Bible study is important, of that here is no doubt. Knowing the Gospel, what God teaches about Himself, about humanity, about how to navigate this crazy thing we call life, and how to do all things in a way that pleases Him are things that are (and should be!) at the front of a self-professing Christian’s priority list.
9How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes!
13With my lips I declare
all the rulesc of your mouth.
14In the way of your testimonies I delight
as much as in all riches.
15I will meditate on your precepts
and fix my eyes on your ways.
16I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word.
I will not forget your word. How convicting is that? Verse memorization can be SO simple, and when you have a hundred other things going on, the simpler the better, right? Well, read on for the way I’ve found to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to verse memorization.
5 Easy Bible Verse Memorization Tips
Pick something bite-sized.
I love the verses I posted above… but here are seven (SEVEN) verses involved. Unless you are an expert memorizer… or an actor or something to that effect, I suppose, where you are used to memorizing multiple lines, it’s going to be very difficult to memorize seven verses. There are exceptions, of course; for example, the Lord’s Prayer is found in Matthew 6:9-13, which is 4 verses which many of us were taught as children and have repeated for the past 15-20 years daily (or at least close to it). Of course we have that memorized. However, in terms of other Bible verses I have memorized, most are 1-2 verses long and in the context of some larger study I have been working in. Pick something bite-sized out of whatever you are currently studying. It doesn’t have to be John 11:35… but something manageable.
Write it down.
Obvious, yet helpful. Usually, I will use an index card, write down the verse (including the chapter and verse number!). Depending on how you best learn and memorize things, you may want to do this more than once. I learned when I was in college that if I wrote down everything my professor was saying I would remember better than if I just read notes that someone else had written. Journaling is my friend. Why do you think all the old-timey teachers had their kids write lines? Apparently if you write “I will not pull Sally’s hair” a hundred time maybe at some point it will sink in. Same with “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13).
Put it somewhere obvious.
In the vein of writing things down, once you do that, don’t hide it inside the front cover of your Bible, not to be seen again until your next quiet time. Stick it on your mirror (you could write it on your mirror, but as the organized, clean-freak that I am, I couldn’t handle that and it wouldn’t last very long). Put it on the visor of your car (just don’t watch it while you’re driving, PLEASE), put it somewhere at work, somewhere in the kitchen… anywhere you can. The more you see it the more you with remember that you are supposed to be memorizing something.
Say it out loud. Often.
Every time you see the little sticky note you have left for yourself, every time you remember you are supposed to be remembering something, say it OUT LOUD. Loud and proud, sisters. Even at work. I guess if you work in a library or somewhere else you are supposed to be super quiet and can’t even mumble two sentences under your breath you can get out of the work one. Say it (with the chapter and verse!) out loud when you’re putting on your makeup, when you’re saying your prayers, when you’re saying your kid’s prayers with them, whenever you think about it. The reason I’m such a stickler on the verse and chapter is that once you (inevitably) do forget what the wording was exactly, hopefully you will remember the one word book name and two numbers so you can look it up again.
Set it to music.
Please don’t feel like you have to write your own songs. I add this one in because songs are SO easy to memorize. When we were kids, my mom used to sing a song based on Psalm 56:3-4. I sing this song to my son, I still remember it every time I am afraid, and I know both of my brothers would agree when I say those songs still get stuck in my head. Little plug here for Steve Green’s “Hide ’em In Your Heart” albums. They are geared towards kids, of course, but are probably my favorite kid’s music around because it is just straight scripture set to catchy music that will help kids remember Bible verses. And let’s be honest, if your kids are memorizing them set to music… so are you.
I hope that elaborating on these steps didn’t make things seem more complicated than they really are. Essentially, you are just picking a verse from whatever you are already reading/studying, writing it down, sticking it somewhere you can see it, and repeating it out loud over and over again. Bonus points if you make up a song to help. The Holy Spirit will use scripture to speak to us; it is the WAY God speaks to us. If you are not reading the Word and remembering what it says, you are missing out. How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. (Ps. 119:9). There’s one to start with.
In His Love,