How to Memorize Scripture
Be Like the Cow
Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.
The Bible mentions many strong and noble animals – the lion, the eagle, the horse. Why would we want to be like the cow?
The reason is that after eating a stomach full of grass, the cow brings back the grass to its mouth to chew it again and digest it completely.
When we read God’s word, we have to “digest” what we read. Psalm 1 tells us to think about God’s law day and night. This means we should “meditate” scripture – think about it over and over again, so we can understand it.
If we go beyond reading, and actually keep His word in our heart, the Holy Spirit can bring scripture back to our mind anytime. This is why it is important to read the Bible everyday, if possible.
Take Jesus for example, when He was being tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-13), He resisted Satan’s attacks by quoting scripture that He had memorized.
So what are some practical ways we can start to memorize scripture?
1. Choose a Passage and Set a Goal
Memorizing a bible verse here and there is valuable. But a verse is just one small part of a book of the Bible. God’s word is better understood when we read the text around one verse. Choosing a longer passage of scripture helps you avoid changing the meaning of scripture or misunderstanding it.
So, try to select a paragraph or even a short chapter. You might look for a passage containing attributes of God, or one which will help you in an area of weakness. For example, if you lack joy in your life, you might choose Philippians 4, where it says “Rejoice in the Lord always . . .”
Other suggestions are: Colossians 3:1-17; Matthew 5:3-12 (the Beatitudes); Ephesians 1:3-14.
Also be sure to use a Bible version that is easy to read and understand. If 17th century English is hard for you to understand, then don’t choose the King James version!
Finally, decide how quickly you want to memorize your passage. Adding one verse a day may be good. A little bit of daily progress adds up fast!
2. Make Multiple Copies of it
You probably don’t carry your Bible everywhere. Here are some other ways you can keep your memory passage with you at all times:
- Type it on the computer and print it out. Then fold the paper so it fits your pocket or purse. Tape a copy to your bathroom mirror where you brush your teeth.
- Use a Bible app on your mobile phone or tablet if you have one. There’s even an app for phones that are not so fancy! You can download it here. (Link to AskBible)
- Make it easy to find on your smartphone or tablet.
- Make an audio recording of yourself reading the passage, or use an existing audio Bible. You can then listen to it while exercising, cooking, or walking.
- If you don’t have access to all that technology, you can write your passage out with pencil and paper!
3. Read, Listen, and Speak it over and over
As you review your passage in all these different ways, think of the words and how they sound (this helps you remember it), and also think about the meaning of the passage. Try to hear what God is saying to you through it. And the more you go over it, the more God can speak to you.
Scripture memory can help you with patience! Maybe you are in your car sitting in traffic, or in line at a store, or waiting for someone who is late. Instead of being annoyed at having to wait, pull out your scripture passage and go over it again (but please don’t read while driving!).
Then, when you have memorized the passage, review it often. And then choose the next passage to work on. I am excited to get up each morning, knowing that there is another verse to memorize!
We pray that as you memorize God’s word, hide it in your heart, and meditate on it often, the Holy Spirit will do His work in you and that you will truly be “Transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
Pray this week:
Dear Father, thank You for Your wonderful Word, the Bible. I do want to hide Your words in my heart and let You speak to me often. Help me to do this by the power of the Holy Spirit and for Your glory. Amen.
Does this sound exciting? Hard? Challenging? Click to talk to someone who can help you.