How to Memorize Scripture the Easy Way

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How to Memorize Scripture the Easy Way |

I laid in bed and thought about all that could go wrong. It’s a bad habit and one I couldn’t seem to break for quite some time – thinking about the bad, the unknown, and the scary.

Oftentimes, when I try to fall sleep is when my brain revs up and starts spinning. It can feel like a curse and a heavy weight. When it’s time to sleep, I think of the bad.

It was during one of my mind-revving-up-thinking-about-the-bad moments when I decided it was time to take a stand against the evil thoughts and replace them with something sweeter, something truth-filled and grounded, something encouraging and comforting.

Memorizing Scripture is something I have done before. When I was a child, my mom had me memorize passages. When I attended private Christian school in high school, I had a weekly memory verse.

Yes, I’ve memorized Scripture in the past. But in the moments of fear and anxiety – thinking of all things bad and ugly – I was having trouble remembering any of the verses I had memorized.

I think it’s because this is how I memorized Scripture as a grade-school girl and high-school perfectionist:

On the morning of the quiz, I would read the passage several times. Then, I would repeat each phrase about seventeen times. You know – “Peace I leave with you” “Peace I leave with you” “Peace I leave with you”… fifteen times later… “my peace I give to you” “my peace I give to you” “my peace I give to you”…

This was not effective. I would remember the verse for about half of the day (until right after I took the quiz), only to get confused about wording or forget the reference in those moments of fear and anxiety.

I’ve seen posts about memorizing Scripture that say “read it eight times, say it eight times, write it eight times.” While I don’t disagree that this might work for some people, not everyone will truly learn the verse this way.

It is downright difficult to remember something you’ve only studied for thirty minutes on a weekday morning.

In the times of fear and anxiety, anger or bitterness, it is essential to have solid Scripture in your back pocket to comfort, equip, calm, encourage, or challenge. This type of reinforcement will only come with meaningful study of God’s Word designed to help you remember all of the verse for those much-needed moments.

Your words are not enough to get you through the deep of life. You need the Words of Life. #faith #biblestudy Click To Tweet

After realizing that my childhood trick to get a 100% on the quiz was no longer working, I tried something totally new, and this is how I now memorize Scripture. It takes longer than 30 minutes, yes. But stick with me and I believe you’ll learn to enjoy the process.

Enjoying the process is  a key part of the process. Memorizing Scripture because you want to memorize Scripture. Memorizing because you need the comfort, the calm, the encouragement, the truth. And memorizing because your words are not enough in those moments of fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, and frustration.

Here is a simplified way to memorize Scripture:

  • Start by buying (or making) a little 3×5 notecard book.
  • Choose 5-10 Scripture verses that you want to memorize. John Piper calls these “fighter verses”.
  • Write your fighter verses on the notecards, starting a new card for each verse.
  • Carry this notecard book with you in your purse, the car, the doctor’s office, the school pick-up line – really, anywhere you go.
  • Anytime you have a few minutes (time when you’d normally get out your phone & check Facebook or Instagram), flip through your fighter verses and read them either to yourself or out loud. Make sure to read the reference each time.
  • After you’ve memorized the first five verses, add five more.
  • Repeat the process over & over & over again.

I told you it was simple, didn’t I? It will take longer than 30 minutes. It takes time – real time that you would normally spend scrolling through Pinterest, reading a magazine, making a grocery list, etc.

But I promise you that the truth you saturate your mind with today will impact your tomorrow.

I have several 3×5 notecard books filled with verses that I’ve come to love. I know almost all of them by heart – the result of realizing that I can’t get through the anxious and fearful moments alone.

Now, when I’m lying in bed trying to sift through all of the thoughts of the day, the scary happenings that didn’t really happen, or the list of to-dos for tomorrow, I calm myself by remembering what I’ve memorized.

Here’s a bit of a disclaimer: I am in no way the “perfect Scripture memorizer” or the “most spiritual person” because I know Bible verses. The reality is that sometimes I still forget, and I still get anxious, but my notecard books are only a few feet away. I flip through them often.

So, please don’t think that I always choose to flip through my notecard book when I’m waiting at the doctor, because sometimes I choose Facebook.

Just know that your words at not enough. You need the words of God tucked deep into your heart.

Friend, your words are not enough to get you through the tough of life. You need the Words of Life. Read here for how to memorize Scripture the easy way!

