A Few Tips On Memorizing

2 03 2013

Last Sunday, I talked about how to get a grasp on the Word, and we talked briefly about the importance of memorizing scripture.  I began memorizing scripture in college when I connected with a ministry called Pacesetters (a offshoot of the Navigators) almost 17 years ago.  It has been one of the most beneficial and transformative spiritual disciplines I have ever engaged in.

One thing is sure.  Memorizing a scripture passage is tough.  Satan will resist every effort you make to hide God’s Word in your heart.  He knows that scripture memory is one of the most effective weapons against his attacks, so he resists it with great fervor.  Committing a passage to memory might not be easy, but it is definitely worth it.  So here are a few tips to get started on the memorization path.photo

  • Write It Down – Writing it down might seem unnecessary, but when you write the passage you want to memorize down, it helps you connect with the passage at a slightly slower speed, which helps you begin to retain it more effectively.  I recommend writing the passage down four to five times on a sheet of paper.  Once you’ve done this, the rest is quite easy.
  • Use Verse Cards – You can purchase some 3×5 index cards from almost any store, and make a verse card for every verse or passage you are going to memorize.  These cards will help you in the memorizing process, as well as when it is time for review.  Carry them with you and then in spare moments through out your day, get them out and test yourself.  It doesn’t take long, but it can sure help.  (Above is a pic of one of my verse cards)
  • Add a “Handle” – For every verse I memorize, I always add a “Handle” to the passage.  This is simply the main subject or topic of the verse I am memorizing.  For example, I added the handle “Memorizing Scripture” to Psalm 119:9,11.  The handle can be very helpful because it helps make the passage retrievable when you need it.  If I am ever talking to someone about memorizing scripture, I know that Psalm 119:9,11 is a passage that deals with that topic.
  • Memorize Handle, Reference, Verse, Reference – I always encourage people to memorize the handle, reference (where the passage is found), then the verse, and then the reference again at the end.  By saying the reference at both the beginning and the end of the verse, it makes it much easier to remember and recall.
  • Commit to perfection – It’s not truly memorized until you have it word for word perfect.  If you don’t hold yourself to the standard of perfection in memorization, you will never keep those passage for the long term, so if you are going to do it, do it right and seek perfection.
  • Review, Review, Review – The ultimate success and failure of scripture memory is how well, and how often you review the verse once it is memorized.  I was told once that to retain a scripture passage for life, you had to review it seven times a day for seven days, then once a week for seven weeks, and then once a month for seven months.  I don’t know if that is scientific, but i doubt you’d go wrong if you did it.
  • Get A Partner – Having a partner in scripture memory might be the most important thing you can do.  If you have someone who will ask you about your latest memory verse, or who will help you review, then you are much less likely to fall off track.

So… what are you waiting for?  Find a verse, grab a sheet of paper, a pen, and an index card, and go get started.  You’ll never be sorry that you did!