Not just for kids–adults need it too {Scripture Memory}


I used to think it would be too hard.

I could barely memorize one verse. How (or why?) would I memorize a whole chapter?

And then I tried it. At the prompting of my friend Sharon (who knew it was possible!), I joined a group of ladies from church to memorize Colossians 3 in 2004. And surprisingly, it was easier to memorize a whole chapter than just random verses here and there.

Since then I’ve kept going.

Seek to hear what the Lord is speaking to you underneath the scriptures, one word at a time.

I found a powerful group at Do Not Depart who also are committed to memorizing scripture. Together we’ve learned chapter after chapter.

31 Day Series

Here is a new Write31 series:  Tools to Memorize a Bible Chapter.

I’m sharing tips that have worked for me and can work for you.

Bookmark this 31 Days home page and return to it for all the links as you go.

If you’ve always wanted to put scripture into your head for instant access, this series gives you tools to walk through it, one small step at a time.

At the end of 31 days, you’ll not only have memorized a chapter of the Bible, but you’ll have a working pattern to memorize any chapter or portion of scripture that you choose.

Memorizing scripture is a spiritual discipline we often leave to the kids. But we adults benefit just as much, if not more. Sustained time with God, meditating on specific truths for days and weeks at a time, is a rich experience for each of us, regardless of our age.

* * *

Did you memorize scripture as a child? As an adult? Please share your experience in the comments.

34 thoughts on “Not just for kids–adults need it too {Scripture Memory}

  1. Linda Stoll

    I still think it’ll be too hard.

    But you know what? I’m going to be coming back again and again. Because I think God just might use you to change my mind. And soften my heart on this sacred invitation …

    Thank you, friend. Iron sharpens iron, doesn’t it …

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “this sacred invitation” – Beautiful, Linda. I’m looking forward to accepting several sacred invitations during the month of October in reading the words that our fellow brothers and sisters are putting together. I know a lot of prayer is going behind many of them and that they will be encouraging. I especially look forward to what you’re going to share. So glad you decided to jump in!

  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    No, but I memorized chapters of “The Power of Positive Thinking”; does that count?

    I also memorized Yeats’ poem “Am Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, and was reciting it when I flew a small aeroplane through a set of 250,000 V main transmission lines. It was, perhaps, the beginning of a bright future.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It all counts, Andrew. 🙂 The things I tend to memorize best are music lyrics–strip out the music though, and I struggle a bit more. I haven’t memorized much straight poetry though. I’m sure our lives are richer by any beautiful thing that we set our mind on. Philippians 4:8 “Think on these things….”

  3. Dolly@Soulstops

    God has been calling me back to Scripture memory…the only long thing I’ve memorized is Psalm 23 and John 15:1-15, which is a bit rusty now…Thank you for calling us back to this important discipline of hiding God’s Word in our hearts and minds so the Spirit can recall and teach us…and encourage us 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’ve memorized two beautiful passages of scripture, Dolly. Psalm 23 is probably my all-time favorite, and it was probably one of the first things I memorized years ago too. I love how the words deepen and mean even more over time. We start out thinking they mean one thing, then we grow into them to get even more out of them as our lives and faith expand.

  4. Barbara H.

    What a great topic for a series! I’ll be looking forward to it. Passages that I memorized in high school and college still come back to me but I am afraid I haven’t done any serious memorizing since then.

    I still haven’t decided whether to do the 31 days series or not. The way this week has gone I wonder if I should take on anything extra….but I would like to do it. I guess I better decide here soon.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Well, if it makes you feel any better, I had grandiose plans to get most of my posts written before October 1 this time. But has that happened? Of course not. ha. But I did lay out a plan, so hopefully that will help me as the weeks roll by. I’d love it if you end up doing something, but I know you’re often tied up unexpectedly.

  5. David

    Good idea! This will be useful to me, although it won’t be till November that I start choosing Psalms to learn.

    The challenge for me I think will be keeping them fresh once they’re inside – finding ways to use them often.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Awesome. I hope it will be useful to you, regardless of when or what you’re memorizing. I’ll look forward to seeing which Psalms you choose to learn and why.

