Over the last several years the habit of memorizing scripture has eluded me. It was something that I put on the back burner with excuses. I let my self talk tell me that it is too hard since I’ve gotten older. Well that is a lie and I’m leaving that and other excuses behind. Dear and I decided to memorize Psalm 19: 7-9 together and that has gone well. I’ve challenged our kids to memorize Romans 12:1-2 as part of their “getting healthy” goals for the year. In the midst of this renewed effort to train my brain a dear friend suggested a group of us memorize Psalm 1 together. Can you feel the congruence of all of this?

These days I’ve shifted to the ESV (English Standard Version) Bible. In my early years of Sunday School I memorized verses in the KJV (King James Version). During the early 70’s my Bible of choice was the NASB (New American Standard Bible). It was in this version that I first memorized Psalm 1 so I had to go back to this version for this latest exercise of re-memorizing it.

The photo I posted is from the Bible that Dear gifted me as a wedding gift in December of 1974.

So onward and upward, I’m putting my brain to the test and I’m sure the results will only do me good.

Hebrews 4:12

12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Update: Some of you have asked for tips in memorizing. Our brains work differently but here are some things that work for me and some things I’ve learned from others.

Be careful what version of the Bible you choose to memorize from. The King James Version and The English Standard Version are more poetic over all. Don’t choose The Message as it is more prose and it’s hard to grasp. Some versions have more rhythm and that’s easier for the brain to grasp. I don’t recommend the NIV version either for memorization. (Thank you Julie)

I use 3×5 or 4×6 cards to write the portion of scripture I want to memorize.

Start small. Choose one verse. Think about the verse. Dissect the verse. Write it out several times on notebook paper. Take your 3×5 card with you in the car and when you have to wait anywhere pull it out and go over it.

Try writing it out from memory.

Hand the 3×5 card to somebody (friend or spouse) and then try to recite it out loud while they check to see that you’ve got it right.

When you wake up in the middle of the night go over it in your head. It’s amazing how much more clarity you have when you are awake in the night with nothing else to do.

Now you are ready to go on to a larger portion of scripture. I hope these tips help. Here’s another truth, the process is good even if it takes a long time to get it perfect.

About Ellen am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

11 thoughts on “Memorization

  1. These words are life!

    “During the early 70’s …”

    You have been doing this for a long time. I wonder…what is the most important thing you have learned?

    • Sandi, a very important thing that I’ve learned is that the Word of God (The Bible) is sufficient for everything we need for life and Godliness. The reason it’s good to put true words in your brain by memorizing is that when you are in need of those words the Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind. What I’ve learned over these years is that God is who He says He is and Jesus Christ is the only Savior of the World (The Way, the Truth and the Life) and the Holy Spirit is the great teacher and comforter while we are living apart from Jesus Christ on this earth.

  2. I am working on memorizing Bible verses, but I’m not as consistent as I should be. Thanks for the push!
    Re: mystery series. The Inspector Roderick Alleyn books by Ngaio Marsh. Marsh was a contemporary of Agatha Christie and originally from New Zealand, so some of her books are set there. I highly recommend Marsh!

  3. It was a lot easier to memorize verses when younger but I keep at it. Somehow when you need a certain verse, it comes to mind!
    We use the KJV.

  4. After years of memorizing Scripture and poetry with my homeschoolers, I have kind of fallen off the wagon lately. Of course, there is always the excuse that memorization is more difficult as I get older . . . and that would be true! But still, I think that Scripture is worth memorizing, even at a slower pace. My grandchildren quoted big chunks of the Sermon on the Mount for me last week (so much food for the soul!) and I was prompted to do the same. Actually, this post is the third prompting I have had in several weeks to memorize Scripture. Today is the day!

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