms us to Christ. The more we look towards Christ, the more we will know him and walk as he has called us to.
Scripture is our reminder of victory in Christ. When we face difficult days, we are battling a certain temptation, or we struggle to see the good in whatever situation we find ourselves in, the Bible is filled with reminders of the triumph we have in Christ. Knowing these truths helps us to navigate these situations in a way honoring to Christ.
Scripture committed to memory helps us to communicate the Gospel to unbelievers and to share encouragement with those around us. Opportunities to share and uplift others might arise when we don’t have a Bible readily available. We must be prepared to pour out truth over others and to explain the Gospel or offer reminders of God’s goodness to friends, family, and strangers alike.
Scripture is a way that we can know and enjoy God more. I love my husband more every day because I get to know him more each day. The same is true with Christ. When we get to know God, his character, his purposes, and his presence more then we enjoy and love Him more. Having scripture committed to memory allows us to meditate on His goodness all day long, no matter where we are.
How to memorize Scripture?
Knowing that it’s important to memorize scripture and actually knowing HOW to memorize the scripture are two very different things! This is where I’ve really struggled the last few years. So, I figured I’d research some of the best scripture memory tips and tricks to hopefully guide us all towards knowing Christ more and committing more scripture to memory.
Recite it Outloud
This is a personal favorite and may make you feel a bit silly, but saying it out loud works wonders. For me, it allows me to not only have to process the next word but also consider what the words mean. This method gives me a chance to say the word, hear the word, and think about the word. Try this when you’re driving down the road in your car, washing dishes, or even in the shower.
The First Letter Method
This was a method I used in college a ton. It only works if you’re memorizing a part of a verse or a shorter verse, but it’s a great little hack. Take the verse that you’re memorizing and write the first letter of every word on your hand. This way throughout the day you can look down and be reminded of the verse and have a bit of help reciting it. For instance, if the verse were Psalm 29:11, you would write “MTLGSTHPMTLBHPWP” on your hand. Try it out!
Write it Out
Another great way to memorize scripture is to write it out – over and over again. Take it word by word and practice rewriting it in a notebook. Think of when you were in middle school and you had to rewrite your spelling words 10x each week for an assignment. Once you write it 5-10 times, you’ll start to realize you’re memorizing it along the way.
Post it Everywhere
The more you see something, the more you will start to remember what it says. Try writing it on a post-it note and putting it on your bathroom mirror and on your fridge. You can even get creative and find or make a graphic with the verse to set as your background on your computer or phone. Wherever you are a lot, put the verse up in that spot so that you will see it every day.
Give it a Tune
This is one that might not work for those not musically talented – including myself! If you have that musical gene, however, this could be a winner for you. Try setting the verse to a tune and singing it throughout your day. Turn it into your own worship song and sing it as you go.
Bible Memory App
The Bible Memory App is a GREAT tool that will help you to recite scripture in no time! All you have to do is set which verse you are trying to memorize. The app will offer you flashcards, games, and quizzes to help you practice memorizing each word.
There are so many different options to help you practice committing verses to memory. No matter which method you choose, the important part is memorizing the verse and living it out daily.
As Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California wrote, “Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.”