Why Memorize Scripture: The Habit of Repeating Words

He comes Friday for lunch, like always, my father-in-law.

We meet in the doorway and, always, we wrap arms, me the daughter-in-law, him the worn father of the man whose ring I wear. He pats my back, and I brush his cheek.

He’s seventy-five and he takes my seat and I bring the dish of squash, the plate of pork roast. Children wash hands.

“I saw Pete today over at the home farm.” Opa smiles, nods. I serve potatoes. Pete’s our age, married to Opa’s grand-daughter. Farmer Husband smiles, nods too, the language of men.

“And how’s Pete?”

“Oh, we were talking of the things of the Lord, and I told him I was working on memorizing from Ephesians this week, another three verses this morning, and Pete, he just says, “Can I hear your verses?” He just asks to hear them right there in the farmyard!” Opa’s chuckling now, his cheeks blushing bashful child.

~my current memory verses tucked in apple bowl on the sill over sink

“I didn’t have anything on me, not a Bible or cue cards or anything, and I wasn’t really expecting that…” He’s grinning. “But by His grace, I was able to say it, that whole chapter of Ephesians…”

And I grin, pat his shoulder, pass the water down to Farmer Husband.

“And then Pete… ” Opa looks over at me, wide-eyed, the child joy of man faith. “Pete, he asks me, “Would you mind listening to what I’m memorizing?” He was memorizing too and wanted to share! I wasn’t expecting that either!” He laughs, the joy of men spontaneously speaking ancient Words, dialect of Home.

~ what’s carried in pockets: first letter of words of memory verses and pocket Bible

“Two men who just happen to meet and we speak to each other in memorized Scripture!” He shakes his head — then turns to Farmer Husband. “You always have your memory work in a pocket too, don’t you? I’ve seen you…”

“Try to.” He pours his Dad a glass of water and his Father can’t stop smiling, the next generation of men shaping lives with Letters.

And I pass down the meat and know that when men etch Words into cells, orbits shift and when men meet and speak God-words, the demons flee because what else is a double edge sword and who is a warrior who doesn’t wield the Word and I know why I bear gaping wounds.

And I know it again, that ‘what a heart knows by heart is what a heart really knows‘ and I’ve got to hide Words in the chambers, to cut down the soul-stalker, pump pulsing Truth through the veins.

I am repeating Words.


(A repost from the archives as I am flying to The Relevant conference this morning… Thank you for grace!)

These are the words worth listening to, thinking on. John Piper offers, “Why Memorize Scripture” — please, see especially 2:12-40. Cut me straight to the quick….

To live this life, to let Known Words be your words and legacy… I watch this and want this…


Memorization Aids From the Archives:
How We Memorize: The ART of Memorization
The Exercises that Make the Most Difference
Borrowed Words : How God’s Word become part of family conversation
Living on the Bread (Plethora of Resources)

Memorization aids:
Click to download “An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture” (highly recommended)
Memverse — free, online tool to aid in memorization of Scripture
Memory Booklets
Free, Downloadable Memory Books
More Free, Downloadable Memory Books

Our Favorite Memorization Resource
Convert verse to just initial letter of each word (see online site that will automatically do this with whatever text you paste into box) — then print it out and carry with you.

With only the first letter as a cue, it powerfully engages the brain to fill in the rest of the word. I then review by rewriting my verses just using the first letter of each word, forcing brain to carve out the rest of the word in deep memory. This has made memorization infinitely easier for this old brain! (HT: Ann Kroeker)

~ writing out the review, just the first letter of each word of the verse

David Platt quotes from memory, Romans 1-8.
Online movement to memorize Romans 8: Romans8movement.comand this video of a father teaching his son Romans 8:1.

Music Memorization Resources:

Kingdom Songs — absolutely beautiful–one of our favorites
Integrity Music Scripture Memory Songs — we memorized scores of verses through this series
Scripture Memory Songs for Kids –worthwhile resources
More Scripture Memory Songs for Kids
Complete Chapters set to Music — excellent investment
Forever Grateful Music: Hide the Word combines the power of music with the power of repetition to make memorizing God’s Word easy. Each Scripture, including its reference, is made into a song. Each Scripture is repeated at least 3 times per song.

Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart.

To read the entire series of spiritual practices

Next Week: Consider sharing in community: What you’ve memorized of late: write it out and take a photo, upload a video, type it out, share an audio — might we too meet and speak God-Words to each other?

Today, if you’d like to share with community The Habit of Memorizing Scripturejust quietly slip in the direct URL to your exact post….. If you join us, we humbly ask that you please help us find each other by sharing the community’s graphic within your post.