Home christian living The Importance Of Memorizing Scripture

The Importance Of Memorizing Scripture

by Kelly Crawford

Dallas Willard, professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California, wrote,

“Bible memorization is absolutely fundamental to spiritual formation. If I had to choose between all the disciplines of the spiritual life, I would choose Bible memorization…”


I am convinced of the necessity and power of Scripture memorization in the life of a believer.  So often we want a formula, a 3-step method to make the Christian life easier, when really, it’s even more simple than that!

In Ephesians, where we are given the armor of God to effectively stand against our enemy, all parts of it are defensive except one:  the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. Now it stands to reason that if the Word is our means of fighting Satan and his attacks, then that Word must be available to us in all places at every  moment.  And I’ll be honest, when my time comes to fight sin (say, getting dressed for church, in a hurry, the toddler has lost one of my shoes, no one else can find his shoe either…you get the picture), I’m not spiritual enough to stop and grab my Bible to engage in warfare.

But I can’t tell you how many times, thanks to the intensive Scripture memorization required of me as a child, that the Lord has brought just the right word–brought?  I should say “charged in with” the ammo I needed to fight my sin at just that moment. The same sweet Word has many times come as a balm to soothe my fears and anxieties.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

I would encourage you to guide your children in this exercise of Scripture memorization.  It is SO much easier to do as a child!  Very practically speaking, the best way to memorize is to hear it, say it and sing it repeatedly.  (We also use whatever passage we’re memorizing for copy work.)

We recorded a Scripture CD for just this purpose, to help you and your family memorize large portions of Scripture. Listen to clips and buy yours HERE.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 2:14-17)

I can think of little else more precious to give our children as the gift of Scripture memorization.  We might even blame a large part of the church’s error and going astray on the fact that so many do not know what the Bible even says, much less have it hidden in their hearts as a precaution against sin.

“I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! …Your faith will be solidified.” -Chuck Swindoll

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Kelly L November 16, 2009 - 1:21 pm

Thanks for the kick in the hiney. I have to admit in the rush of the day, that is one thing I’ll leave out. We pray and read our Bible, but on “bad” days, when we really would benefit, I drop it. Thanks for listening to leadings…..whether you see it or not, they help produce fruit!

Lauren November 16, 2009 - 1:42 pm

I find that the Scriptures I remember are the ones that I memorised as a child, which inspires me to encourage my children in this direction!

Of course, it’s really fun to SING the Bible verses. I usually provide a mix of children’s and adult music to sing along to.

Some artists that provide Bible in song are Steve Green (Hide ’em in your heart, 2 vols), Colin Buchanan (Baa Baa Doo Baa Baa), The Bible in Your Brain, Jeremy & Windy, plus old favourites like the Donut Man (Rob Evan) and Psalty!

Lori November 16, 2009 - 1:45 pm

I agree!

“establish His words in your heart.” Job 22:22

“Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” Prov 3:3

Here is one my oldest son and I memorized (I need it as much as he!)
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” Phil 2:14

And I think we’ll learn this one next (Again I need it as much as he!)
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Phil 2:3

Thanks for the reminder!
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” Phil 2:14

Lori November 16, 2009 - 1:54 pm

Oops, I forgot to delete the second Phil 2:14 when I edited my comment. I wasn’t trying to make a point with that.

Kim M November 16, 2009 - 10:13 pm

This is so important. My children love Scripture memory, so I am really thankful for it.

Some things we have done to help us:

*Hand motions
*Printing clipart to help visualize
*Toss a bean bag or stuffed animal to a child and have that child say the verse
*Say things like : “If you are wearing blue… If you have brown eyes, etc say the verse”
* Make a posterboard with pictures and words
* Wrote words on pieces of paper and had kids hop on words

Leslie Viles November 17, 2009 - 7:57 am

Recently I have gotten serious about this very thing. It’s funny how that happens a lot. You post and either it is something I was thinking about doing or just recently started doing. It is VERY encouraging.

My 6 year old is better at memorizing bible verses than I am, but I keep plugging along. 🙂

Belinda November 17, 2009 - 10:10 am

Memorizing has become a part of our lives lately. We have always “tried” but I have learned a great incentive that keeps them motivated without me having to remember… M&M’s!! Oh, how I wish I had known this years ago. We have a little pill box for each child and they get one M&M for each time they practice their memory verse each day, limit 3 a day. One little M&M can do wonders! My older children have to add a verse everyday to a passage they are memorizing and my 4 year old has a verse a week. The four year old is especially motivated! She will beg to say her verse.
My husband called me when I was out to dinner with some friends when we had first started this and said ” What is Hannah’s verse, she is bugging the fire out of me for her ONE M&M!” It was the first day or she would have been able to tell him “Phil. 4:8 daddy.”

Jeana November 17, 2009 - 8:03 pm

Hi, Kelly! I really liked the thoughtful comments you left at Amy’s blog. I’m glad to find your blog, and I’ve subscribed now so I look forward to hearing more from you.

Word Warrior November 17, 2009 - 8:34 pm

Great to have you! I really appreciated your comment as well….very insightful.

Sheila November 18, 2009 - 3:17 pm

So, do have a certain list of Scriptures you like to use? I’d love it if you could share. (My six children are ages nearly-12 to newborn.)

Linda November 19, 2009 - 3:12 pm

We have a chart on our bulletin board with the childrens’ names and the bible verses they are to learn. Each child has their verses written on 3*5 cards on a ring they hang on the board, but can take down to carry and practice. When they learn each verse they get to put a small sticker next to the verse. When the number of verses they have memorized equals their age, they get to pick a prize from my prize basket. They are small and inexpensive items, usually from the bible book store. Sometimes it is something they need and appreciate. It gives them something to work toward without them expecting instant gratification, and takes their age and ability into account. They understand that as they grow older, more will be expected of them.
After they have memorized a few new verses, we sit down and throw out several different scenarios and ask them which verse applies to the situation. It helps them to learn critical thinking and life application. For example: Which verse explains why we are memorizing scripture? Answer: Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” When mommy asks you to help by completing your chores and you really don’t feel like it, which verse will give you encouragement? Answer: 2 Thess. 3:13 “…do not grow weary of doing good.”
When your little sister is trying your patience, how should you respond? Answer: Eph. 4:2 “Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” You get the picture! ;o)

Contact Paper  October 13, 2010 - 1:55 pm

of course spiritual life is more important than our physical life on earth’;.

Ashley Dagan November 28, 2011 - 8:35 pm

Hi, is it rite to simply study from publications not to pay a quick visit world wide web for hottest updates, what you say friends?

Augustine Lozon December 27, 2011 - 6:29 am

There is noticeably a bundle to understand about this. I assume you have made certain nice points in functions also.


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