“Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” –Psalm 119:11
Do you struggle to memorize God’s Word?
Following are 10 tips that I find helpful when I want God’s Word to penetrate my mind and heart.
Pray and ask God to help you understand the verse and to memorize it.
Read the verses before and after the verse you’re going to memorize in order to grasp the context in which it was written. Is it talking about trials or does it reveal a promise to which you can cling? Is it a message of hope? Or does it call you to a higher level of Christian commitment?
Write or print the verse, thinking about each word as you do. Putting pen to paper helps record it in your brain.
Meditate on the verse. Savor the richness of it. Chew on it. Think it through. 1 Corinthians 2:15 states, “But he who is spiritual appraises all things…” The Greek word for “appraise” means examine or judge, to investigate, inquire into, scrutinize, sift, question, determine the excellence of anything.” As you look at the verse, process it in the context of your daily life. How will that verse affect a burden you’re carrying, a temptation you’re facing, or a joy you’re celebrating?
Form word pictures or visualize your verse in living color. If it’s talking about your body being the temple of the Holy Spirit, (1 Corinthians 6:19) look at your body. As you look at it, think of it as God’s temple. It has an outer frame, your flesh. It has an inner part, your spirit. Christ dwells there.
Consider the difference the verse makes to you. For instance, when I read Jesus’s words in John 14:27, “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful,” He tells me several things. First, He gives me a command to not let my heart be troubled. I need to question if I’m being obedient. In addition, if I’m troubled about something, I need to take note. I need to ask myself, “What am I troubled about?” I need to ask myself if I’ve taken that trouble to God and prayed about it. I go through the same process in relation to being fearful. I need to ask myself, “Why am I fearful? Do I not trust God to take me through this?”
Look for repetition of words or for contrasts or similarities. Diagram or sketch the verse to help seal it in your mind and heart. For instance, using Colossians 1:17,He is BEFORE all things. And IN Him all things.
Pray the verse. So, for instance, if you’re memorizing 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God does not consist in word but in power,” you might pray as follows.
Father, You are a God of power! Forgive me for talking about your power, but not living by it. Please reign in my life today. Reign powerfully over my mind, emotions, and will. Help me walk by Your power, not just talk about it.
Place the verse you’re memorizing in a place where you can review it throughout the day. Take it with you in the car or in your purse. Read over it several times a day and before you go to bed. If you’re on the computer during the day, type it several times. When you do, meditate on the words.
Set your verse to music. Make up a tune or sing your verse to a familiar one.
Let me know how these tips work for you and what verses you’re memorizing!