women with bible sitting trying to memorize scripture while she reads

How To Memorize Scripture

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Memorizing scripture can be hard, or is it? Is it more about our mindset towards it than a legalistic tendency?
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My friends I think we tend to make simple things complicated and justify our excuses to not grow in our faith. I pray that we would begin to see the word of God as it truly is. The foundation to our faith and where we converse with our creator; as well as so much more. I pray we memorize scripture and do what it says, instead of letting our Bibles get dusty in a dark drawer somewhere.


Christ gives as all the necessary tools to live a life to the full that honors him, all we have to do it choose to.  


0.98 minutes to read

Wait, I have my smartphone and Bible app. Why do I need to waste time memorizing scripture if I can pull it up in 10 seconds on my phone…


This is a good question that we can ask ourselves every day if we are honest. The less exciting and simple answer would be: Because God tells us to. Even though that answer is truth, God tells us a lot more in detail why we should memorize hid word. And he does this, wait for it, in his word. 


So, what does God’s word actually tell us about memorizing scripture? And why is it even important to our faith? 

Let’s just hit on a few passages on this topic that can bring us more understanding:


  • Psalm 119:11

Your word I have treasured in my heart,

That I may not sin against You.


  • Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.


  • Joshua 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.


We know from all of scripture that the word of God is living even to this day. That it is perfect and one way we hear God speak into our lives. The word of God is the foundation on which we build our relationship with Christ and with others. But it is even more than this. The word of God is how we live a life honoring to God and free from death. Besides all those things though, how do we begin to memorize scripture? Why would God want us to do something that most of the time is dare I say, boring? 



Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote,


“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization, because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth. That’s where you need it! How does it get in your mouth? Memorization.”


(“Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person” in Vocatio, Vol. 12, no. 2, Spring, 2001, 7).


Chuck Swindoll wrote,


“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.”


 (Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life, [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994], 61).


Dr. Andrew Davis 


“Scripture is very clear that God does not want us to innovate when it comes to pleasing Him: He wants simple obedience. “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (1 Samuel 15:22) Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) Now the incredible beauty of the Christian life is that we learn that the Lord will enable us to keep all His commands by the power of the Holy Spirit. Ezekiel 36:27 promises that God will put His Spirit in us and move us to follow His commands and be careful to keep His laws.”


(An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture)


Hopefully if you didn’t believe me telling you how important memorizing scripture is to your faith, you believe the much more intelligent men I quoted from. 


My friends the hope is that even on the days you feel like not opening your Bible or reciting your memorization verses, the strength of the Spirit inside you will give you obedience to Christ and his word. 


If you still find it hard to have joy in reading and memorizing scripture, it might be time for a heart check… For me personally, I find it very easy to memorize things related to sports or my favorite TV show, but it can be hard to find that same motivation for scripture. Its not that I have a bad memory or I’m too busy, the hard truth is that I’m not prioritizing the word of God. 


My friends sometimes the simplest solution to not growing in our faith is that we have put God in the attic and other things in front of us. 


So, what are some practical steps we can take to start memorizing scripture and growing in our relationship with our Lord?


  1. Get out your Bible, not your phone, your real paper Bible
  2. Eliminate distractions around you (music, technology, other people)
  3. Ask God to give you a spirit of joy and understanding while you meditate on his word
  4. Write our flashcards, sticky notes, or dry erase with scripture 
  5. Place the word of God in your hearts but also all around you (Bathroom mirrors, fridges, above your bed, in your car)
  6. Be obedient even when you’re feeling unmotivated 


My friends I think we tend to make simple things complicated and justify our excuses to not grow in our faith. I pray that we would begin to see the word of God as it truly is. The foundation to our faith and where we converse with our creator; as well as so much more. I pray we memorize scripture and do what it says, instead of letting our Bibles get dusty in a dark drawer somewhere.


Christ gives as all the necessary tools to live a life to the full that honors him, all we have to do it choose to.