So how to start memorizing? I have already mentioned Janet Pope’s book, His Word in my Heart. Her method remains a key for my success in memorization.
When your hands are busy but your mind is not, that is time you can redeem for Scripture memory.
So that solves the issue of when and where. Figure out how you can transform those mindless, daily tasks into times for Scripture memory. Over the years, my favorite times and places to memorize are in the shower, while drying my hair, and while driving.
Here is Matthew 6, typed out and in a plastic sleeve. It sticks to the tile.
Here is Psalm 34, again in a plastic sleeve and tucked in the mirror. It got wet while in the shower!
This is a mini binder with Scripture typed up in plastic sleeves. I keep this in the car and review when it’s safe to do so. 😉
There are many tips and tricks to memorizing, but here are the ones that have worked for me:
1. Repeat the verse out loud ten times. Out loud is key. There is something about engaging more than one sense that helps you retain it.
2. Find patterns and make acronyms. I once listened to a story about people who competed in a national memory competition. A key for them was to come up with silly associations for what you are memorizing. Sounds like an extra step but it works! So if there is a list of things to memorize take the first letter of each and make a silly word.
3. Start with saying the first word out loud and then add one at a time and keep repeating what you have. For example, in Colossians 3 you would do this:
If then you
If then you have
4. Pray the Word. Learn it. Internalize it. This is the best tip because it accomplishes what you want in the end. You don’t want to just pile up verses and chapters and books in order to impress your friends and family. You want to delight in it and obey it and use it to gain intimacy with God. Memorizing whole Psalms is especially good for prayer.
5. Finally, review. And review. And review some more. This is the only way to make it stick. Have a plan to review certain passages on certain days, whatever works for you. Enlist friends to help you.
I hope this little series has inspired you to hide God’s Word in your heart. You will not regret implementing this habit. His Word does not return void.