Tips & Reminders

Many people start the year deciding to get serious about memorizing Scripture. Here it is February already and inertia keeps some of us stuck in our familiar routine instead of venturing out. I, for one, haven’t decided yet what to memorize this year. I’ll let you know when I decide, and I will invite you to join me.

Meanwhile I want to offer some tips for newcomers and reminders for veteran memorizers.

• Start out small. Don’t start on a five-chapter book if you’ve not done this before. Start with Psalm One or another short psalm. This will build your confidence and help train you to capture pockets of time in your day for God’s Word.

• Pick a Bible version you like. I recommend you stick with the same version you use for reading and studying. If you use two separate versions it may get confusing.

• Don’t forget to take time to meditate on what you are memorizing. Think deeply and invite God into the conversation. “How does this passage apply to me today, this week?”

• Don’t memorize the reference numbers. They bog you down and get monotonous after a while. Learn the passage like you would a song or a story.

• If you will REVIEW the verse you are working on 15-20 times during the day, you will remember it by the next morning, so you can add the next verse.

• Recruit a friend to memorize with you and keep each other accountable. You don’t have to memorize the same passage.

• Join or start a Scripture memory group with others who love God’s Word. There are specific guidelines for starting a group in my book HIS WORD IN MY HEART, chapter 10. Books can be ordered from my website

• Identify times in your daily routine when you can pair memorizing with another activity. E.g. walking, exercising, house chores, yard work, driving time, morning routine. When this becomes your regular habit it will insure that you’ll make progress.

• Go back and re-memorize passages that you once knew but later forgot. It will be quicker and easier the second time. The brain hasn’t completely forgotten.

• Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of verses. Take one at a time.

• Remember, the benefit comes from the process, not the accomplishment. The benefit comes from thinking about God throughout the day, trading your thoughts for his.

• Get a Bible app for your phone so you can have your passage queued up and ready for whenever you are stuck somewhere and have a few extra minutes for review. The YOU VERSION is free.

• Most importantly, remember the goal of memorizing Scripture is not to know the Bible—it’s to know God and walk closely with him.

I’d love to hear your questions or thoughts, or any advice or tips from the mega-memorizers out there.

9 comments to Tips & Reminders

  • Beverly Schlomann

    Thank you for sharing that you haven’t “landed” on what to memorize yet — I thought I was so behind because the decision to memorize 1 Peter didn’t come until just last week! 🙂
    The only other “tip” I could think of — ask God what your most pronounced struggle/fear/adversity is — and then sharpen your sword in that area. Not just random verses — but paragraphs, chapters. The prime motivation is still to know God and His ways, but as you see how God is demolishing the strongholds through His Word, it will encourage your faith and increase your awe of our Great God

  • Shan

    Hi, Janet, thank you for your honesty and helpful reminders! I did not have any grand goals for the year, so I started off the end of last year with re-memorizing Psalm 1. Last year as my husband and I studied the Bible we started writing out passages that we really enjoyed, especially ones that could be used as prayers. So I just grabbed that notebook and memorized Psalm 16. Then I found a number of verses from Proverbs 15 that dealt with God’s control over our plans and judiciousness in speech so I committed them to memory to get my year off in the right direction. At the same time I continued on with couple of key passages from James 1 and Philippians 2 (2-3 verses each). Although this seems a little random, but at least I have numerous Scripture passages down for the month of Jan. I keep remembering the example of Shirley and her husband (in their 80’s) who memorize 7 verses a week and that gets me going. I have also finally decided to just go with one version, and it’s the ESV. Started Feb. with I Peter 3:1-7. This is my second year of consistent Scripture memory and review. God has transformed my heart and mind. Praise Him!!

    • Hi Shan, I love hearing from you and hearing what God is doing in your life through memorizing his Word. I am thinking about Psalm 16 and a few other psalms. Keep pressing on to know and love him more.

  • Ruth

    I have a question about versions and the Bible app. I’m pretty sure You Version doesn’t have the NIV 1984 since they updated to the 2011, but that is the version I have been using for years to memorize, and it is the easiest for me since it is the most familiar. Does anyone know of an app that would be helpful that does have the NIV 1984?

    I’ve started Genesis 1 and hope to learn through chapter 3. I am already noticing things in the first few verses that I hadn’t seen before even though it is such a familiar chapter. That is one of the things I love about memorizing!