Memorizing Scripture

Bethany Hofmann

  1. What is your address? Your telephone number? Your car's license plate number?
  2. Sing the theme song to your favorite television show.
  3. Recite or sing your country's national anthem.

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Memorization is natural. Sometimes it happens accidentally. Because of repetition, you can sing a song along with the radio. Other times it takes effort. You find you have to work at learning someone's phone number.

Why Memorize the Bible?

Memorizing portions of the Bible, which is the sacred Scripture of Christianity, is important. Usually, it takes effort.

Jesus memorized Scripture and quoted it to his hearers. He recognized Scripture as truthful and authoritative. He recited Scripture to encourage Himself and others.

We call the Bible the Word of God or sometimes simply the Word. It contains God's words or message to us. Ephesians 6:17 calls the Word of God the "sword of the Spirit," a spiritual weapon we can use to fight the temptation to sin. When the devil tempted Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), He quoted memorized Bible passages to fight the temptation to sin.

King David memorized the Bible to be blameless before God (Psalm 119:9-11). He wanted to live up to the name he was given, "a man after God's heart." David believed a deep knowledge of Scripture would produce blessing and prosperity (Psalm 1:1-3).

The New Testament says knowing the Bible leads to wisdom, because it teaches us how to live. It can illuminate bad behaviors so they can be corrected. (2 Timothy 3:15-16)

How to Memorize Scripture

King David memorized the Bible to be blameless before GodHow can you make memorizing Scripture easier? Here are six suggestions.

  1. Ask the Lord God to help you.
  2. Start small. Focus on a single verse for the first week, and grow from there. Your brain is a muscle; as you stretch it, memorization will get easier.
  3. Pray the Bible. Find a verse or small group of verses to memorize. Read through it, pray for its truth to be realized in your life, and read it again.
  4. Sing the Bible like New Testament believers did in Colossians 3:16. Music increases memory. Put the words to a familiar tune and sing it (aloud or in your head) throughout the day.
  5. Post Bible verses in places where you will see them often. I put mine on the bathroom mirror, above the sink, and on my car steering wheel.
  6. Use Scripture memory tools. The internet has many tools for computers and smartphones. If you don't have easy access to these you can simply write out the verse over and over.

Memorization takes work, but it's worth the effort if you want to be prepared for life's challenges.

Bethany Hofmann is a writer based in the Chicago area.

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