Day 7: Map it {Tools for memorizing}



Repeat 3-5 times, twice a day.

You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.”
Isaiah 12:1 (ESV)

Say your verse looking only at 1st letters, twice a day.

Y w s i t d: “I w g t t y, O L, f t y w a w m, y a t a, t y m c m.”
Isaiah 12:1 (ESV)


1. Map it.

This is a fantastic visual tool that hardcore memorizers use to memorize random things in sequence (like cards in a deck). But we can use it to help us memorize our verses in the correct order.

  1. Get the number.
    Count the number of verses you’re memorizing (for Isaiah 12, it’s 6 verses).
  2. Select your map.
    Visualize a familiar path or sequence equal to that number (6 for Isaiah 12)—in your house (front door to foyer to living room to kitchen to bedroom to bathroom) or down your street (Smith’s house, empty lot, Jess’s house, stop sign, etc.) or your kitchen (sink to pantry to refrigerator to oven, etc.).
  3. Make the connections.
    Create a connection between the idea in verse 1 and your physical item or location 1, verse 2 and item 2, etc. For example, I’m correlating Isaiah 12 with my office. Isaiah 12:1 (not anger but comfort) is the glass doors because they’re very welcoming and comforting to me. Isaiah 12:2 (don’t be afraid) is my desk because it’s sturdy and strong. Isaiah 12:3 (water from the well) is a glass of water sitting on the desk. You getting the picture? You don’t have to actually tape the verse there, but if you can, even better.
  4. Walk the path.
    As you memorize, walk your path mentally (or literally!) saying each verse, anchoring each verse with the visual.

I’ve memorized a few chapters through mapping (an example here), and have been pleasantly surprised each time at how much it helps.

2. Look for word patterns.

Look for words that repeat, noun/verb patterns, pronoun usage, etc. This particularly appeals to us word geek types.

With Isaiah 12:1, I notice this: It begins with “You”, then moves to a direct quote with “I” do this or that, immediately followed with “you” do this or don’t do that. You—I—you—you—me—your—you—me. I don’t try to memorize the pattern, but just being aware of it helps.

3. Move up a level in Scripture Typer.

Try to move out of Step 1 (Type It) to Step 2 (Memorize It) or Step 3 (Master It) today with your first verse in Scripture Typer. If you want to work ahead, start typing in next week’s verses (Isaiah 12:2-3 or your own) for practice.


* Borrow techniques from other disciplines.

I picked up the mapping technique from Moonwalking with Einsteina book by a journalist Joshua Foer who entered the USA Memory Championship tournament for an assignment. As he shared what he learned from other contestants, I learned from him on how to apply this for my own use.

* Recruit your kids.

If you have kids in the house, ask them to help you review your verses. They will enjoy watching you learn something new and do your homework. And they often end up learning the verses themselves by hearing you say them. Although this link is primarily for children, 10 tips to help kids memorize scripture, many of these tips are applicable for us adults as well.


If we want to think better thoughts throughout our day, let’s put better ideas into our heads to start with.

Scripture is a great resource from which to gather truths and encouragement about life and love and God. Memorizing scripture is an effective way to have those truths ready to pull out at a moment’s notice when we (or others) need that boost of strength or comfort or healthy thinking.


* * *

Have you thought of a “map” through your house or neighborhood that would work? Please share in the comments.



9 thoughts on “Day 7: Map it {Tools for memorizing}

  1. Jerralea

    What a great topic you’ve chosen, Lisa! I liked your thought, “If we want to think better thoughts throughout our day, let’s put better ideas into our heads to start with.”

    Thanks for sharing tools for memorization. I’m bookmarking this to come back and study.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Jerralea. The more I started jotting down about this series, the more I realized that there is a lot to share about scripture memory. I love that the web has so many resources that we can swap with each other!

  2. Pam

    I love all of your tips. I didn’t realize that I was already using word patterns to help me memorize Isaiah 12:1. When I was trying to recall the first part of the verse as I went about my day, I would sometimes start off with “In that day” instead of “You will say in that day.” Yesterday as I was reciting the verse, I noticed the pronouns “you”and “me” (like you did) and started putting emphasis on them as I recited the verse and it helped so much. Now after reading what you said about word patterns, I’m going to use that tip frequently.
    I’ve also been using Scripture Typer and I love the tip about first letters.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love how the words pop out differently to us as the days go on. Sometimes I don’t notice a pattern for several days, then all of a sudden, it’s crystal clear. ha. So it does help if I’ll intentionally stop now and again and search for them.

      Isn’t Scripture Typer a wonderful tool? Except on days when my computer is super slow. 😉 (Not to mention my fingers and brain.)

  3. Pingback: Memory Stories « Bekahcubed

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