How to Memorize Scripture
by Ricky Zeznanski
CRBC Celebrate Recovery Assistant Ministry Leader
Shortly after I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ, I started attending a Bible study that was led by my good friend, Tom Reed. In this weekly study, I was asked to memorize Scripture and to quote it to the class the next following week. At the time, I didn’t know how relevant this would be in my life. I just wanted to be obedient to Christ in this Bible study. It was very difficult for me at first. I prayed that God would help me. God showed me to write it down every day and to quote it out loud until I could remember it. Sometimes it would take a month, sometimes it would take a couple weeks before I would have it completely memorized. Since then, I have memorized dozens of verses and even whole chapters.
Since that time, God has revealed to me many reasons why I should memorize His word. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” This tells me that if I memorize His word, it could keep me from making bad decisions. When our God and Savior Jesus was tempted by the enemy in the desert at the beginning of His ministry, He used the Scriptures to battle the enemy’s temptations. I don’t know about you, but I have to deal with temptation all the time. As my example, Jesus has showed me that I need to have Scripture memorized so that I can use them to counter temptation. It has worked for me.
It also works for my protection. Psalm 91:11 says, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guide you in all your ways, they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” I have this Scripture memorized and claim this promise every time I travel on my motorcycle or in my truck.
One time a young gang member came to me during a service and asked me what he needed to do to be saved. I remembered a Scripture that I had memorized. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved.”
I went over this verse with him, and we prayed together for his forgiveness and salvation. I then told him he needed to be discipled by Christ-following brothers and sisters.
Every morning during my quiet time and prayer with our Father in heaven, I quote all my memorized Scriptures to Him. I know that might seem childish, but I am His child, and I want Him to hear me say my memorized Scripture. I hope that He is proud of me. It also helps me keep them memorized and close in my heart. I feel as if memorizing Scripture allows God to write His word in my heart. He says that His word never goes out and comes back empty (Isaiah 55:11), and this is very true in Scripture memorization. He has used it in my life in ways I never would have thought. I can’t wait to see Him use it again. I’m living proof that if I memorize God’s living word, He will use it in amazing ways in my life as well as in the lives of others.
These are just a few of the Scriptures that I have memorized. I usually choose to memorize Scripture that God inspires or that has been instrumental in my life or that is just meaningful to me.
I love to memorize His promises. I also love the prayers that David wrote in the Psalms. I’ll finish with a Scripture that I have memorized that pretty much sums it all up. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
Happy Scripture-memorizing everyone, and God bless you all!
Editor’s note: Ricky has memorized approximately fifty Scriptures so far. And counting.