Did you know that back in Jesus’ day, Jewish boys would learn to recite the first five books of the Bible (even Leviticus) by the age of 12!? Memorizing Scripture may seem difficult sometimes, but it is possible. I’ve never memorized the Torah, but I have been memorizing the book of Philippians. So far, I’ve memorized the first two chapters. I’ve also been serving in our church’s Kids Club to help teach memory verses to a group of six-year-olds. My dad suggested that I write a blog article sharing the ideas that are helping me memorize Scripture. Here are five tips to help you memorize Scripture.
5 Tips for Memorizing Scripture
1. Move it!
Come up with some motions to go along with the verse. They don’t have to be perfect. Just use simple movements that help you remember the words. For example, these are the motions I made up to help two of my younger sisters memorize Psalm 100:3.
Know that the Lord (tap the sides of your head)
he is God (point up)
it is he who made us (pound your fists together like you’re building something)
and we are his (point at yourself and then point forward)
we are his people (walk two fingers across your hand like a person walking)
and the sheep of his pasture (pretend like you’re petting a sheep)
Psalm 100:3 (hold hands out like a bible)
Here’s a video of my youngest sister and me using motions to say part of Psalm 100 together.
2. Sing it!
Sing the verse to the tune of a popular song like “Jingle Bells” or “Row Row Row Your Boat”. Or you can just make up your own tune to go along with the words of the verse. Here’s a verse song that I helped my dad record to help kids at our church memorize Titus 1:2. If you’d like more videos like this one, you should check out my dad’s YouTube channel. He’s got a whole playlist of memory verse songs for kids.
3. BREAK IT UP!
Separate the verse into smaller sections. Memorize those smaller sections one by one and then piece them together to say the entire verse. My dad says, “You memorize Scripture the same way you eat an elephant – one bite at a time.”
4. WRITE IT!
Write down the first letter of each word on a piece of paper and say the verse while looking at the card. This can help when you are having trouble remembering part of a verse. Looking at the card reminds you of the first letter of each word, but it doesn’t give the whole thing away. Here’s a picture of what it can look like. This card is for Philippians 1:1-2 and I can use it to give me a hint on what the next word is when I’m practicing the verse.
5. TEACH IT!
Once you’ve memorized the verse yourself, teach it to someone else and work on it together. For example, I memorized Psalm 100 and then I taught it to my two younger sisters. I came up with motions and worked on it a little bit every day. Teaching my sisters and reviewing it together every day helped cement the verses in my brain while they were learning it. Here’s a video of my sisters reciting the verse after a few weeks of working on it with me.
These five tips are helping me hide God’s Word in my heart and God’s Word is helping me trust God. One way that memorizing Scripture has helped me is that I can think about it when life is hard. My dad has a rare disease that makes it hard for him to do many things we wish he could do and it makes him feel awful a lot. So I memorized Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more neither shall there be mourning nor suffering nor pain anymore for these former things have passed away.” This verse helps me remember that my dad will be better in heaven someday. This is a way that memorizing God’s Word has helped me and I hope these five tips for memorizing Scripture will help you to memorize more Scripture and hide it in your heart.
P.S. My Dad asked me to please say that anyone interested in getting MORE ideas to help people (especially kids) memorize Scripture, should watch his video, 5 Games to Help Kids Memorize Scripture. I helped my dad make this video and I use some of the games to help the six-year-olds at my church practice their memory verse every week.