How Do You Memorize Scripture?

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

How do you memorize Scripture?

First of all, by praying for discipline and setting aside time.

I set aside a block of time in the morning (an hour or so) to be with God alone, reading my Bible, praying for my family, praying for the church, and praying for my soul. And I can generally finish my four chapters or so of Bible reading in about 20 minutes, depending on how long I pause and contemplate. And my prayers may extend for 20 or 30 minutes. So I've got 5 or 10 minutes in that hour.

If you decide to memorize Scripture for 5 or 10 minutes a day, you can memorize a lot of Scripture! I mean, it's incredible! And I put circles around the paragraphs or the verses, and I put a little "M" beside them if I worked on them so I can come back and review.

I got my help here from a little booklet about how to memorize long passages of Scripture. And basically he says to take your first verse, read it ten times, and then close your eyes or shut your Bible and say it ten times. And that's the end for that day. (I think if you do that you can memorize almost any verse in the Bible: ten times read, ten times said, and then you've got it.)

Then you come back the next day. You open your Bible up, and you say that verse again 5 or 10 times. If it's easy, just 5 times. And then you do the same thing with the next verse. And then you do them both together. And then you shut your Bible and you leave. Then you come back.

So basically, the answer is: repetition and review. Repetition and review.

Here's one other little tip that I use. If I pick a verse or a couple of verses or a paragraph, I'll put it on a piece of paper and I'll carry it here in my shirt pocket. And at little times during the day, I'll pull it out and read it for my soul. For my soul! I don't memorize verses that don't help my soul.

I'm not into mechanical memorizing. I'm into fighting the fight of faith. I want to memorize Scripture so that I can defeat the devil at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, that's why! It's so that I can minister to a saint in the hospital at 10 o'clock at night if I've forgotten my Bible. This is for our soul. So I carry it around and I review it. Review is so crucial.

So I would just encourage people to set aside 5 or 10 minutes, and then repeat, repeat, repeat. Read the verse 10 times, say it 10 times, close your Bible, and then review it during the day from a piece of paper.

©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Used by Permission.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2014 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org