Memorizing verses can be a chore. If your memory is not the best (like mine), the challenge of memorizing can feel like you are pushing a heavy boulder uphill with no end in sight. It can actually be quite discouraging so that’s why I’m here to lend a helping hand.
Active memorizing requires a concentrated effort for a short period of time. However, the intended goal of actually memorizing the verse for the long term may not be achieved. Something memorized quickly tends to have a short life span. Many children in Sunday School use the “pressure cooker memorizing technique” in order recite the verse when called upon. Unfortunately, if they were asked to recite the verse the following week, they would have no idea where to start.
I will share with you what I consider to be the best way to memorize Bible verses. It is a somewhat passive technique that will keep those verses well archived in your mind for future use. This “slow cooker memorizing technique” makes sure that the verse is well cooked, and can be savoured for months and years.
Although it would be great to memorize numerous verses in a short amount of time, most of us are not able to do it in an efficient and lasting way. In this post, I will focus on the quality of the memorizing process as opposed to the quantity of verses memorized.
Pick the Verse
This step can sometimes be more complicated than it needs to be. All Scripture is valuable, therefore, to start with, find a verse that you enjoy, or a verse that speaks to you, or a verse that you find interesting. This verse will become your target verse.
- I will do an example so that you can follow along. I will pick John 3:16 as my target verse.
Read the Verse
Open your Bible to the target verse you want to memorize and read it. The first time you might read it in your mind, but make the effort to read it out loud. Initially, the sound of your voice might startle you, but you will get used to it.
Read the verse out loud several times until you are able to do it without making a mistake in the wording or in the punctuation. Continue reading it over, and over, until you are comfortable reading it out loud.
- Example: I opened my Bible and read the target verse John 3:16
Write out the Verse
If you use a notebook, or a diary, this would be a good place to write out your target verse so you can have it on hand wherever you go. If you don’t have something you routinely use, getting a notebook you can dedicate to document your verse memorizing achievements would be useful. I will provide a printable chart at the end that you can also use.
When writing out the verse, be sure to write it out exactly as it is in your Bible. Do not write it from memory, as you will likely make a mistake and start off on the wrong foot. Take care to write it to the best of your ability, word for word, and with all the punctuation in the right places.
Be sure to include, either at the beginning or at the end, the verse reference (the book title, the chapter number and the verse number). The reference identifies where the verse is located in the Bible.
- Example: I wrote out the verse John 3:16 in my Memorizing Bible Verses chart.
Memorize the Verse
Once you have read the target verse, and written down the target verse, it is time to start memorizing it. You might notice that you are now familiar with certain parts of the verse and this will give you some confidence as you move forward.
Most of the verses that you will memorize will consist of short phrases. These are a good place to start. Instead of trying to memorize the entire verse all at once, focus on memorizing the shorter phrases. Once you have memorized the shorter phrases, it will be much easier to put them together and memorize the entire verse.
Try saying a short phrase without looking at the verse in your Bible or at what you have written in your notebook. After quoting the phrase from memory, re read the phrase to make sure that you have it right. Do it as often as you need to and double check for accuracy every time.
- Example: I highlighted some different phrases in different colours.
Repeat the Steps
After going through the “Read It”, “Write It”, and “Memorize It” steps, you might be feeling good about what you were able to accomplish in a short period of time. You might have only spent 5 to 10 minutes going at it, but you know that you have made some progress. If you didn’t get it all memorized in this first session, don’t worry. Remember that this isn’t the “pressure cooker memorizing technique”.
Part of the “slow cooker memorizing technique” is repetition. That’s right, you will let the target verse simmer overnight and then go through the “Read It”, “Write It”, and “Memorize It” steps all over again the next day. You need to repeat the steps for seven days in total.
After finishing the “slow cooker memorizing technique”, you should have the verse well memorized. Take the time to make a comment about your experience at the end of your day 7 entry. You will notice that with very little effort on a daily basis you can memorize verses like a pro.
I will make a subsequent post about following up on the memorized target verse so that it doesn’t get lost over time but remains fresh and easily accessible to you (and the Spirit of God) for future use.
- Example: I filled in my Memorizing Bible Verses chart up to day 4, I still have 3 days left before making a comment at the bottom of the page.
Action Point: Memorize a Verse
- Pick a target verse
- Go through the “slow cooker memorizing technique”. Remember, once a day for seven days, no short cuts.
- In order to help you develop your own system, I am including a chart you can use to write down your verse once per day, for seven days. Remember to always write the verse directly from the Bible and not from memory, nor from the time before. You don’t want to accidentally be carrying over a mistake. The last row in the chart leaves you room to comment on your experience.
- Download the Memorizing Bible Verses PDF Chart #1: Target Verse