How to Memorize 30 Verses in 30 Days

This morning during the sermon, I happened to hear a snippet of a verse, but didn’t catch the reference and couldn’t remember where it was. I knew it was in the Minor Prophets, but searched to no avail. I poked my husband sitting next to me and pointed to the snippet of the verse I was trying to find.

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil…”

“You don’t remember where that is?” He whispered, as he shook his head in mock dismay, “that was a memory verse I gave to you!”

Wanting to prove to my husband, and myself, that I hadn’t forgotten the verse, I took a piece of paper and wrote the entire verse down from memory before looking at it.

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?”

Phew. I hadn’t forgotten what it said, just where it was for a moment. My husband was then kind enough to then point up at the screen where the scripture reference had been revealed. Ah. Habakkuk 1:13.

I couldn’t believe that I had forgotten that, but I was thankful to have remembered the actual words. I had memorized that verse a whole year ago, after all.

You see, while I was in Bible College, I had to memorize anywhere from 2-6 memory verses or exercises a day, amounting to upwards of 130 memory verses every term. Yes. That is a lot of memory verses… and we had to memorize them from the King James Version, no less.

How did I keep on top of learning all those memory verses and keep a good lot of them in my head until now?

Well, I am going to share my little *secret* with you.

memory verse

But, why should you bother, do you ask? Because I believe that having scriptures in your memory (while understanding what they mean) is one of the best ways to keep the Lord’s Word as your meditation throughout the day in order to show wisdom in your day-to-day dealings (Psalm 119:117, 118), show our diligence in becoming approved by God and handle the Word rightly (2 Timothy 2:15), and have the scriptures come to our minds automatically during times of temptation, as Jesus did (Matthew 4:1-10).

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me” (Psalm 119:97, 98, ESV)

Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, ASV)

I’m not saying you have to remember every verse, every time, verbatim, for the rest of your life. I certainly don’t. The real beauty of this exercise is in being able to recall roughly what passages say, holding onto the ideas and being able to so ingrain them in your memory in a way that makes them useful for you when you you need them. Sometimes that means just remembering the book that a scripture is found in, other times it means being able to tell others the scriptural principle that you have learnt, or even recalling a phrase to put into a search engine – while still other times it means recalling the idea when you are tempted so as to remind yourself to stay away.

Life is one long test, where memory verses do not have to be recited verbatim, but where the correct memory of them in any way, shape, or form, is infinitely useful.

If this is not the method that works for you, that is fine – find another method – but please don’t let anything stop you from using your time in some effective and targeted way to know more in depth what the Word says and how it applies to your life. A lack of knowledge separated the Israelites from God (Hosea 4:6). Don’t let the same thing be said of you! Be diligent, and use your time wisely!

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (Hosea 4:6).

“Look therefore carefully how ye walk, not as unwise, but as wise; redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15, 16).

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So, back to the method. I started off my school time by learning the verses by the method I had learnt in grade school. Look. Cover. Write. Check. Repeat. I would sit there for ages just learning the one verse. Writing it over, and over, and over – until I could write it ten times in a row with no mistakes. Look. Cover. Write. Check. Repeat

But after a while, I was finding that keeping up with school and housework was difficult, so I found a way to learn the memory verses *mostly* hands free. I started to put my memory work to songThe night before my memory work had to be memorized for class (I had 2-6 a day, remember?), I would make up a little jingle for each verse and record it. Through reading it, recording it, and listening to it over again, I could remember the verse with ease.

It also meant that revising for tests was a breeze. While I did the dishes or folded the laundry, I simply listened to the playlist I made for each subject – again, and again, and again. Pretty soon, I just saw the scripture reference, the tune came to mind, and I was able to recite it easily. Many of the scriptures I am still able to recall clearly – even though it’s been a long time since I learnt them. I really believe that it is these songs helped me not only remember the verses for the tests, but also to remember many of them in their entirety (or with just a little memory jogging) until now.

And I’m going to share with you some of my tunes. But before I share with you my memory verse melodies, I want to talk to you about how to effectively memorize scripture.

