A Word of Encouragement
Right off the bat, I want to say that if you are not memorizing long Scripture posts, I would hope that my doing so would not discourage you or cause you to stop reading this post or to unsubscribe (though you are free to come and go). I don’t want my movement forward to discourage you if, in your movement, you are still figuring out how to get in the Word in any shape or fashion. I know we are guilty of comparison but do not compare yourself to me, compare yourself to you, to your past pursuits, and determine one small thing to do next. If it is long-form Scripture memory work, then you have found some tips here.
If not, then simply be motivated to move one step forward. Some ideas: read the Word, read the Word daily, memorize a verse once a month, memorize a verse or two every two weeks, or attempt to memorize a book of the Bible. When you have any sort of goal to get in the Word at all, you cannot fail. You might not complete your assignment. Using myself as an example, the first time I tried to memorize a book of the Bible, I tried to memorize James. Beth Moore called us to memorize the book in her James study, so I thought, “Sure, I will try.” Now, I only got through half of Chapter 2. I’ve never been successful in memorizing a whole book. But the Bible says that the Word does not return void, and those verses were still hidden in my heart and my heart meditated on them. That is not failure, it is progress.
How I Memorize Scripture
FighterVerses app and Short Passages
I use the FighterVerses app for memorization. If you are not familiar with FighterVerses, they are lists of verses that Desiring God Ministries put together to help you fight every day lies. So the app has a list of verses that cycle over the course of five years, with one to two verses a week. They also have extended memory passages you can incorporate on top of the regular list. Last year, for example, I learned Psalm 103, which I needed right at the moment. They broke up the passage into smaller segments. And with the verses they have chosen, each one comes with a song that you can listen to, which I am assuming you would like.
Right now, I am not memorizing their verses at all. I am still using their app because of the tools they have for memorizing. You can add your own verses to the app, and then you can use the quizzes to help you memorize. The only thing they do not have when you add your own is the song. For the quizzes, you can use quick blanks, recite aloud, type first letter, typing, or word bank. I think one downfall to the app is that I think all the verses are in the ESV, and I don’t remember seeing a way to pick your own version.
Memorizing long-form Scripture passages
To memorize long form passages, I break them up into smaller passages, either into natural paragraphs or at times, even smaller. For example, with Gal 1, I broke up my first passage down to the first 5 verses. I would daily review the passage by reading it and using the provided quizzes as I said them out loud. The quizzes advance in hardness. I usually play with the quick blanks and then use the type first letter quiz. As you advance, more and more words are removed, so it is up to you to know the word. I either read internally or say aloud as I review. Then once I can fill in all the blanks, I click “memorized.” Then the app tells me when to review them, which is daily for a period.
As soon as I would finish one passage, I would add another, no matter how long it took me to finish one set. When it was time to move to chapter 2, I added a small set from chapter 2, but also created a new verse for the entire chapter of 1, so that I could practice the entire passage together. Once I felt the whole passage was memorized, I used the quiz, “recite aloud.” Because I knew all the little passages, but putting them all together took me a little bit more time of careful practice. So I was in a way working on Ch 2 and Ch 1 simultaneously. I didn’t consider Ch. 1 complete until I could say it all together, with minor mistakes. Today, I still had minor mistakes, whereas in the past sometimes, I would rearrange the passage or drop pieces of it, etc.
The Benefit of Scripture Memory
What I like about this kind of memory work is getting to understand the author better and slowing way down and getting a deeper understanding of the passage and the way the words are strung together. However, it takes a lot of time from each day for me to work on review work. I just mention it for you to be aware of it.
I started it because Beth Moore was doing it, and she asked if anyone would like to join her. She has several books memorized and has to review them often so her speed is that she will memorize Galatians in a year. You can go to her community page on facebook called Memorizing Galatians with Beth Moore. I believe in her first video she mentions how it is good for your mind/brain to stay healthy as you age to work on memory like this.