Why Bother Memorizing Scripture?

May 20, 2024

{Pictured is Bryn, far right, with her siblings}

Memorizing God’s Word can sound scary, and I initially felt that way about it, but in these first twenty years of my life, one of the most valuable tools to fight the enemy and keep myself grounded has been carrying God’s promises and prayers with me wherever I go. The Bible is my shield against the lies of the enemy, my strength in fighting temptation, and my joy in the highs and lows of life. Scripture memorization has been a slowly developing area in my walk with Christ, but I have already seen how it has strengthened and helped me in so many ways. Here are just three of them.

  • Memorizing Scripture speaks truth to me wherever I am.

The moments when we need encouragement or correction from the Bible the most are not when we are seated in a comfy armchair with a mug of coffee in one hand and our Bible in the other, although we need them then, too! But it is in the right-then moments of anger when talking to a family member, or sorrow in the middle of a hard conversation, or anxiety when confronted with deadlines that we need God’s truth. It is moments like these, when our Bibles are not on hand and our sin natures might not even want them to be, that having Scripture memorized has been so crucial in my obedience and holiness.

  • Memorizing Scripture has trained my worldly brain to think more about God.

Where does your brain jump to when you have time to think? What are the thoughts or songs or feelings that swirl around with little prompting? My thoughts do not easily rush to Scripture or even prayer, so I have had to find strategies and practices that help turn my thoughts away from myself and onto Christ and what he has done for me. Having Bible verses that are stuck in my brain and always there for access has been the best tool to refocus my wandering mind on Jesus. Now, instead of worrying about my future or thinking the worst of someone, I can choose instead to access a psalm or a portion of Philippians, which will be encouraging to my soul and keep my sinful tendencies in check. Although Taylor Swift lyrics still take up a large portion of brain space, God has been faithful to help me fill my mind with his truth. Because it has been put into the permanent memory banks through memorization, God’s truth runs through my thoughts more regularly, and God’s value has grown in my heart. 

  • Memorizing Scripture has grown my self-discipline.

Overall, I consider myself a pretty lazy person. I don’t thrive on to-do lists, and being productive doesn’t give me a thrill like I wish it did. But this lazy tendency doesn’t mean that the Holy Spirit can’t still work! He just has to hammer through a couple extra layers of stubbornness to get to me. 

Over the years, and in many fits and starts, God has been faithful to help me memorize verses, chapters, and books of the Bible that I feel are either helpful to a situation or speak to me in a unique way. It is sometimes a tedious process, and to be honest, I have not memorized a new passage in too long, but the satisfaction of finishing either a couple of verses or a couple chapters is great! When we do this, we now have God’s words forever (hopefully) engraved in our memory! What a privilege to be able to keep our savior’s words this close to our hearts. 

I encourage anyone who is even a little interested in memorizing scripture to simply start! Start small. Find a couple of your favorite verses or ones that speak to a situation you’re in right now. Read them in the morning, at the end of your prayer time, and at night. Speak the phrases aloud several times. They’ll stick in your head faster than you think, and I know you’ll be encouraged about how much they change your life in the big and small moments.

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