5 Tricks for Memorizing Scripture

God has a great plan for every single person, and the key to experiencing that kind of life is understanding how much He loves us and how we can love – really love Him. Loving God and loving others starts with a decision to go all-in for Him; and, it’s followed with little decisions every day to grow closer to Him by praying, reading our Bible, finding friends who also love Jesus, and doing life together. We have a choice, and that choice happens new every morning and in small choices that we make every day. One small choice we can make is memorizing Scripture.

There’s power in becoming so familiar with a word, phrase, or verse that it comes to mind instantly when something happens. When you’ve truly internalized something, it can stay with you your whole life. If you can recite the lyrics to Purple Rain from the 80s or Happy by Pharrel Williams, you can certainly memorize a few verses. Pastor Michael has challenged us to learn 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. One awesome way to memorize Scripture is the Read, Write, Sing, Say, Pray (RWSSP) method.  These five easy steps are a surefire way to get you started:

1. Read it: Take 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and read it several times over. Repetition is key to any kind of memorization, and to do it over and over until it’s natural and reflexive. The point is to internalize it over time.  Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while for the verse to “stick”—keep at it.

2. Write it: One way to memorize something like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is to write it down or type it into your computer. Not once. Not twice. But ten times. Maybe more. Your call. Read it again to yourself as you write. Consider each word carefully. Camp out on it a while. You won’t regret it.

3. Sing it: It may sound silly, but singing is an awesome way to memorize. Think about it, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, The ABCs, and Mary Had a Little Lamb are all songs from our childhood that we remember, despite not having sung them for years. Along with writing your own tunes, you can also “borrow” a tune from a song you already know and put in new Scripture lyrics. Having memorized the tune already, you’ll then be able to focus on memorizing the passage. The power of song to help us remember is irrefutable.

4. Say it: Studies show that even whispering things to yourself can help to make those items more memorable. Verbalizing Scripture can help burn the words into your memory for recall later when you need them.

5. Pray it: Relate the verse to your own life and pray for the kind of promise the verse entails. Use the verse repeatedly in your prayers, asking God for its meaning.

Keep adapting your memorization strategy as you figure out what does and doesn’t work for you. One thing is for certain: you’ll never regret spending more time intentionally focused on God’s Word. When you face a hard time and you need it most, it’ll be there and you’ll remember: the best is yet to come!