Perhaps the best reason to memorize Scripture is because Jesus, the Word in flesh (John 1:1), modeled it! Jesus knew the written Word and quoted it close to 180 times in the New Testament. It’s clear that He thought of the Scriptures as the ultimate authority in life and a way to understand the heart and desires of God. Having the ability to recall and quote memorized Scripture helps us to fight temptation, live in obedience, declare healing and freedom, and so much more! No wonder the apostle Paul tells us to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly!” (Colossians 3:16)
The discipline of memorization is putting a verse, passage, or chapter of Scripture to memory.
There are countless ways to memorize Scripture. (Even if you feel you don’t have the best memory, you can do it!) It may be helpful to think about your learning style to choose a method that’s most effective for you. Are you an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner? The following are a few methods to consider trying. Like anything worthwhile, keep striving and practicing until you find something that works well for you!
- Erase One Word at a Time: Grab a dry erase marker and write a verse on a whiteboard or a mirror that you see regularly. Say the verse outloud to yourself several times and try to commit it to memory. When you’re familiar with it, erase a word or two. Say the verse again, including the omitted word that you’ve now memorized. Continue the process until you build up to knowing the whole verse and each word is erased.
- Spiral Notebook: Sometimes the best thing you can do is keep the Scripture right in front of you – or close by! Write out your chosen text on a page of a spiral notebook, keeping it in a place that you can refer to easily. Start by memorizing the first few words or phrases. Once you can recite that without looking, memorize another section. Then recite it all together. Repeat until you have the entire verse or passage memorized. Once you think you have it memorized, write it out again with no help, then look at your previous page and see if you have memorized it correctly! Once you’re able to write the text out correctly from memory, turn to the next page and write out another verse or passage of your choosing and repeat the process! As you progress throughout the year, go back and refresh your memory on the verses you’ve memorized previously.
- Use Motions or Images: This may sound childish, but using motions or images in your imagination can really help internalize the verse! Determine what words stand out to you in verse(s) and decide what motion or image you will use when you say that particular word. TIP: Keep your motion or image consistent with the word you originally use it with, this will help as you memorize more and more verses! (If you have 3 different motions for the word “strength” for example, it will create confusion).
Your first step is to choose a verse, passage or chapter of Scripture that would be particularly meaningful for you to memorize. What has been on your heart and mind lately? Determine what text would be especially helpful for you to be able to recall and recite so you can experience the peace, confidence, strength, wisdom, healing, gratitude, etc. that you desire in this season of your life.