Some of you know that this year I committed to memorizing some of the Bible. I started out with the very ambitious goal of memorizing the entire book of Philippians. I’ll be honest — I bit off more than I could chew.
Instead, I’ve decided to work on much shorter sections for awhile. I’ve memorized Hebrews 11:6 and Philippians 4:8 (which admittedly is a refresher – I memorized it a few times before) so far, and now am working on a slightly longer section: Ephesians 6:14-17.
I’ve done some searching and found a nice list of suggestions for people trying to commit Bible passages to memory. I’ll feature four-five tips each week for the next few weeks.
Pray and ask God for help.
My pastor’s wife and I were talking today about our efforts to memorize, and she shared how difficult this has been for her in the past. But after seeing and hearing women we respect easily quoting sections of the Bible and witnessing how that encouraged and instructed those who heard, she resolved to try again. She told me that she asked God to give her supernatural ability to retain the verses she worked on, and in the past few weeks she has memorized over 30 verses! I believe that God will honor such a request, so if memorizing is challenging for you, ask God for help.
Read it repeatedly.
Instead of zipping through your daily Bible reading, try rereading the passage you are trying to memorize. Taking some time to review it every day will help you remember it.
This sounds obvious, but we often ignore it. Force yourself to really think about what you are reading — this will help you internalize the words and their meaning. Familiarity tends to encourage our minds to wander, so you need to intentionally bring it back to the words you are studying.
Visualize what you are reading.
When I was a little girl, I illustrated passages from Proverbs and Psalms to help me memorize them. The imagery lends itself to this very easily.
Consider Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked nor stand in the way of the sinner nor sit in the seat of the mocker.” See the three actions here? Walking, standing, and sitting. If you can see those three actions, you can start to memorize the surrounding words.
Create anchor words.
In Psalm 1:1 above, your anchor words would be walking, standing, and sitting. In Colossians 1:15 (He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.) , the anchor words could be image, invisible, and firstborn. Whenever you get lost while reciting a passage, look for your anchor words to get back on track.
What are you memorizing right now?