Yes! You Really Can Memorize Scripture

woman holding Bible to her heart

The idea of memorizing parts of the Bible is daunting and an easy thing to keep postponing, as “something I’ll do someday when…”.  But this practice can be so rewarding in so many ways that you might not want to miss giving it a try now.

You Really Can Memorize Scripture

When you memorize Scripture, you are opening up a whole new avenue in your Christian walk. God makes it clear in the Bible that He wants us to know Him and to know His Word. The best way to do this is to read the Bible.

And the next thing to follow is to memorize Scripture passages that especially speak to our heats. You’re on a great path if you think you’d like to memorize Scripture, hiding God’s Word in your heart. 

Nothing starts my day in a better way than digging into a passage of Scripture and coming up with hands and heart full of His goodness. To be able to memorize Scripture and recite passages at any given moment is priceless. 

And you can do it!

Bible verses that encourage memorizing Scripture

The following verses give us good reasons to take in Scripture. Memorizing Scripture allows it to dwell, or abide in us, and in our hearts, or in other words the sensitive, spiritual side in each one of us.

Scripture can keep us on guard and help us win spiritual battles, and Ephesians 6 tells us that God’s Word is a powerful weapon – the only weapon of offense in all of the armor of God. Why wouldn’t we, then, want it to be easy to access by memorizing it?

Psalm 40:8 (ESV)

I delight to do your will, O my God, your law is within my heart. 


Psalm 37:31

The law of his God is in his heart; his steps do not slip. 


Job 22:22

Receive instructions from his mouth, and lay up his words in your heart. 


Isaiah 51:7

Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear not the reproach of man, nor be dismayed at their revilings. 


Psalm 119:11 

I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 


Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 


Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (CSB)

These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 


Ephesians 6:17 (ESV)

…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God…


Joshua 1:8 (CSB)

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. 


John 14:26

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. 


Jeremiah 15:16

Your words were found, and I ate them. Your words became a delight to me and the joy of my heart, for I bear your name, Lord God of Armies. 

Charles Spurgeon quote pn blue background - "The Bible in the memory is better than the Bible in the bookcase."

Benefits of Memorizing Scripture

Memorizing Scripture is truly for our own good. But it is SO easy to procrastinate, or make excuses for not doing it. 

Some of the reasons we don’t memorize Scripture are:

  • I’m not good at memorizing
  • I don’t have the time
  • I can’t do it perfectly, so there’s no use trying
  • How will I keep it memorized?
  • I wouldn’t even know where to begin
  • It’s too hard

I know, I’ve used every one of these excuses for not memorizing Scripture. But there are more benefits to memorizing God’s Word than there are reasons not to. 

Some of the benefits we gain when we memorize Scripture: 

  • Having important Bible passages with us at all times, ready to use when needed
  • Help in overcoming sin and temptation
  • A ready reminder of how we should respond in a difficult situation
  • Present help for others when they are struggling
  • Our minds are filled with Scripture so we can bring racing or sinful thoughts under control (taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ – 2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • As we memorize, we develop a clearer understanding of the words, more than just reading them
  • And maybe the most important of all – the ability to share the gospel at any given moment.

I’ve been blessed to hear several real life examples of memorized Scripture in use. One instance was a man in our church who would pray an entire prayer using Scriptures – he was truly praying the Scriptures, and what a blessing it was! 

The second great example was at a camp where my kids used to go every summer.  A man who was a horse trainer and speaker, would teach on Biblical principles relating horse training to our lives, relationships, and experiences. 

He gave the entire message on horseback, usually while training an unbroken horse, and quoted large passages of pertinent Scripture throughout. I was always fascinated by his ability to recite so much Scripture and give a great message while training a horse. 

(Find out more about this ministry, called Sermon On The Mount at www.sermononthemount.org)

I just love this short video clip from a sermon by John Piper. It is a captivating and convincing teaching on why we should memorize Scripture:

How To Memorize Scripture

We all have different learning strengths, so there is not one method that works for everyone. Some can memorize better by listening, some by reading or writing it. There are online Scripture memorization sites and apps. Here are a few suggestions: 

National Bible Bee has a wealth of information about Bible memory and study. A Bible Bee is something like a spelling bee where people compete in Scripture memorization. 

I found an interesting YouTube channel called Bible Memory Goal. It contains instructions on how to choose what to memorize, how to memorize, demonstrations and recitations of memorized Scriptures, and lots of videos about Scripture memory. 

A Scripture memory app may be helpful because you can use it wherever you are. A few that I can recommend are Verse Locker, Bible Memory (my favorite), and Fighter Verses. 

His Word In My Heart by Janet Pope is a great book that teaches all about Bible memorization. 

Most of the above resources will also give some hints for how to retain the memorized Scripture over time. 

What Scripture Should I Memorize?

And don’t worry about what Scriptures to memorize. A good starting point may be passages that you refer to often, or refer others to.

Most of the above resources will give suggestions of what to memorize, but I like to keep it personal by choosing my own. I do suggest you start with a fairly short passage,  but not so small that you are taking an idea out of context. 

I recently read John 15:1-8 several times, and the more I read it the more found myself applying it in my everyday life. So, I chose that passage to memorize. Ephesians is another favorite, also Psalm 145, along with many shorter passages.

I have found, through trial and error, a method that works well for me. First, I print or type out the entire passage that I plan to memorize, then I work on one sentence at a time, not moving on until I can recite the whole passage up to that point.

 I am not a fast memorizer, so it may take weeks for me to fully memorize a passage. I’m also devising a simple plan for regular review so that I can pull it up at any time in my brain.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever made a habit of memorizing Scripture, what verse or passage you might be working on currently, and how it’s going. Please comment below. 

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2 Comments

  1. Great suggestion! I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  2. Thank you very much for your inspiring thoughts! Another great help to memorise Bible verses is the app Remember Me (https://www.remem.me).