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I honestly believe that memorizing Scripture is one of the hardest spiritual disciplines for Christian believers. It’s one of those tasks that doesn’t always cause us to feel spiritually uplifted while we’re doing it, but instead, provides us with hard mental work. Today, I wanted to share 7 tips with you that have helped make the process easier for my own memorization.
1. Make Manageable Goals
The first tip that has helped me is to make a goal. I’ve found that the best goals are ones that are easy, but still stretch your mind. For example, when we incorporated memorization into my brother’s Bible study group, most of the people started out with three verses a week. Some stuck with that amount, while others moved their goal up to more verses as they were able. Different people have different memorizing paces, and sometimes a goal can change depending on different life seasons.
2. Stay Consistent
Out of all the tips, I think this is the most important. My family loves to use the term “20 miles a day.” It’s based off a story about two teams who set out on a race to the South Pole. Both teams approached the journey differently, using different techniques. One of the differences was that the first team marched 15-20 miles a day no matter what. The other team traveled rather haphazardly, traveling a few miles one day and 20 miles the next day. By the end of the journey, the second team had died in a blizzard. The first team ended up winning the race, losing only one man during the whole journey. Consistency is key. Sometimes I’ll memorize a couple extra verses or take a grace day if I need it, but for the most part, I try to stay consistent with the goal I have set.
3. Repeat It
Repetition is one of the best ways to remember verses. The more you repeat a verse, the more you remember it. When I memorize, I recite the verses out-loud first. Then, I start repeating the first sentences over and over, and then I add them to the next sentences and repeat the combined section over and over. Over and over. It’s tedious, but it really helps the verses stick.
4. Recite it to Someone
After memorizing the verses, it really firms them up in my mind if I recite them to someone else. This is one of the areas of memorization where I’m weaker, but from the little I’ve seen and done, there’s something so powerful in speaking the word out-loud. Another added bonus is that, if you’re reciting the verses with the goal of having them word-perfect, the person you’re reciting to can catch the mistakes you didn’t notice.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
Along the lines of Tip #4, find someone who will keep you accountable in memorization. In my brother’s Bible study group, we have the group split into two pods that compete with one another to see which pod memorizes the most verses. At the end of the year, we’ll count up the points and give the winning pod a prize. Each person has to check in once a week with what they’re memorizing, and we stay accountable with one another. That system is designed for a group memorization, but even a little competition with a friend boosts momentum. In fact, competition jump-started me in my own memorization. Before I became involved in the National Bible Bee competition (www.biblebee.org), I didn’t particularly do memorizing, but that competition and accountability gave me a passion for it.
6. Write it Out
This is another great way to firm up the verses in your mind. I’ve found this more helpful in the review process after I’ve actually memorized the verses. If you’re memorizing whole books of the Bible, check out these awesome journals called Journibles. These journals leave space to write the verses on one page and journal your thoughts about the verses on the next page. My dad uses one when he memorizes new verses, and he’s found it to be very helpful. You can find them at various online sites, including Amazon.
7. Scripture Typer
This is hands-down one of the best tools I’ve seen for Scripture memorization. You can use the web version or buy the app, and I’d highly recommend doing either. This website helps you memorize the verses, and then puts them into a fantastic review system. Check it out!
Some of these tips may work for you, while others might not. My memorization and review system looks different than other friends’ systems, and these are just the tips that work for my own memorization. Even now, I still have to update and revise my system as needed. Memorization has become something I love to do, and I truly hope that some of these tips make it more encouraging for you as well.
"For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11-12