Nine Steps I'm Using to Memorize Scripture

Confession: I have not been faithful to memorize scripture on a regular basis. There have been times when I have done so but I didn't follow through and put in the time.

This year I have no choice, my boss has asked that the staff at ClearView memorize the book of 1 Timothy.

What? Memorize a whole book of the bible? Granted it is a short book but still...

If we memorize two verses a week I think we can be finished around December 17. But really...the whole book?

Confession: It has been easier than I thought (so far.)

In the past memorizing scripture consisted of taking one or two verses from a chapter and memorize...repeat over and over...and memorize. In my most recent past attempts I had been using the procedure where you state the reference, then the scripture and then the reference again. I could memorize the scripture but there was no connection to the whole thought of the passage.

Now that I am memorizing whole chapters and a book I find myself thinking: "I wonder what inflection Paul used when he spoke these words." "Why did he choose to use that word instead of something similar?" And after repeating them over and over I find the words speaking directly to me. I am enjoying having God speak to me through His word. I am even enjoying the process.

Here is why I am enjoying memorizing verses, chapter and book...it put the scriptures in context. I find myself getting the story. Yes it takes time but not as much as I thought. Here is how I am doing it.

  1. I write out what I am going to memorize on 3x5 cards.
  2. I started small, taking just two verses. This was the hardest part...
  3. Once the first two verses were memorized I add small chunks by doing phrases to phrases instead of scripture to scripture.
  4. When adding phrases I memorize them, then add the phrase before putting the new words into the 'big picture.'
  5. I always start from the beginning when reciting the verses, even if I struggle with the newest phrases.
  6. It usually only takes me two or three times reciting the whole group for the new phrase to become part of the 'big picture.'
  7. I am careful to make sure that the new phrases are secure before adding more.
  8. I only add two or three verses a week (phrase by phrase). If a verse is not a complete phrase I go on to add more so that there is a complete thought.
  9. Once the verses are added I repeat them often. I have set a pattern to do this in the car. In a short 10 minute car trip I can recite 20 verses three or four times.

The more I speak God's Word the more it becomes alive, and the more that the Holy Spirit brings it to the front of my memory in circumstances where I can use it.

Side note: memorizing long passages has been a blessing, it puts the verses in context with the others.

What has been your experience memorizing scripture?

What method do you use?