How to Memorize Scripture
We know the prospect of memorizing can be daunting and overwhelming. As Marquis Laughlin once quipped: "Most Scripture memory plans live on Someday Island." If you’re serious about treasuring God’s Word in your heart (and here’s why we hope that you are!), you’re going to need a memory plan to make it happen.
We’re committed to helping you solve the “why” and “how” of Scripture memory with free and low-cost resources. We’ve put together some suggestions and resources below to help you get started whether you’re looking for a memory plan for yourself, your family, your church, or your homeschool program.
As parents and grandparents, it’s imperative that we pass on God’s truth to the next generation. This includes verbally teaching our children what the Bible says. But it also means living out biblical principles through our words and actions.
For this reason, Scripture memory is for the whole family—adults and children alike. Our children or grandchildren are more likely to be motivated to take God’s Word seriously if they see that we do, too.
Families who would like to memorize together should consider memorizing SwordGrip or The Classics. You can also pick from one of several passage-based memory journals. The study questions included are helpful discussion guides for family devotional time. We recommend getting one book per memorizer.
Memorizing Scripture is one of the most worthwhile ways to spend time. By hiding God’s Word in your heart, you’ll be well-prepared for the day of adversity (Psa. 119:92), well-equipped to share the Gospel (Rom. 10:17), and well-guarded against sin (Psa. 119:11). But we’re guessing you already know that! For most people, the challenge isn’t believing Scripture memory is worthwhile; it’s figuring out where to start and how to make real, consistent progress. That’s where SMF comes in!
What to Memorize
SwordGrip is our most popular memory plan. By learning a key passage from each book of the Bible, you’ll strengthen your grip on “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).
In addition to SwordGrip, SMF has spent the last four decades developing Scripture memory programs for every age and experience level. Whether you want to memorize verses on personal evangelism, God’s promises, or even Scripture itself, we’ve got you covered! Simply visit our Memory Courses selection to locate the memory plan that’s right for you.
SwordGrip was designed for churches and works great for ages 7 and up. The SwordGrip series comes in three separate flipbooks, each containing 28 weeks of memory work.
SwordGrip New Testament: 82 verses from Matthew to Revelation
SwordGrip Old Testament - Vol. 1: 80 verses from Genesis to Psalms
SwordGrip Old Testament - Vol. 2: 81 verses from Proverbs to Malachi
Each flipbook includes detachable verse cards, stickers to mark each week's recitation, and Grip-it-Tighter Questions. Available in KJV, NKJV, and ESV.
With the optional Teacher's Guide, you'll have everything you need to get started right away — including a suggested structure, schedule, and group game ideas. Get the physical copy for $1, or download the PDF absolutely free.
If you have questions or would like resources to share Scripture memory with others, just give us a call. We would be happy to provide resources like bulletin inserts or other promotional materials for your church. Special speakers for churches or groups can also be arranged.
If you're like most homeschool parents, you want to raise your kids to know Christ and embrace a biblical worldview. In this effort, instilling the actual words of Scripture in their hearts is vital. After all, a biblical worldview cannot exist apart from a deep and wide knowledge of God’s actual words.
Our SwordGrip program is especially suited for integration with any homeschool family or co-op, featuring key verses from each book of the Bible. Each flipbook includes detachable verse cards, stickers to mark each week's recitation, and Grip-it-Tighter Questions. Click here to learn more about SwordGrip.
View our event calendar to find out if we're coming to a homeschool convention near you.
As you prepare to memorize Scripture, you might find it helpful to start with the three W's of a successful memory plan.
What will you memorize?
This step is the easy part. Since "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (2 Tim. 3:16), you can memorize any part of God's Word knowing your efforts will be worthwhile.
It's important to pick a project that's realistic yet challenging. New memorizers probably shouldn't start with the book of Numbers, but don't underestimate the power of the human mind! Most people are capable of memorizing 2-3 verses a week, while some experienced memorizers have achieved 40+ verses a week.
Action Step: Sign up for SMF's current memory program and join a community of memorizers all working towards the same goal.
Who will hold you accountable?
You might feel like skipping this step, but accountability really is a critical part of successful Scripture memorization. Ask a friend or neighbor if they are willing to hear you quote 2-4 times per month, then mark the dates on your calendar. Besides keeping you motivated, your accountability partner will also be helpful in identifying mistakes in your recitations.
Action Step: Register for a free account in one or both of our mobile apps. The apps allow you to add accountability partners who receive a weekly email report on your progress.
When will you finish?
Picking a target completion date and sharing it with your accountability partner will help you avoid losing steam partway through your project. Mark the date on the calendar along with several progress milestones to keep you on track. We recommend building some cushion into your memorization schedule for vacations, sickness, etc.
Action Step: Calculate how many verses are in your memory project, then divide that total by the number of verses you'll memorize every week. That's how many weeks it should take to memorize it!
Helpful Methods for Memorizing Scripture
1. Read It
Read your memory verse in context thoughtfully and slowly. Read it aloud 7 times emphasizing different words each time.
2. Write It
Write out the memory verse with a new line for each phrase. Then, erase one line at a time and fill in the blanks from memory.
3. Recite It
Recite the whole verse from memory 7 times.
4. Review It
Repeat daily, reviewing old verses before learning new ones.
5. Share It
Recite your verses to someone else at a set time each week.