How Do You Memorize Scripture?
By Rick Warren
— February 17, 2012
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
Memorizing Scripture is an important and powerful tool for growing spiritually. The Bible says that doing so can help us avoid falling to temptation. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
If you’ve never memorized Scripture before, it may be intimidating. But you can do this! Anyone can do this. It doesn’t matter how smart you think you are or how well you do at memorizing other things. Here’s how you do it:
1) Pick a verse that speaks to you. Don't choose a verse because you think you should memorize it. Memorize it because it will make a difference in your life.
2) Say the address before and after the text. The address, where the verse is found in the Bible, is the hardest part of the verse to remember. Make it easier to remember by saying it aloud before and after the verse.
3) Read the verse aloud and read it many times. We remember what we say and not what we read. That's how you record what you’re trying to learn.
4) Memorize it exactly. Don’t try to manipulate the Scripture before you learn it. Learn it as it is in the Bible.
5) Start by memorizing one verse a week. In time you may be able to learn two verses a week, but start slowly. If you memorize one verse a week, you will memorize 52 in a year — that’s all the major verses that a Christian should learn! If you memorized two a week, that would be more than 100 in a year. You’d be a virtual Bible compared to most people.
I know people who’ve memorized entire books of the Bible. They’re not geniuses. They just decided they’re going to do it — one chapter at a time.
Talk About It
- In what way do you memorize Scripture? Does it work? Should you change something about the way you memorize God’s Word to make it more effective?
- Do you have someone in your life who can memorize Scripture with you and help hold you accountable?
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Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.