A Way to Memorize Scripture

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I try to memorize scripture. I’m not great at it. Memorizing ANYTHING is hard for me. I can remember back to my old days of piano competition and my struggle to memorize piano music. It seemed to take F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to memorize the music. And even these days, I have a hard time memorizing phone numbers. It’s just something that is hard for me. I think this is one reason why I push scripture memory work at my kids because they are SO good at it! Perhaps it’s because they have a fresh brain, I don’t know.

But I try to memorize scripture. I’ll go through phases of doing well and then dry times of not doing much. I’m inconsistent and I want to do better with it.

Why memorize scripture? Well, the Bible tells us to “hide its words in our heart so that we might not sin against God.” That’s a good enough reason for me.

Missy, over at Snappshots.com is a great friend of mine and when I told her my desire she recommended the book His Word in my Heart by Janet Pope. It is an excellent resource to teach one how to memorize scripture. I took some of the strategies she recommends and put those with what I was already doing.

Now I just need to DO IT! (I feel like a Nike commercial.)

So here is what I do:

1) I choose what to memorize in two ways. a) I’m reading scripture, a verse jumps out at me, I love it, so I memorize it. OR b) I choose a chapter or passage that is filled with Truth that I need at this moment in my life.

2) I write my verses to memorize in a spiral index card pad. This is small enough to carry around with me and I don’t lose my verses.

3) I read through the entire verse or section of verses.

4) I break the scripture into digestible sections and I start with one section per day. For each section, I ask myself, “What do these words say? What Truth does God want me to learn? How does this scripture apply to my life?”

5) For longer passages, I add a phrase or verse a day until I have memorized the whole section or chapter.

6) Review! Review! Review! This is where I slack off and I need to do better. The only way to remember is to practice. Pope gives the strategy in her book that she assigns certain books of the Bible she has memorized to certain days of the week. (YES! You saw that right! She has memorized entire books of the Bible!)

7) Pray. I pray for God to help me keep His word in my heart. I don’t want the ravens to come and snatch the word away after the seeds have been tossed.

This works for me. I just have to be disciplined to do it. And that is where I fail quite a bit in my spiritual walk. Discipline. Paul tells us to run the race, to fight the good fight, and the only way to do this is to be consistent and disciplined. Having friends who are willing to join you as you memorize can help motivate and encourage you. If one of you is having an off period of time, then the others can edify and sharpen your iron, so to speak.

My goal is to go back to the verses in my notebook and review them. Once I have them memorized again, then I can begin to add new ones.

I think I might tackle some Psalms!

What strategy do you use to memorize scripture?


A Way to Memorize Scripture — 9 Comments

  1. I find the first letter method very helpful. I memorized half of Matthew that way last year. I took a break from it to memorize more topical stuff and never went back. I have been meaning to finish, just haven’t.
    I found it helpful because if I cannot remember, looking doesnt give the whole verse away. I read the passage through once or twice then switch to the first letter version and read it aloud with only that as a guide when I have it without error looking only at the letters, I look away and repeat it, looking only to the first letters if I need a help. Memorization comes fairly easily to me anyway but this really helps. Pat has a very difficult time memorizing and has had success with it also.

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