      And yes, it is a challenge to keep using the words too so we don’t lose them after the memorization phase is over. Although, sometimes I don’t retain the words–and that’s okay too. Sometimes the benefit is just for the time spent with God in the learning. The Spirit of the words counts more than the words themselves. But still, typically we do want to capitalize on the words we’ve learned and keep them around for much longer to continue growing fruit. For me it’s all about reviewing if I want to retain them.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love Colossians too! I’m so grateful for my friend encouraging me to memorize Colossians 3. I might never have done it on my own. Maybe it’s because it’s the first chapter I started with on this journey to memorize chapters, but it’s really stuck with me all these years and I’ve been so blessed by the truths in it.

  6. Beverley

    Nope, never memorized scriptures as a child. I can often quote scripture but have no idea where it can be found in the Bible, and my condition comes with memory problems too (yes, yet something else) and so I am hoping that memorizing Isaiah 12 will help with that too.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It was often hard for me to remember the “address” in the Bible, too, for things I knew by heart. That’s gotten a little better through the years, but I stopped trying to remember all the verse numbers and now just concentrate on knowing the book and just the chapter number. 🙂

  7. Jean Wise

    so encouraging! With all the studies about the adult brain being so elastic that it can continue to learn new things and your helpful tips on memorization, maybe i will be able to do this. LOL

  8. Pingback: Laudable Linkage | Stray Thoughts

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It is definitely an encouragement to me to know others are also into the spiritual discipline of scripture memory. Thanks, Wayne!

      I couldn’t figure out how to leave a comment on your blog post about the latest Knowing God chapters, so hopefully you’ll get it here. I really appreciated what you wrote: “It is all free. It is not a response to our worth. It is the overflow of his infinite worth.”
      Totally agree! And yes, God’s love for us is staggering. Great choice of words. “The love of God is all about God, not us.” Amen. We are so blessed.

  9. Romi

    I didn’t memorize scripture as a child. None of my family were Christians, and it was not until I was 20 years old that I went to church for the first time in my life. After that, I started to try to learn some verses by heart. — I came to know the Bible memory challenges hosted by DO NOT DEPART last year. Since then, I’ve been enjoying spending more time with Him.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m so glad you found us last year, Romi! And I’m glad that you’ve hung around for our challenges. I wish I had made more effort to learn scripture earlier, but hey, better late than never, right? We’re never too old to learn. Yes, the time we spend with God is the best part.

  10. Deanna

    This is an excellent topic for the Write 31 Days challenge. I am glad you took it on. Encouraging.

    I do not recall memorizing much of anything during my childhood. I remember reading books, but not memorizing scripture or even poems. I think it is a worthy skill and habit to have in life. Through your posts and thinking about my lack of memorizing, I have to come to realize that my kids could really benefit from memorization too. Sigh…I think the older kids would balk at it now being 25,20,18, and 16 but maybe the 9 year old will be pliable. ?

    Thank you for taking the time and energy to write this series of blog posts.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad you’re finding this series encouraging, Deanna! I went back and forth about doing it. As of today, I’m still glad I’m doing it. ha.

      Yeah, your 9-yr-old might be the most pliable at this point. 🙂 When my kids were still at home, we memorized together, but they were always far and above me, both in speed and in accuracy of memorizing. Neither of my girls make concerted efforts to memorize now (which is totally fine), but occasionally I’ll still hear them refer to something we memorized together in the past, and that makes my heart happy. It sticks with them easier than it does with me.

  11. Kim

    I’m not sure how I missed this except to say, I’m not doing a 31 days series so it didn’t catch my radar. I’m so glad I saw it in my email! I’ll be playing catch-up. You inspire me to keep on keeping on in this discipline. I’m almost done with Isaiah 12. It was perfect timing for that chapter for me! May the Lord bless you for your faithfulness!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m so glad you’ve been learning Isaiah 12 too, Kim. What a great chapter. Size isn’t an indicator of importance. Thank you for your encouragement to me to keep going!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *