Scripture Memory Part 2 - How to Memorize

Last Monday I shared about why it's important to memorize Scripture. If you missed that post you can check it out here.

Today we are going to talk about practical ways to memorize Scripture. I know, it sounds daunting, overwhelming and sometimes impossible but I promise it isn't as difficult as it sounds.  What I share is what has worked for me. I also shared some of my 'memorization experiences' to hopefully make it practical. Let's get to it.

1. Commit to Memorize - Sounds simple but it's the first step. You have to draw a line in the sand and tell yourself you are going to memorize.

2. Pick Your Verses
  • 1 verse - If memorizing verses is overwhelming to you then pick 1 verse. When you get that one down pick another one. 
  • Topical - Pick a topic and get a list of verses on that specific topic. You can usually find topics in in your Bible index or 'google' works great too. 
  • Chapter / Passage - You can memorize a whole passage or chapter. This gives you the bigger picture of everything. 

3. Find an Accountability Partner - This is so helpful. I memorized lots of verses growing up thanks to Awana's. We would meet each Wednesday and I had an Awana leader listen to my verses, holding me accountable. When I lived in Korea last year, our women's Bible study group studied the book of James through a Beth Moore study. One of Beth's challenges was to memorize the whole book of James. I knew it would be a big challenge but I committed to it and I had my roommate Alisha as well as the women at my Bible study group help me stay accountable.

4. Say your verses outloud to your accountability partner - This might be a given but I thought I'd restate it. If you are memorizing one verse or a whole chapter make sure you say your verses to your accountability partner. It helps you memorize. Even if you botch it up and don't say it perfectly, say it. Alisha (my roommate in Korea) and I would often say our verses to each other.

5. Pretty it Up - Whatever verses you are memorizing make them pretty. Write them on note cards with fun pens, print them with fancy font, put stickers beside them, etc. Make sure they are appealing to your eyes. When I was memorizing the book of James I took each chapter and put it in a pretty font that I liked. I then put it in a clear sheet protector so I could take it everywhere.

8. Take it With You - Take your pretty verses with you. Are you standing in a grocery line annoyed that you have to wait? Well, pull out those verses. Waiting for a movie to start? Pull out the verses. On a stationary bike at the gym? Pull out the verses. Riding in a car? Pull out the verses. Driving in a car? Please, please don't pull out the verses. You get the gist though. If you have them with you, every 1 or 2 minutes of meditating on God's Word will get it in your heart / memory. In Korea, I took the verses with me when I walked and when I would ride the bus. Those 15 minute walks and 15 minute bus rides made great Bible memory time.

7. The first phrase - When you begin to memorize a passage really get that first phrase memorized. Beth Moore recommended this and it was really helpful. If you can nail down the reference and the first phrase it makes the rest a bit easier.

8. Listen to it - When you are getting ready in the morning I find it helpful to play out loud the verses I am memorizing. I often have to play it 3 or 4 times because my brain wanders, but it eventually helps. You can also say the verses out loud as you listen. This shows you where you forgot and gives you some good practice. Riding in the car? This is a great time to listen to the Bible. If you don't have a smart phone you can buy the Bible on CD or I bet your library will have it.

9. Make up Weird Actions - As silly as it sounds - silly actions help. If you can't get a phrase think of some ridiculous action to help you. For example, at our Wednesday night church program, we are memorizing a verse about being dead in the flesh but alive in the spirit. To show the word 'flesh' we pinch our arms/flesh. We lower our arms for 'death' and raise them really high for 'life'.

10. Slowly but Surely - Remember that memorization comes slowly. It's kind of like running; you start by running for 3 minutes and over 6 months you build up to running 4-5 miles. It takes some time to really really memorize Bible verses. Set a date that you want to memorize, work hard to meet that goal but also give yourself grace too.

Okay friends - I feel like I just inundated you with a lot of information but I hope it is helpful. If you have questions please ask me, anytime.

Do you have any other good tips for memorizing Scripture? If so please share in the comments so we can all learn.


  1. When we memorized verses and chapters as kids, my Mom always had us make up hand motions and actions to go with the verse--it totally works! Or make up a little tune to sing it along to. Nowadays, I mostly write down verses I want to memorize, for me the action of writing them down helps me focus on the individual words.

  2. This is great! I post a Memory verse every week. Thanks for these recommendations! xoxo

  3. Moms are great!

    I agree that writing out verses is super useful too. I don't know how but I do know it helps with memory. Thanks for sharing,

  4. A memory verse a week is really great. I'll have to check that out.

  5. this is beautiful! thanks for the tips.. xo


  6. I love this! Thanks for sharing these wonderful tips. I used to have about 10 of my favorites memorized (with the location in bible) - I can still remember the words but have a hard time remembering the actual location in the bible. I need to get better about this - especially since we are raising our kids to be Christian warriors! :)

  7. That's good that you have 1o verse memorized. I think you are right that it's important to memorize verses especially if you want your kids to memorize as well. I think when / if I have kids they are going to be memorizing a lot. It's never to early to get the Word into kids.

  8. I did AWANA 1st through 6th grade and loved it! I still remember most of the verses from then! I do think it's a great idea to keep memorizing, and I keep meaning to start again... hmm I'll have to use some of these tips!

  9. Yay for AWANA! That program is just so great! I'd highly encourage you to start again. It makes such a big difference. I need to get going again too!

  10. The Bible study I'm doing at church (I'm actually the leader!) has 2 verses to memorize each week. It's difficult, but I've been really enjoying it. One of the best things that helps me is write it on notecards and keep them in my purse, so I can pull out the verse at a stoplight or at the office and repeat it out loud.

  11. I think that's really great that you are doing 2 verses a week. Do you realize that's 104 verses a year! That's a lot.

    How do you like leading a Bible study? I think leading any Bible study forces you to be in the Word more.

    Lastly, how the heck do you find time for everything? Work? Blog? Bible Study? =) Super woman skills right there!