Memorizing Scripture can equip you for the obstacles and trials you may face in your daily walk with God. In order for the Holy Spirit to transform your life through the Bible, you have to first know what’s in it. Making routine memorization a discipline is a great way to get intimately familiar with the Word of God, and it can also have a positive impact on your spiritual maturity — no matter what age you are!
Whether you've moved into an assisted living community and realize you finally have time to devote to Scripture study or you want to memorize Scripture in a few minutes each day, here are five tips to get you started.
You won’t be able to memorize entire chapters at a time right off the bat, and that’s okay. The trick is to take it in strides.
Start by choosing a favorite Bible passage. Don’t pay any mind to how long it is — just find a passage that resonates with you. Whether it’s a chapter in one of Paul’s epistles that always brings you encouragement and strength, a psalm of praise or an excerpt from one of your favorite stories, a passage that has meaning for you may be easier to memorize.
Begin by memorizing two verses of the selection. No more, no less. And when you have those down, do another two. And another two. Before you know it, you’ll have the entire chapter or section memorized word for word.
Writing something down can be an essential step towards memorizing it. While repeatedly writing down a passage you want to memorize in a special notebook may help, note cards are more versatile.
When you decide to commit a certain passage to memory, use note cards to write down individual verses or phrases of the passage. Then place them in high-traffic areas of your home or assisted living apartment.
If you spend all day seeing the phrase “The Lord is my shepherd” in your bathroom mirror and “I shall not want” on your living room coffee table and “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures” on the fridge every time you want a drink, within a day or two it’s not hard to remember “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.”
Sometimes, you just have to hear it out loud. Reading a passage repeatedly can help establish memorization visually, and writing it can help you put action to that visually-oriented memorization. Reinforcing that with an auditory practice such as listening to the passage via an audio Bible can supplement your visual memorization tactics and boost your ability to retain.
Bible Gateway provides free audio of many Bible versions. You can listen on the computer or download the Bible Gateway app to listen on your mobile device.
Making Scripture memorization into a group activity with your grandkids, spouse, church congregation or local community can be a fun and powerful way to learn the Bible with others on a deep level.
Memorizing anything can take a lot of work and is difficult to do without some form of discipline or support. Having someone else work alongside you can provide extra motivation. As you push each other to find new and creative ways to memorize together, you sharpen one another as iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)
If you’re a resident in one of the communities under the Bethesda Senior Living Communities umbrella, consider reaching out to your neighbors and encouraging one another to read and memorize Scripture together as a community effort.
There are many Scripture memorization apps designed to help you set and meet your goals.
Memorizing God’s Word helps you become more and more Christlike in your walk with the Lord and renews your mind by filling it with truth. On top of this, it builds a base of knowledge from which you can communicate the message of the Gospel to others and always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have as children of God. (1 Peter 3:15)
Even in the digital age, when you might have a smartphone handy in your pocket 99% of the day and can look up almost anything in a matter of moments, knowing Scripture without having to look it up can help you and others be edified and strengthened in times of trials or stress. The Lord speaks to you through his Word to comfort and revive you, and when you set your mind to the task of learning and retaining as much of it as possible, you can carry that voice with you throughout every step of your day.