Wednesday, February 15, 2017

5 Tips For Memorizing Scripture

Hi friends!

Memorizing Bible passages has been such a huge part of my Spiritual life. I've learned about God, and to know Him, through His Word, for as long back as I can remember. I cannot remember a time when I didn't know John 3:16 by heart.

We moved to Texas when I was 12, but I was 14 by the time we found East River Baptist Church, where we ended up joining as members. From 14 to 18, I was in youth group every Wednesday night of the school year learning and soaking in so much, as well as reciting verses I had memorized throughout the week.

My Junior year in High School, our family finally got involved the National Bible Bee, through which I was motivated to memorized hundreds more verses!!

The most verses I ever memorized in one week was 33, if I'm remembering correctly. And that was nothing! I was competing with others in the youth group and Bible Bee who could do 50 or better every week, easy!

So maybe they should be writing this post.

But, anyways, here are five tips for memorizing more of God's Word, retaining more of what you memorize, and memorizing it more efficiently/quickly.

(From someone who actually isn't very good at memorizing things.)

1. Write It

My grandma got us all these notepads a few years ago, and they ended up being the perfect size for writing out about one average-length verse onto. I would copy the verses I wanted to memorize that week onto those little note pages, front and back, then peel them out of the notepad. That way, I could have just one little piece of paper in my pocket, where I could pull it out throughout the day, set it on the side of the sink to read over and over while I washed dishes, or whatever, and I could memorize two verses a day doing that (because one verse on front, one verse on back), pretty consistently.

Having it written on something small is really the only way for me. I can't carry around my whole Bible all day long, every day!

And, there's just something about writing it down that helps lock it into my brain better. I've been known to fill a piece of notebook paper with just one verse written over and over, if I have trouble memorizing it. Writing it out helps, in my opinion!

2. Speak It

I talk to myself already, so this isn't even that weird for me! Haha!

It's not going to work for me if I just think the words in my head. I must say them out loud. Over and over. I can do this best while pacing the back fence line, or washing dishes. Please don't ask what my correlation is between the two, because I promise I have no idea myself!

3. Recite It

Not only is recitation a good determining factor to make sure you've memorized it before you move on to the next, but it's also really helpful to practice reciting to actually do the memorizing! My mom or Kristen are almost always willing to open the Bible and hear me try to say any number of verses without looking, helping me along with prompt words when I need them. Sometimes my mom will even see something about the flow of the verse I had been missing that will help me smooth it together in my mind.

4. Practice It

Though I really use neither anymore, if the volume of verses you're needing to learn is very high, you should get the free memberships on both Memverse and ScriptureTyper. They are completely invaluable! This would also be a resource to try in the case that you really struggle with memorization, or the pacing and orally practicing idea isn't very practical. Both sites are also amazingly helpful with help on retaining verses you've already technically "passed".

5. Win It

As being that I'm very competitive, having someone to compete with in memorizing Scripture has been proven again and again to help get me going. Even if it's not an actual competition, finding an accountability partner, and memorizing the same things at the same time is by far the best way to keep myself on track. You could even have a gift card up for grabs, or the loser has to buy coffee for whoever can quote a certain passage first with no prompts. I love a good competition.

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Q: How many verses should I be memorizing per week or month?

A: That's not really for me to say. If you're brand new to this sort of Bible study, maybe just try one a week, using these 5 tips. If you just consistently bump it up every other week or so, maybe eventually you can get to five per week, which I think is a healthy number, for the average busy person. Don't let yourself be your biggest enemy in this.

Q: What Scriptures should I memorize?

A: Again, that's not my call! Some of my personal favorites have been John 14 & 15, Galatians, 1 John, and various sections from Proverbs. James would be a good one, too. (Note: Galatians and 1 John I never memorized completely, because I just wasn't fast enough and we were doing competitions in the youth group. For example, I think we had about 2 months for 1 John, and I only got a little over half. I wish I could try again!)

I would recommend not starting your memorizing career with Psalm 119. We tried to memorize that, too. Ha! It's so long, and all of the verses blend together after a couple dozen!

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That's about all I have to say about that!! Right now I'm working on re-memorizing Romans 12 along with the "Living the Journey" group, and then I was thinking about picking up in Philippians, where I left off memorizing last year. What Scriptures are you memorizing right now?

Also, if you have any students in your family 18 and under, you should definitely look into participating in the National Bible Bee this year!! It's an amazing experience and I've been so proud of my little sisters, watching them grow up to be so filled with the Word, and so fluent in Scripture. It's such a blessing!! (Sorry, though, Americans only.)

Sign-up usually opens in April and if you want to compete you must be signed-up no later than June 1st, which is the first day of the summer study. Testing on the summer study materials takes place in August, and if you are in the best 120 in your age bracket, you are invited to Nationals, which takes place in November.

Hope that helps!! I'm sure I have some memorizing prodigies out there some where; tell us! How do you do it?!

P.S. Please subscribe while you are here!!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post! I've been memorizing James with my friend this year and I'm excited to use these tips!


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