Tips for Memorizing Scripture
Most of us don’t read the Bible when we’re looking for something to do in our leisure time.There are many other things we’d rather do with our time—read a good book, watch TV, play sports, walk on the beach, and on the list goes. Don’t we care about what God has to say to us personally? Don’t we want the intimacy with God that comes when we pray and study His word? What’s our excuse? Each of us needs to ask that question because internalizing God’s word is the most significant way God speaks to us and teaches us His precepts.
In Psalm 119:11, the psalmist says “Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against you” (NIV). In verse 16b he says, “I will not forget your Word.” and then he says, “Your Word has given me life” (vs. 50b). In verse 105 we read “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” These verses assure us of the importance of having God’s word in our hearts, but knowing is not enough.
Memorizing scripture is not an easy task and there needs to be real motivation in order to be successful at it. We must have a driving desire to know Him better, to walk closer to Him, to serve Him faithfully and to feel His presence with us in our daily walk. How can we hide His Word in our hearts?
The Bible is a big book with some 783,137 words. We cannot hope to memorize all of it, though a few have memorized all of it. Dr. Bill Bennett, founder of Mentoring Men for the Master, says, “It’s hard by the yard, a cinch by the inch.” In other words, it’s much harder to memorize long passages than to learn one or two verses at a time. Therefore, we need to begin with an “inch” and later we might master a “yard.” (Read more. . .)
Specifically, there are four rules for memorizing scripture:
(1) Study diligently. You must know it in your head before you can hide it in your heart.
Pray and ask God to direct your thoughts to the things He wants you to learn.
(2) Consider which verses you want to memorize during the week. Write the verses for the week on a piece of paper; carry it with you every day. Keep the verses in your heart by
memorization and meditation. Ask Him questions about things you don’t understand.
Don’t rush; take all the time you need to listen to the still small voice of God.
(3) Show it in your life as you live by it and obey its teachings. Having the scripture hidden in your heart will give you power to live by it. Have an accountability partner who will ask you about your verses and listen to you say them.
(4) Finally, use the verses in your daily routine. Quote scriptures that offer hope and
encouragement for co-workers and friends. Let them see that it’s an important part of your life.
At the end of each week, put the paper with your verses in a notebook; review your notebook at least once a week.
- (a) Write the verses for the week on a sheet of paper; carry it with you every day. Read the verses when you have a minute---break-time, waiting for appointments, waiting in traffic, etc.
- (b) Have an accountability partner who will ask you about your verses and listen to you say them.
- (c) At the end of the week, put the paper in a notebook; review it at least once a week Add new verses. You’ll be surprised at how God will bring these Scriptures to mind just when you need them most.