how to: memorizing small portions of Scripture

If there's one thing I've learned through memorizing Scripture over the years and attending a group at my church whose goal is to encourage others in this endeavour--it's that memorizing God's Word is hard.  It's hard to be disciplined, hard to have focus, etc.  However, in the years since I started memorizing verses through AWANA, I feel I've developed some techniques, and I thought it might be helpful to share them.  These are just ones that have worked for me, but hopefully they'll be helpful to someone else!

Tips for Memorizing Small Portions of Scripture

Choose wisely.  When I'm trying to choose what to memorize, I can be overwhelmed by all the choices.  Should I memorize something that will be helpful when I'm sharing the gospel with someone?  Something that could be an encouragement to others?  Something that I feel will help me in battling a specific sin?  The Scripture you choose to memorize should be your choice, through the Lord's leading, not just because everyone else is memorizing it.  If the Lord brings a verse to mind that you want to have in your heart, choose that!

Write it out.  When I'm focusing on a short verse or portion of the Word, I like to write it out--in my journal, on an index card, on my blog, etc.  I like playing around with typography on photographs I've taken.  It's just really helpful for me to focus on the verse as a whole by writing it out.

Go over it everyday.  No exceptions.  My grandpa told my dad once that, even if he had a really busy day ahead of him and didn't feel like he had enough time to read his Bible, he tried to read just one verse.  The Lord works through portions of His Word that are even as small as that, so why not let that one verse be the one you're memorizing?

Sit down.  For individual verses, I find I do really well sometimes when I just sit down and memorize the entire thing.  Just taking half an hour out of your day to cement those words into your head can end up being a real encouragement for you the rest of the day!

Repeat, repeat, repeat.   We all know how easy it is to lose what we've memorized, whether it be facts for a test, words to a song, or a verse.  In the first couple days, or even weeks, after I've memorized a verse, I try to go over it every day.  Once I feel I really have it down, I'll let myself go a few days without repeating it, but it's still necessary to repeat it often.  Otherwise it'll be gone, and I have to start all over again!

Pray.  God's the One helping you through this!  He created your mind, He knows your pace, and He going to help you the whole way.

Enjoy.  Scripture is God's Word to us.  I find I most enjoy memorization when I focus on what God's saying to me--encouraging me, convicting me, reminding me of His love.  His Word is beautiful, and we shouldn't ever forget to view it that way!

One of my favorite verses that I've memorized is Galatians 5:1 - "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."  This is one of my favorite verses to use in fighting sin.  Usually I'll just remind myself of the first part of the verse--you are free!--and that's enough.  Those are my favorite verses to memorize--short, sweet, and powerful.  Sometimes you don't need a bomb to shake the enemy off, just a series of powerful little punches!

I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.
Psalm 130:5 

I'm going to write another post on memorizing larger portions of Scripture within the next few days--keep looking for it!

1 comment:

tammy said...

Sarah thanks for all the great ideas! Thanks for always encouraging others!

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