5 Bible Verses to Help You Memorize Scripture (for the memory impaired)

February 8, 2021 |
Memorize Scripture

We memorize scripture to hide God’s word in our heart, but when believers talk about which verse, chapter, or book they memorized, I always feel left out, weak, defective, and impaired. Probably because I am impaired, memory impaired, that is. My memory is so damaged by disease that I sometimes forget the prayers I learned as a child, even the Lord’s prayer.

But during a recent cancer scare, Jesus showed me what it really means to keep His words on my heart. I’ll give you a hint: the word “memorize” isn’t even in the Bible.

If you struggle to memorize God’s word, then this post is from my heart to yours.

My Story

I noticed a new lump a few days before my 2nd annual post-cancer mammogram. The mammogram was inconclusive, so the radio-oncologist scheduled an ultrasound. An all-too familiar routine.

I commented on a prayer request thread in a trusted group of other bloggers, and one woman quoted “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Which reminded me of and my failed attempts to memorize scripture. The enemy uses confusion to hijack every attempt. Before I know it, he’s taken me on a journey to frustration, followed by a brief stop in self-condemnation, and ending with an extended stay in self-pity.

5 Bible Verses that can help you memorize Scripture (even if you're memory impaired)

Related Post: 3 Things to Remember When Faced with Memory Loss

Leaning On Jesus

But this time, the desire to hide scripture in my heart was peaceful. I recognize Jesus’ nudges, so I tried again. As I prayed myself to sleep, Jesus gave me a few words to Psalm 23. I got confused when I couldn’t remember it right, so I just recited the same scattered verses until I fell asleep.

The next night I read Psalm 23 several times before bed, focusing on just the first 4 verses. It was better, but I still got confused and kept on changing the pronouns “He” and “Him” to “You.”

So, the next night, I just went with whatever felt natural. Now Psalm is no longer a Psalm of David. It’s my prayer.  

Without further rehearsal, I prayed my Psalm 23 throughout the ultrasound later the next day. And days later, I can write it from memory.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
You lead me to green pastures and make me lie by still waters. You restore my soul.
You lead me down the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, because You are with me.
Your rod and your staff comfort me.
You prepare a table before my enemies and anoint my head with oil until my cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Amen

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What Memorizing Scripture is Really All About

I know this isn’t perfect, but neither am I. Jesus knows King David’s words aren’t mine. He also knows that I long for Him, just as David did.

You see, memorizing scripture isn’t about getting it right. It’s about drawing near with all that I am and everything I’m not. It’s just about me and Jesus.

5 Bible Verses that can help you memorize Scripture (even if you're memory impaired)

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5 Bible Verses to Help You Memorize Scripture

Would you care to join me in “memorizing” more scripture? I know it’s a big ask, so I’ve provided five Bible verses about the benefits of keeping God’s Word in your heart, whatever that looks like for you.

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Deuteronomy 11:18 ESV

The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.

Psalm 37:31

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Joshua 1:8 ESV

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105 ESV

My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.

Proverbs 4:20-21 ESV
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Join the Conversation

I’d love for you to tell me in the comments if you’d like to give it a go. What will be the first scripture you turn into your own prayer?


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  • Lisa notes says:

    I agree with you, Valerie! As I always say with my memory group, it’s less important that we learn our verses word-perfect, and more important that we spend time with the perfect Word as we’re learning. These 5 verses are wonderful ones to learn! I’m about to re-memorize Isaiah 12 for Lent (only 6 verses) with our “Hide His Word” facebook group; it’s for people who aim to memorize scripture either with the group or on their own. Everyone is welcome, if you ever want to join yet another FB group. 😉

  • Lisa Blair says:

    This is so true, Valerie, “Memorizing scripture isn’t about getting it right. It’s about drawing near with all that I am and everything I’m not. It’s just about me and Jesus.”

    It reminds me of a story someone told me many years ago: Her husband was frustrated that he could never remember his scripture memory verses and was tempted to quit. However, when under anesthesia for an operation, he quoted every scripture perfectly. The moral of the story is to hide His Word in our hearts; it’s there, whether our minds can recall it or not; it’s exactly where we deposited it, in our hearts.

  • For the longest time it bothered me that I never could memorize scripture like other people seemed to, and goodness I sure never could remember exact chapters and verses. Numbers just don’t stick in my head. But then I realized that maybe memorization isn’t necessarily the point. I know the concepts if that makes sense. And when I really stopped to think about it, I actually did have a lot more verses “memorized” than I gave myself credit. I think many of us are like that.

    • I also have always failed to remember numbers, but concepts are easy to grasp. I find that when people ask me questions about Scripture, I also know more than what I give myself credit for. It kind of surprises me just how much I have to say. God does put His word in our hearts, we just don’t always know how to get it out.

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t know which is more defeating – Satan’s discouragement or my own critical nature and condemning!? I will keep at it!

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