How I Memorize Scripture

I am in the middle of learning Ps. 25:4-5 with a friend. As we have been talking via e-mail regarding memorization, I decided to share ways that I have found help me to memorize.

1. 3x5 cards: I write out the verse (s) I want to learn on a 3x5 card. You may then find that card on the visor of my car to glance at while at a stop light or in my kitchen window to review while I'm spending time at the sink. I have even been known to post it on the bathroom mirror to learn as I am getting ready or tuck it in my purse to glance at while at an appointment, or other quick opportune times. Who knows where the card will end up?

2. Read and Cross Out: This is a preferred method I use when it comes to learning larger passages. I write out the entire thing on notebook paper. I read through it numerous times, out loud if at all possible.

Once I am fairly familiar with the passage's content and message, I will then completely cross out one or two words. (So that I can't see the word underneath that area.) Then I read the entire thing again, saying the crossed out word as I come to it.

Before long I am reading through a completely scratched out piece of paper but quoting the Word of God with each scratch.

3. Find a Pattern: Some verses are easily dividable into manageable pieces having almost a pattern to them. This is what I noticed when looking at the current verse I am working on.

I realized it is broken down into many different phrases. Each of these phrases can be a prayer or statement to the Lord. I repeatedly say/pray one simple phrase a day (over and over and over throughout the day). As I get the simple phrase for the day down, I repeat the phrase(s) from the day(s) before it to keep it flowing. Here's how it looks broken down:

Saturday: Show me your ways, O Lord
Sunday: Teach me your paths
Monday: Guide me in your truth and teach me
Tuesday: For you are my God, My Savior
Wednesday: And my hope is in you
Thursday: All Day Long
Friday: Ps. 25: 4-5 (saying the whole thing on this day along with the reference)

By the end of the week this one should be fully established in my head, and in my heart.

4. Sing it: Do you remember when I mentioned these CD's a few weeks ago? You know, the ones that are only NIV Scripture, all set to music!?! FABULOUS idea and I am enjoying every minute of them as I tuck God's Word deep in my heart. (The Coupon Code for 20% off is still valid if you are interested in getting your own. Read to the bottom of the post here for that information.)

There are also many church choruses that are Scripture put to music. I lead the music at our church. One Sunday I included only songs that were all Scripture put to music. I had no trouble filling the service. Songs that are straight from Scripture are always favorites of mine!

5. Pray it: Praying Scripture is one thing I absolutely love to do! I pray Scripture for myself and I pray Scripture for others. Many verses are already written as a prayer.

As I repeatedly utter those verses as my own prayer, they become nestled deep in my memory. An example of this is when I learned Ps. 131. I still pray this for myself. As I am praying it, if I'm not able to say that this has been my action, then in the process of praying I ask for forgiveness, evaluate and determine to make it more of who I am becoming!
"God, I'm not trying to rule the roost, I don't want to be king of the mountain. I haven't meddled where I have no business or fantasized grandiose plans. I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother's arms, my soul is a baby content. Wait for God. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!" -- (From the MSG)
6. Ask God to help: Last, but certainly not least... In fact, this should be the first step before beginning Scripture memorization of any kind. Ask God to help you. He wants to you know!

Ask Him to make you hungry for His Word... for Him. Pray for Hunger. Pray for clarity. Pray that as you learn the words,His Words, that they will come alive not only in your head, but in your heart. I have learned and am being reminded... He does not disappoint!

Shawntele posted some other great ideas also.

What ways do you use to memorize Scripture? What verse or verses are you working on now?


  1. Those are such great pointers for memorizing scripture!

    I just ordered the rest of the cd's. Love the first one and it is a great way to memorize!

  2. Those are great ideas. I especially like #3.

    I have gotten many ideas from Ann Voskamp's site, Holy Experience. Here's a link: http://www.aholyexperience.com/search/label/Memorization

    My favorite is to write the first letter of every word in the verse. Then then brain "thinks" the whole word with just the letter que. Eventually, you don't need the hint. Aloha! *;)

  3. Anonymous12:58 AM

    These are wonderful, Donnetta! So practical.

  4. In browsing today I came across your blog. The first thing I saw was "Psalm 25:4-5" and I perked up. I lead the ladies sunday school class at our church. Last Sunday, I challenged them to begin memorizing scripture and gave them Psalm 25:4-5 and Jeremiah 15:16. How fun!!!
    I like to write the verses on 3x5 cards and leave them around the house and at work, but I love your other ideas. If it's okay, I would like to share them with my class, It may encourage them to give memorization a chance.
    I plan to come here often! Wish I could hear a sample of the songs you talk about, I don't like buying something I won't use or like.
    blessings, Connie


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