Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution to start memorizing Scripture.
But now you’re stuck — because memorizing is difficult!
If so, here are 5 helpful techniques to get you past the hurdle.
Committing God’s Word to memory is an important spiritual discipline.
We’re commanded to hide the Scripture in our hearts in order to resist temptation, face life’s struggles, encourage others, and remind ourselves of God’s promises.
But it can often be hard to start what seems like a daunting task, especially when so many other things fight for our attention in today’s world.
Here are a few helpful techniques for moving forward in your memory work.
1. Find a memory partner.
Or, form a memory group!
It’s much easier — and more encouraging — to work at spiritual disciplines in the company of others. “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17) as the Bible tells us, and it’s important to work together as we pursue God.
Whether you recruit your Bible study group, find a friend, or ask your spiritual mentor, you’ll find that memorizing Scripture with someone else is a fun and exhilarating challenge.
You can choose the same verses and quiz each other, or pick different passages and discuss them together as you work. Just make sure that the end goal is mutual encouragement and another verse memorized!
2. Write down your memory verses.
Writing is a tried-and-true memory technique for students everywhere. Many scholars say that you haven’t truly memorized something until you can write it down!
If you keep a Bible study journal, that’s the perfect place to write down your memory verses for the day or week. Or, you may choose a whiteboard so you can write your verses multiple times, then erase to try again or prepare for the next round.
In our age of modern technology, there’s even an app that allows you to write out Scripture as you memorize.
Just make sure that your Bible is closed when you’re writing… no sneak peeks allowed!
3. Make art out of your memory verses.
For the creative minded, memorization can seem dull and repetitive—but it certainly doesn’t have to be. All you need to do is find a way to put your current memory verses into your art medium of choice.
Are you a painter? Trace your favorite verse onto a canvas and make a beautiful piece of art for your home — or your church.
If you’re a musician, you can try setting your verse to music. Writing a brief song will help the verse stick in your head, and gives you a fun and easy way to share your verse with others as well.
Get creative with your memorization! God’s Word should permeate every aspect of your life, including your art, and memorization is an important part of that.
4. Pray through your memory verses.
Scripture forms an incredible foundation for your prayers. You might already pray through the Psalms or use God’s promises as a starting point for prayer.
So how can you apply this principle to your current memory verse?
If you’re memorizing John 3:16, for example, you can begin your prayer by praising God for His love for the world. Spend time talking to Him about His sacrifice, then thank Him for His gift of eternal life through Christ.
Praying through your memory verses will enrich your prayer life as well as stick the words more firmly in your mind!
5. Look for ways to apply your memory verses in everyday life.
“If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.”
In other words, you can memorize a verse, but if you don’t continue to meditate on it, you’ll probably forget it fairly quickly.
You need to apply your newly learned passages of Scripture to situations in your everyday life. After all, isn’t that the reason we work so hard to commit God’s Word to memory?
This step might start with intentional choices about the verses you need to memorize.
Do you struggle with patience? Start by memorizing verses like Proverbs 14:29 or Ephesians 4:2 which commands us to be patient with others and hold our tempers.
Or maybe you’re in a season of life where you need hope. Work on memorizing verses like Philippians 1:6, which reminds us that God is still working in our lives to complete His grand plan.
Ready to start memorizing? Prayerfully choose verses that speak to your unique situation, find someone to keep you accountable, then get going!