My Formula for Effective Scripture Memorization

For little kids, it’s great to just memorize – but for us adults, we need to have some understanding to back up our memorization! Here are some tips I have for how to effectively memorize scripture:

  1. Read the verse. Read it out loud. Read it several times. Underline any words or phrases that you find confusing.
  2. Get a sense of the meaning.
    • Look up confusing words. It really does no good to memorize a verse you don’t understand. Find out what the various words mean in the original language – sometimes the English translation just doesn’t do the writer justice. Write down what you find in the margin (a reason I love my wide margin Bible!).
    • Read the verse in it’s context. If you are memorizing a number of verses from one book (which I recommend doing!), it will help you get a sense of where it is placed in the text for easier access in the future. It will also help you to get a picture of the book that you are memorizing from. A lot of the verses I have included (such as the verses from Job and Habakkuk) are key ideas from the books they are taken from, and so are great launching pads for remembering the importance of a particular book.
    • Put the verse in its original context. Ask yourself, “What was the author trying to say? To whom was this written?” As much as we would like for it to be, the Bible was not written to us specifically. It had an original audience. Make sure you consider that original audience while you read.
    • Re-word the verse. Once you have a sense of the meaning, paraphrase the verse into your own words – liek you would if you were trying to explain the verse to a 12-year-old. This will make the verse more useful to you later.
  3. Put the verse into today’s context. This is where your memorization will actually mean something. This is where you ask yourself, “How does this apply to me, today? What does this tell me about the character of God? How is this calling me to respond?”
  4. Put the verse to song (if you so choose), and listen to the verse every day for 30 days. The meaning will grow deeper to you as you reflect upon it more (having searched for understanding previously), and the verse will be stored in the longer-term memory banks. You;ll be able to recall the verse when you need it in the future – or at least the sentiment. Use a song you know already, or make up a tune that fits the verse. Get creative! …or you can look, cover, write and check as I used to do. It does still work. 😉

And yep, you can do all that with 30 verses in 30 days. Pick one scripture a day, read it, listen to it, read it in its context, and really think about it. Every day build upon the verses you have already learnt. I have included 60 verses here, but they only take a little over 19 minutes to listen to in their entirety! Ideally, you should only have to spend around 30 minutes a day memorizing to effectively memorize 30 scriptures in 30 days!

memory verse 2

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Below is a playlist of 60 scriptures from the Old and New Testaments put to song. They are from the King James Version, since that’s what I had to learn from at Four Seas College. These are the exact recordings that helped me through my exams!

[Please do note that these recordings are by no means professional. I recorded them on my laptop microphone. I made up the tunes on the spot, usually (that, or used a tune I already knew, as you will probably realize if you listen!) – and often sung them late at night (probably attributing to the flat notes and other flaws you will find in them). Nevertheless, I hope that these recordings, or at least this idea, will help you to kick start your own memory verse learning, and make some tunes of your own! I am not sharing these recordings because I think these recordings are so great – far from it! – rather, I’m sharing these with you to show you how easy it is to begin putting scripture to memory.]

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Question: Do you have any other tips and tricks for effective memorization?

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{Linked to Saturday Soiree}

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4 thoughts on “How to Memorize 30 Verses in 30 Days

  1. I love this, because most of my scripture memory is also done on the fly! I’ve found that a 3×5 card in my pocket is the best thing, but have used ScriptureTyper as well — free on the computer. Scripture memory is a critical piece of our meditation on the Word — thanks for giving it the spotlight in this post!

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    1. Having a card in your pocket is such a great idea! I recently read a biography, and one man the guy came into contact with kept scripture cards in his pocket – and he was like a walking Bible! You just gotta know yourself, try different things, and see what works for you. It’s awesome that you are already placing a high priority on this! ❤

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    1. You are so very welcome! Writing out the verses does help – but I found that I was only able to really commit verses to long term memory through song. Different things work for different people – you just got to find what works for you! ❤

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