Douglas Wilson said that, “The brain is not a shoebox that gets full, but is rather a muscle that expands its capacity with increased use. The more you know, the more you can know.” Don’t get discouraged if you have difficulty memorizing scripture. Think of your brain as a muscle that just needs to be exercised in order to be able to retain more. Here are some helpful tips on how to memorize scripture:
SAY IT OUT LOUD:
A helpful way to memorize is to say the verse out loud to yourself. This helps the memorization process.
It doesn’t have to be very loud, just loud enough so you can hear it. Also, try putting some feeling and interpretation into reciting the verses… this is actually a form of meditation on the verses as you are learning them.
PICTURE THE SCENE
Another helpful way to build your memory of a particular passage is to picture the scene (if you are memorizing narrative) in your mind. For example, if it’s the Christmas story picture those shepherds in those fields being terrified of the angels that were surrounded by the glory of the Lord.
REVIEW OLD VERSES:
Always give priority in your mind to the retaining of old verses even over the learning of new ones. You should begin every day’s work with review of old verses.
REPETITION OVER TIME:
The absolute key to successful scripture memorization is repetition over a long time period. This is how you retain old verses while learning new ones. Also, don’t just wait for you “main” study time to repeat your verses. Pick random times throughout the day to repeat your verses. This is a good way to test your knowledge of the verses while concreting them in your mind.
PHOTOGRAPH THE VERSES WITH YOUR EYES:
Read each new verse ten times, covering each word as though photographing it with your eyes. Burn each verse into your brain with your eyes.