A Bible and a coffee cup - How to memorise Scripture
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How to Memorise Scripture – Four Top Tips!

Before we consider some tips on how to memorise Scripture, we’ll explore why it might be a good practice to develop. Going into the Old Testament we see that the word of God was always meant to be known by His people. More than that, to be stored in our hearts, for it to be written where we can see it, every day, and to be part of our lives. 

Why do we need to memorise Scripture?

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

When I first became a Christian, I remember being impressed by one of our Bible teachers who could quote long passages of Scripture. In one of our Bible study sessions, he shared that memorising scripture is a choice, it doesn’t ‘just happen.’ Some people will find it easier than others, but it is a conscious decision that we make, for God’s word to become part of who we are. I started then writing out verses on slips of paper and carrying them around with me, while I memorised them. It is a practice, that I keep coming back to.

Is memorising Scripture a Biblical principle?

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.”

1 Peter 3:15

This verse challenges us to be informed, to know and understand, who and what we are basing our hope on. To be prepared and able to explain the foundations of our faith, and what we believe. But we can rationalise and explain without quoting verbatim. Memorising Scripture, however, helps the word of God become a foundation in our life, in our heart and in our mind. The word of God becomes our protection and defence, through trials and difficulties – it is with good reason described as the sword of the Spirit.

Jesus is our Example

Jesus is always our example and He knew Scripture. During his temptation in the wilderness He demonstrated the main reason we need to memorise Scripture – to protect ourselves from deception. (Matt 4:1-11)

At a time when Jesus was physically weak, the devil tempted Him to use His supernatural power for His own benefit. Jesus rejected the temptation with Scripture – by quoting what God’s word declares, and what He was relying on to sustain Him.

The devil then tempted Jesus to publicly put God’s protection to the test. What we need to be aware of is that the devil quoted Scripture – he knows God’s word! He didn’t misquote, he misused Scripture, by taking the verses out of context. Jesus demolished the devil’s argument by quoting the truth of God’s word in the right context of the situation that He was in.

Finally the devil tempted Jesus to put immediate reward and honour above the will of God, which Jesus refuted by quoting scripture “For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.”

How to memorise Scripture

How to memorise scripture
How to Memorize Scripture

Four Top tips:

  • Start small with just one verse. Then when you can memorise that one verse you can build on it.
  • Choose a verse of Scripture which resonates with your heart. Something which has particular meaning to you personally. The more relevant it seems, the easier it will be.
  • Be prepared to make an effort, not because you have to, but because you want to. What you learn is laying a foundation stone. It may not benefit you today but it will be there to sustain you when you need it.
  • Find out what learning method works for you. There are several different ways in which we learn and sometimes a combination of styles works best. I am definitely a reading/writing learner. This is why I started writing out Scripture onto pieces of paper and carrying them in my pocket to read and re-read. There is something about writing it down that helps fix the words in my mind – that works best for me. But we are all different and you need to find out what works for you.

Four main different learning styles:

  • Visual – Some people are visual learners which means they learn by what they see. They prefer to have someone show them how to do something rather than explain it to them. Visual learners use images and pictures to help them to remember. There are Bible apps were you can create an image for a particular verse, and save it to your phone or computer as a wallpaper or screensaver. Journaling Bibles, where you can draw and doodle, are also popular. Colouring pages are another way to help memorise Scripture for visual learners.
  • Auditory – Are those who learn best, by listening, who prefer spoken instructions. They may like to re-iterate what they have been told. Repeating instructions, even ‘talking’ to themselves, may be ways that auditory learners remember. Music and songs may also help. Again there are Bible apps, YouVersion is one, which have an audio option so you can listen to the Scripture being read out, rather than reading it yourself.
  • Reading/writing – Is for those with a preference for the written word. Those who would automatically take notes, and write lists to help them remember. Post-it notes, or note blocks or list pads are all good tools for this type of learner – and a nice pen!
  • Kinaesthetic – Are those who learn by doing, who are tactile, who like to engage all their senses, in a learning experience. They learn best while being active and engaged. To memorise words for kinaesthetic learners may mean incorporating auditory and visual tools. Songs with actions, doodling while listening, creating your own memory cards or flash cards may all be useful.

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”

Benjamin Franklin

Today is as good a time as any to start….

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For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100:5

How to memorize Scripture

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14 thoughts on “How to Memorise Scripture – Four Top Tips!”

  1. Sharon, hi! I’m so grateful I grew up memorizing Scripture. I can’t begin to tell you how often those words that made their way to mind and heart come back again when I need them most.

    I’m not sure how much memorizing I can do in this season of life, but I sure am grateful of that gift that has stayed with me and given me hope and peace.

    1. That is so true, that what we learn as children, whether in song or verse of Scripture, definitely stays with us and can be such a blessing. I don’t find it so easy to memorise now but when a verse resonates with my heart I have to write it down, carry it round with me and try to store it up in my heart and mind! Blessings to you as you find and recall hope and peace in God’s word. Thanks for responding!

  2. Memorization has always been difficult for me. I started memorizing Psalms several years ago. It’s one of my favorite books in the Bible. But it didn’t stick with me long. I think your advice to start with verses that resonate especially well. Somehow, I realize that I can quote those verses that really hit me.

  3. I wrote out a verse by hand just today to put on my mirror on a sticky note. I’ve found that memorizing a chapter at a time is the best way for me to memorize. If I concentrate on just one verse a week, it’s doable. Thanks for sharing these tips. I’m going to feature your post this Friday at the Grace & Truth linkup, and will share it with my memorizing group on Facebook, Hide His Word!

  4. I love how you discuss different learning styles. While I have a lot of Biblical stories tucked away in my memory, I am not very good at memorizing verses. The one that I do have completely memorized, though, is one that I painted on a huge canvas during youth group one year. That was definitely visual and kinesthetic.

  5. Sharon, it is so encouraging to read of all our different learning styles. May we each find what works for us and commit to hiding His Word in our hearts.

  6. Great tips and I appreciate you mentioning different learning styles. We each learn differently, so it makes sense to connect this to memorizing Bible verses. For me, I always like to write the verse out on a note card and keep it with me all throughout a day. After that, I remember it and it’s locked away in memory.

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