The Bible is God’s Word, and memorizing it allows us to put it in our hearts and use it when needed. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” We will not live a single day where at least one of these applications doesn’t present itself for use. However, many Christians have a hard time committing themselves to memorize Scripture. It can seem both tedious and arduous. Perhaps intentions were there to start, but there was never time. Whatever the reason, there is no better time to get started than today. Here are seven brief tips as we begin to memorize Psalm 46 together as a church:
- Pray and Commit. Ask the Holy Spirit for help and commit your efforts to the Lord. Ask him to guide your planning, shape your discipline, and speak to you in the process.
- Plan. Take some time to think through how to best work Scripture memorization into your daily habits and routine. Look for areas such as car rides, mealtimes with family, walks or exercise times, etc. to naturally add it. Of course, hands-free options only if driving.
- Use a Verse List. There are many different memorization lists out there, including in memorization apps. The Topical Memory System from the Navigators is a good one (https://tinyurl.com/y73ny7h3) or Fighter Verses (https://fighterverses.com/the-verses/fighter-verses/). Use one of these lists, ask a friend for one, select your own, or ask your church leadership if the church has one. Pick one and stick with it.
- Don’t Go It Alone / Accountability. Ask a family member, discipleship partner, or someone from your community group to memorize the list with you. You want someone who shares your commitment and isn’t shy about their responsibility to hold you accountable. Pick a regular time to review progress and stick to it. Use the same Bible version to memorize from as your accountability partner.
- Tools. There are several apps out today that make memorizing Scripture easier. My personal favorite is RememberMe. It’s a smart app that automatically creates a smaller list to practice each day from your regular set of verses. It has different practice tools such as “obfuscating” some words, one-tap sentence building, and typing. It also has flashcards you can use in a review. Some other apps include Bible Memory, Verses, and Scripture Memory Fellowship, “SMF.” Some of these apps are free, and others cost money. SMF is limited to just the verses in its app and not the whole Bible. Bible Memory and Verses both charge if you want to use a Bible version other than KJV.
- Small Bites. Don’t get bogged down trying to memorize an entire passage all at once. Divide it up into one to two verses at a time. Try to limit the number of new verses to one or two a week. The number of verses builds in the memorization apps, so if you do ten verses one week, you’ll be reviewing twenty the next week if you add another 10. One new verse a week will yield 52 verses memorized in a year.
- Memorize Reference and Topic Too. It helps if you memorize the Scripture reference if you say it before and after the verse. In other words, recite the verse by saying, “John 3:16, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life, John 3:16.” It’s also good to memorize a one-word topic for what the verse is about, such as “gospel” for John 3:16. This step helps you recall verses related to a particular topic later when needed.