P.S. I would love for you to subscribe & join the community here! I won’t spam your inbox. That’s a forever promise. I will, however, give you access to a free library of resources to help you grow in your faith! One of those resources is a list of A-Z verses for fighting anxiety. Sign up below.

16 thoughts on “How to Memorize Scripture the Easy Way

  1. Alison,

    What a great practical system for memorizing Scripture. As a biblical counselor, I have my counselees memorize Scripture every week and that’s the way I suggest they do it. I loved your comment about going over them when you’d normally be checking FB. That’s a great way to think about it.


    1. Thanks, Donna! It’s all to easy to choose Facebook at times, but when I have my Scripture cards in my purse, I know the benefit will largely outweigh checking social media. 🙂 What an amazing profession – counseling people with God’s Word. Be blessed today & thank you for commenting!

    2. Thank you for this, I use to find I would memorize verses and then find I’d forgotten them. Now I have written them down in a notebook and will keep it in my purse to refer to.
      Thank you Alison for this post.

  2. Alison, I just wanted to let you know I included your post in a roundup I was working on. Let’s pray many decide to get serious about memorizing God’s Word in the coming year! Stop by for a visit and don’t forget to linkup on Mondays @ Soul Survival. Have a great week!

  3. This is great, Alison. I think you’re right that enjoying the process is key. The more we enjoy letting the truth of God’s words sink into our souls, the more likely we are to recall them when we need them.

    1. Abi, I do agree! Thank you for commenting! This Fall season has been a sweet time of truly loving the process of reading/memorizing Scripture. It’s amazing how God lets that happen when we ask. 🙂

  4. Hi Alison,

    I wanted to share with you a way I recently learned to memorize a scripture that worked out great. I’m not the best scripture memorized either.

    Also use a notecard. Write the scripture on one side and on the back make a chart for 7 days across and 3x down. Am, noon and pm say verse 5x. This really works after a few days you will have it memorized.

    Blessings to you.

    1. Tina, what a great idea! I haven’t ever heard of that method, but I do like the sound of repeating the Scripture throughout the day in an “organized” way. Thanks for sharing!
      I hope you and your family are doing well. I think about you often!

  5. Yes! I love this! I also had to memorize verses for school and did the exact same way you did. And I have found that I remember little parts of some of them, but I don’t remember them nearly as well as I should.
    I like the notecard book idea, I think I’ll try that! Thank you 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kara! Give it a try. I hope it helps you!
      And hey… even remembering small parts of those verses is power. Cling to that in the moments you need it most. Phrases of truth are just as impactful as sentences of truth in my opinion! 😉

  6. I know this is an older post, but I too have been working on memorizing scripture and use it when it when I go to bed or when I wake up. I try to think of all the ones I have memorized.

    I started with post it notes at my desk. I read them when I’m waiting for a report to load, or I’m on a conference call that doesn’t need 100% of my attention. I started the note cards with my kids and started with “They Word I have hidden in my heart..” I think it’s important as I teach the kids to explain what the verse means. Not to down play the verses that are done in sunday school, but I think they are more meaningful if I pick them, explain them, show the kids how to apply them to whats going on in their life and learn them as a family. I’m hoping it’ll stick more. I really don’t remember any of the verses from school age years I memorized.

    This week we are learning “For we are God’s handiwork..” Because my middle daughter was saying she was dumb and I explained to her that handiwork means a wonderful creation and that she was putting down God’s greatest art project! Her! I think it helped her understand the verse better when I discussed it that way. (Not that I know what I’m doing! I’m fumbling my way through Christian parenting just like everyone else!)

    Also, others may disagree, but I when I memorize scripture I don’t find it as important to also memorize where it’s located in the bible. I think it makes it harder to learn when you add that on. With google and bible gateway and all that… if I were using it to share the word with someone else there are lots of options to search for the words I have memorized. I just don’t see the need to make it more difficult to remember that it’s in Ephesians 2:10. The words are what matter. Thanks for your posts~ I do enjoy them!

    1. Christy,
      I love that you are taking the time to explain the verses and meaning of the verses to your children! That is SO valuable to them. Like you, I don’t remember much of what I memorized in grade school (and even through high school) because it was simply regurgitation! But, when the verse has practical life application like you are teaching your kids, the verse becomes so meaningful and beautiful. Scripture becomes a solid foundation on which to stand!
      Thanks for sharing & commenting. 🙂 You’ve blessed me!

    1. Hey Sheree, I think that’s great! As long the Word is being hidden in your heart, screen or no-screen sounds good to me! 😉

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