I have reached the end of my list of tips for making memorizing verses easier. Next week I’ll share some musical resources that weave verses into song and memory without effort. Make sure you stop by — I’ll have a free download for each of you, a discount code to purchase more, and a chance to win.
And now, the last four suggestions.
Enlist your body.
Mnemonic devices may not work for you (read more here), so try using your body. A great example is Ephesians 6:10-18, the armor of God. Visualize and even mime putting on each piece of the armor in order — waist (belt), chest (breastplate), feet (readiness), arm (shield), head (helmet), and hand (sword). Once you get these correct, this can help you thread your way through this lengthy passage.
Repeat the alphabet.
Let’s say you can’t remember that big word in 1 John 2:2. If you run through your ABCs, your mind may recall the word when you get to P – propitiation.
Write or type it.
This is one I use a lot. I find hand-writing a verse or passage over and over (not just two times, more like ten times) helps me especially with the flow of longer passages. Hand-writing forces me to slow down and think more about each word, plus it enlists more senses: I’m seeing the words as well as feeling them. Once I think I have a passage, I’ll try writing from memory so I can correct myself. Then I rewrite sections I messed up over and over.
You can do this a couple of ways. You can buy or download many versions of the Bible for your CD player or MP3 player. Or you can record yourself reading a passage out loud. My husband likes to listen to a passage he’s working on while driving, riding the bus, or working out.
Finally, when you start on a verse or passage, turn off the TV, unplug your iPod (unless you’re listening to a recording of that passage), and shut down your computer (or go to another room). Working without these distractions will help you retain more.