Looking for ways in which to teach and how to learn memory verses? Memory verses are, in my opinion, awesome. And whilst they are sometimes hard to get into the head in the first place – see below though on how to do it – it’s amazing how time after time when you need something God’s Spirit will inspire a verse or two.
When it really pays to have learnt a memory verse or two
And in ministry, not having to reach for a Bible every five minutes (or google) when counselling someone, from child to adult, is incredible.
Even when I am just talking to someone when I am doing some evangelism, a verse will come to mind which I weave into the conversation as naturally as I possibly can, and the result is often that people don’t know I have done it, but of course being the word of God it really strikes home.
So should you do it? Yes!! Not just for the beneficial reasons, but it is obvious that Jesus knew his old testament (he quoted scripture over and over) and of course St Paul had such a great working knowledge that he conflated passages to make new theological points! (yes, conflated is a word!).
How to teach children how to learn memory verses
So how do you learn verses from the Bible in the first place? Well, it starts in childhood.
And I would encourage you to teach the children in your care and get it as a good habit. I do warn, however, that you shouldn’t ever make it a competition. It’s easy to do so by accident. The whole thing of asking individual children to say the memory verse back to you. Or ‘who can remember it next week’ and then giving a reward. It’s greater for the stronger students, but for those who struggle with their memory, like I used to as a child, it is really embarrassing and can cause great stress.
Instead, keep it fun, make it a game. When you do recall, have everyone chant it or whatever together.
And you will be amazed how quickly it all goes in.
How you can learn memory verses from the Bible as part of your daily study
For yourself, I would recommend, if you haven’t done it before, doing a search on the net to find a set of memory verses that are useful for the growth of faith. For example, these short inspirational memory verses are easy to remember and so a good place to start.
A great way is to build learning them into your daily quiet time as a meditation. The trick is to make your mind work in the way it is supposed to. You only recall
what you have remembered by it going in in the first place. How do you do it? Like this.
- Print off or write down on a small card that you can carry with you all day. You will only use this card to check you have remembered correctly. Include the chapter and verse.
- In your quiet time, recognise that there is no rush. Short verses are easy, but longer verses break down into phrases. Say the line or phrase out loud or in your mind, reading it. Get a feel for the rhythm…find a rhythm in the words. Say it a few times, then close your eyes and say it a few more times, each time noticing the rhythms and sounds. Keep saying it, but now think of what that phrase means to you personally, and what God might be saying to you through it.
- Say the phrase, then make a break for a moment or so before saying it again. Keep repeating it but make the break longer and longer until there is about 30 seconds break, and in that silence don’t think of anything but listen for God.
- Move onto the next phrase, or say the chapter and verse a few times. Amazingly, because you have just primed your mind for learning, the chapter and verse bit is pretty easy. A bit like wiping your lips after a good meal! Not as tasty, but certainly finishes it off.
- Now, set a reminder on your phone to go off in the next 10 minutes. (or some other reminder). Don’t look at the piece of paper! But at that 10-minute point, recall the verse. Then check yourself and make any corrections. Force yourself to recall it even if it’s not quite perfect. Trust me, nearly there is good enough. You are doing this to learn from God, not to be the perfect student.
- Set another reminder for 30 minutes…then an hour later. Then three hours later, and finally at the end of the day. Each time, force yourself to recall. This is putting the verse from short term to long term memory.
- Tomorrow, you will do the same. But start with all the verses you have learnt so far. Then do the new verse.
- If you get to the end of the week you then start rolling all the verses. The ones you have been reciting since the beginning of the previous week you can now put on hold for a week. And so on…recall everything once a month…that kind of thing. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make to you