Scripture lists many reasons to memorize. Here are a few:
To fight temptation.
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Ps. 119:11
To wield the Sword of the Spirit!
“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph. 6:17
“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword…” Heb. 4:12
Matt 4:1-11 (Satan tempting Jesus)
Jesus often quoted scripture, saying “it is written” many times throughout his ministry. He knew the Word inside and out. (Matt 11:10, 21:13, 26:24, 26:31. And that is just Matthew!)
To encourage others.
(1 Thess. 5:11, 1 Thess. 4:15-18)
To share your faith.
“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” 1 Peter 3:15
To pray scripture over others (Phil. 4:19-20, Heb. 13:20-21)
Enhanced study of God’s Word
(Cross referencing, translation comparison, etc.) (2 Tim. 3:14-17)
To become more like Christ
God’s thoughts begin to become our thoughts. (Phil 4:8, Col 3:1-3)
Memorizing truth keeps us from falling for the lies of the enemy. (Heb 13:7-9, Matt. 4:1-11, Col 2:8-10)
Click here to take the #3VerseChallenge, and challenge friends to join you.
Once you’ve had a taste of Scripture memory, try one (or all!) of our past challenges:
Your favorite chapter(s) of the Bible
Your favorite book of the Bible
You favorite Psalm
The Psalm of your age
Something God is teaching you right now
Passages specific to fighting a particular temptation (example: to combat lust you may choose to memorize 1 Corinthians 6:12-20)
A small epistle such as Philippians or James
The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)
Choose your challenge and set a goal based on how many verses you can memorize per day. Feel free to take it slow; at just one verse a day, you can memorize a 30-verse chapter in only a month!
Share your goal with an accountability partner who will check on your progress. Without a friend’s help, it’s easy to rationalize and delay. Even better, set a date to recite the passage for your small group or church!
Decide where you will memorize. Memorization is best done in a place where you feel alone and has limited distractions. Memorization requires your full focus and attention. Divided attention while attempting to memorize is a HUGE MISTAKE. In order to memorize you must FOCUS your whole attention on the passage for a designated period of time. (This is different from review which we will discuss later on this page.)
Decide when you will memorize. Go somewhere secluded yet happy such as your backyard or spare room, and put away distractions. But when will you be able to do this? During your morning quiet time? Instead of watching TV? Whatever you decide, make your memory time specific and timely.
Memorize the thoughts, not just the words. Whether by consulting a commentary, asking your pastor or small group leader or parent or simply reading it several times (maybe in several different translations), make sure you know what a passage means before you try to remember its words. You can’t remember something you don’t understand!
See it, say it, do it. Use all three learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Write out your passage while saying it aloud. Sing it to a familiar tune. Act it out. Record and listen to it. Create hand motions. Use crazy voices. Make up a dance. Draw a picture of each thought. Get creative and keep yourself interested!
Stand up, and speak out loud constantly. Our simplest but most powerful tip, this engages all your senses and keeps you alert. And it makes memorizing three times faster!
Have fun! Experience the text—don’t just read it. Unleash your imagination and create memories. You won’t remember what you read, but you will remember what you experience.
Having a brain freeze? Feel free to look! During the memorization stage, don’t strain to remember when you stall. If you do, you are in danger of actually memorizing your pauses instead of memorizing the text fluidly.
When you’re able to recite the day’s passage several times without looking, you’re done memorizing!
Memorizing requires a private spot, but review can be done anywhere and keeps you from losing your hard-won passages. Review your passage every day for a week, and then once a week/month. Secure a review partner to review with at least once a week.
Common Review Pitfalls
Waiting days before revisiting material
Not reviewing with open book before quoting without the book
Not getting a review partner
Allowing yourself to “hem” and “haw” instead of simply reviewing with open book when you need to.
Once you’ve conquered a passage, tackle your next challenge! Using these techniques, you will learn to memorize faster and retain passages longer.
Try it, and reap the reward of seeking God through His word. You’ll never regret time spent meditating on Scripture!