If you’ve ever wondered why we should memorize Scripture or want some tips to help you and your children memorize Scripture, keep reading.
Did your childhood include sword drills and standing in front of your friends reciting memory verses? Many of ours did.
You probably still remember most of those verses – and you probably find that these verses pop up in your head at just the right time. Memorizing Scripture is essential for Christians – and it’s not just for children!
Memorizing Scripture is not just for children!
Bible engagement is strengthened and deepened through Scripture memorization. In fact, Dallas Willard, in his book “Spiritual Formation in Christ for the Whole Life and Whole Person,” says, “If I had to choose between all the disciplines of spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization because it is a fundamental way of filling our minds with what it needs.”
When we retain God’s Word in our hearts, it informs how we think and how we act.
When we retain God’s Word in our hearts it informs how we think and how we act.
Here are some benefits of memorizing Scripture
Strengthens Our Relationship With Christ
Helps Us against the temptation to sin.
Comforts and Counsels us
Helps us enjoy God
Prepares us to share the Gospel
Helps us to not be worldly
Allows us to grow deeper in the Word and in Him
When we have Scripture memorized, it lodges the Word deep in our hearts so that in difficult moments, the words of Scripture can surface in our minds as spontaneous, timely gifts that revive our strength and restore our faith.
Tips For Memorizing Scripture
Choose a translation that works for you
Read our blog post on translations.
Begin with comprehension
Take time to understand the passage
Understand the text in its context
Study the passage and understand what it truly means (it’s easy to pull verses out and misuse them).
Pray that God will help you with desire, discipline, and dedication.
Start out small
Start with one verse at a time, but we recommend you try to memorize larger chunks and whole chapters.
We recommend you try to memorize larger chunks and whole chapters.
Write out the verse on a card/post-it note
Simply writing the verse out helps with memorization, then put that verse in a place where you will always see it.
Do it with a friend
You could memorize it with your small group, friend, spouse or child.
Sing, rap or chant it.
There are several artists who have put scripture to song – find one and listen to it on repeat. In fact, there are several playlists (mostly designed for children) of Bible verse songs.
Make time for it
Set a time when you’re going to work on memorizing a passage. Maybe you decide you’re going to repeat the verse while brushing your teeth twice a day. Put the passage on your mirror!
Don’t avoid the uncomfortable passages
It’s easy to choose verses that are encouraging or comforting. Also, choose verses that will challenge you to live for Christ – for example, Matthew 16:24.
Keep the goal in sight
The ultimate goal is to reflect on Christ!
Check out LearnScripture.net or Memverse.com.
theStory is Scripture Union’s free Bible reading guide that encourages readers to memorize a Bible passage each week.
An “ambition block”
Maybe you’re thinking, “this sounds nice, but it’s just not realistic” pause and ask yourself, “Is it a mental block or an ambition block?”
Author and speaker Tim LaHaye uses the phrase ambition block for things that we may not want to do because they seem like too much work.
Yes, Scripture memorization is hard work, but it pays off!
Helping Children Memorize Scripture
Children are sponges. Ask your child right now to quote a line from their favourite TV show or to sing back a song they heard on the radio – and they’ll probably be successful!
Make it a priority to allow God’s Word to be something that your children hear and remember early on.
Here are some ways to help your children memorize Bible verses
Play songs that are simply Bible verses. There are many available online!
Here’s one to try “Do Not Fear (Isaiah 41:10)” by Seeds Family Worship.
2. Pray it together
As you rock your new baby, pray Ephesians 3:17-19 over them.
I pray that Christ will live in your hearts because of your faith. I pray that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. 18 And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s love—how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is. 19 Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with everything God has for you. (ERV)
As that child grows up, pray personalized scriptures, for example:
“God, please help John to trust in you completely and not depend on his own knowledge. I pray that he always seeks Your will and that you would guide him” (based on Proverbs 3:5-6)
As your children hear this passage over and over, they will memorize it.
3. Put it up on the wall
One of our colleagues shared that her grown children tease her for having Bible verses all over the house – those farmhouse-style pieces.
She said it was one of the intentional ways she was making sure her children would see God’s Word and memorize it. Children read and re-read posters and memorize them!
They don’t have to be beautiful, either. If your child is working on memorizing a passage or going through a tough time (e.g. dealing with a night fear), then grab a crayon and have them write out a memory verse and put it on the wall by their bed to help them remember it.
Another colleague shared this photo (below) of a simple handmade poster beside her son’s bed. At night, when he is afraid, they read the verse together and then pray it back to God. He now knows this verse well and recites it when he is fearful.
4. Weekly Verses
Many church curriculums actually include a weekly or monthly memory verse. Speak to the children’s ministry leader at your church and ask them what the verse of the week/month is. Then print it out and put it on the fridge; work on memorizing it as a family!
Another suggestion is to pick a verse to memorize together and use whiteboard markers to write it on the bathroom mirror. Have your children pick one word to erase each day, and by the end of the week, they should have it memorized.
Just Do It!
Scripture memorization isn’t just for children. So why not start now with this passage:
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.
our Free Bible reading guide, theStory, includes a weekly memorization challenge at the bottom of each reflection. Subscribe today.
Bible Engagement Basics
This blog post was partially based on Dr. Lawson Murray’s chapter on memorizing Scripture in Bible Engagement Basics.
Bible Engagement Basics is our best-selling book! It will help you better read, reflect, respond and remember God’s Word. If you want to deepen your time in the Word, it is a great resource.