Here’s How to Start Memorizing Scripture

Abigail Workman • 4 minutes

For the longest time, my mind was under attack. I wasn’t in any real danger, but I constantly battled thoughts like, “You’ll never measure up. You’re not good enough.” Can you relate? Over time, I’ve learned the answer isn’t a quick fix. But memorizing Scripture has started transforming my thoughts—and as a result, my life. 

Let me explain. 

When you find yourself in a dangerous situation, you have one of two responses—fight or flight. Thankfully, we don’t find ourselves in situations requiring fight or flight very often. At least not physically. But what about in your mind? What is your response when a thought holds you captive, telling you that you’ll always be addicted to that thing? What is your response when your thoughts say you have to earn love and respect? 

For the longest time, my response resembled flight because I had never learned how to fight these thoughts—making my brain feel like a war zone. Because here’s the thing—our brains and our thoughts are powerful. 

To start fighting these thoughts, I needed more than a date with Ben and Jerry or a cute Pinterest phrase. I needed to transform my mind. And one of the best ways to do this is through memorizing Scripture. The book of Philippians says:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV 

If anyone could talk about the power of memorizing Scripture, it was Jesus. Reading His story in the New Testament, we quickly see His ability to fight lies with God’s truth. He was challenged multiple times to believe the lies of the enemy (Matthew 4:1-11) or to answer impossible questions from the Pharisees (Mark 10:2-9). In each of these situations, Jesus used memorized Scripture to fight the lies. 

Jesus was able to bring truth and light into difficult situations, temptations, and thoughts because He had God’s Word beating in His heart and written on His mind.

How can I be ready like Jesus to fight the lies of the enemy in my mind? I believe the answer is often overcomplicated. Jesus was able to bring truth and light into difficult situations, temptations, and thoughts because He had God’s Word beating in His heart and written on His mind.

I don’t know about you, but I could really use more Scripture in my daily life. The verse I’m starting with is Philippians 4:8, because even when I’m not working on memorizing Scripture, I want my mind to be filled with thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.

But how do we start? How do we take this from a nice concept to a real-life practice? Start memorizing Scripture today by trying one of these tips:

 5 Tips to Memorize Scripture: 

1. Look at it often. Write a Bible verse on a sticky note or index card. Place it somewhere you’ll see it often. Maybe your bathroom mirror or your fridge. Every time you see your note, take some time to pause and slowly say the verse out loud. (You could also do this digitally by creating a verse image on the YouVersion Bible App and setting it as your background image on your phone or computer.)

2. Write it out. Start a daily habit of writing out your verse in a journal or on a piece of paper. Writing slows your brain down enough to help you start remembering the words.

3. Find accountability. Pick a verse you want to memorize, and invite friends to memorize it with you.

4. Make it a song! I don’t know about you, but I can have an entire conversation in song lyrics if I try hard enough. How cool would it be if we could start memorizing Scripture by listening to a minute-long song? Give it a try with this song about Philippians 4:8.

5. Pray over it. God has the power to move mountains and split seas. He also has the power to renew our minds and change our thinking. Ask Him to help you memorize Scripture. It brings Him joy to walk through this with you.

I know there are times when I’ll fall short in fighting lies with Scripture. However, I truly believe that if we are going to get serious about winning the war in our minds, it has to start with the truth. And that truth is God’s Word. Every day, we have the opportunity to prepare for battle by focusing on God’s Word and allowing Him to direct our minds and attitudes. 

So find a Bible verse. Memorize it. And watch it transform your mind.