Making Memorizing Scripture Easier

Years ago I attended a Precepts Training Worship on Structuring  that opened up a whole new way to study Scripture. Just using this simple technique I was able to easily break down complex verses and recognize the flow of thought within verses. While structuring has transformed how I now study the Bible, it has also proven invaluable in memorizing Scripture. By simply structuring my memory verses, I can at-a-glance recognize the flow of thought, identify repeated words or phrases, and  see the logical structure of the verse. Most of which I would probably would fail to see simply by only reading my verses, and not taking a closer look. 


Since I'm memorizing Psalm 71 right now with the great community of believers at Do Not Depart, let me show you how this works using Psalm 71:5 as an example. I memorize from the NKJV so here’s how I structured this verse. 

For You are my hope
                       O Lord GOD
You are my trust
                                   from my youth
At-a-glance I can see:
  • The logical flow of thought 
  • The theme of this verse 
  • The repeated words (I bolded them to make them more obvious to me when I read through my verses) 
  • The breakdown so I can more easily wrap my brain around this verse making it easier and faster for me to hide this gem in my heart.

If you can make it to a Precept Training Workshop, I highly recommend their Structuring Workshop. However if you are like me and  live in an area that only has precept trainings every few years, then the next  best thing is Kay Arthur’s The New How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God's Word where she goes into detail about how to structure your Bible verses. 


I have this book and loved reading all the wonderful tips and techniques she lays out for how to study the Bible. A book I reference time and again. (My other favorite book on how to study the Bible is Tim LaHaye’s book, How to Study the Bible for Yourself. It is my favorite book between the two, although just know you wont find anything in his book about structuring.) 

To help make memorizing Psalm 71 easier for me, especially some of the more complex verses, I've broken it down through structuring. If you would like a FREE printable of what Psalm 71 looks like structured, click on the links below:

Psalm 71 Structured (NKJV)

Psalm 71 Structured (ESV) 

In both of these PDF documents, I have bolded the repeated words and yellow-highlighted additional words within a repeated phrase so I don't leave out that extra word. For instance, in Psalm 71:12 

12 O God, do not be far from me
O my God, make haste to help me

I pray these ideas and examples make it easier for you as you seek to hide God's Word in your heart. God bless you richly!

Questions for you: Do you use structuring in studying your Bible or memorizing Scripture? What are your tips for making memorizing Scripture easier?



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38 comments:

  1. This is very helpful, Brooke. I do a similar version of this on my own; I didn't realize it was really a method. :-) But I'd like to read more about it now so I can use it more effectively. It really speaks to me in the way I learn.

    Thanks also for linking the documents for Psalm 71. I downloaded the one for ESV and will start using it today!

    You're such a blessing!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa! I love how we can take Bible study methods and use them also as a tool to memorize Scripture. So glad this blessed you. God bless you abundantly!

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  2. Great idea! I'm always looking for ways to memorize scripture.

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    1. Thanks, Shaina! So glad you found this helpful. I am always looking for new ways, too. God bless you lots!

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  3. :) I don't think I've ever heard of Precepts before this. I do understand inductive Bible study, but what a great resource! Thank you! Found you from the hop! New follower!! Come on by and visit me at my place www.onepartjoyonepartcircus.com.

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    1. AJ, Precepts is amazing! You'll love it! The precepts classes in Austin, Texas has a fabulous Bible study website with more resources than you can imagine. It is my first stop online when I want to know more about a passage or verse from the Bible. http://www.preceptaustin.org/ Blue Letter Bible is my next favorite. http://www.blueletterbible.org/ God bless you much!

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  4. I have been trying to memorize scripture so I can have it ready when I need it. It has been a challenge. Thanks for the tips. Just pinned.

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    1. Thanks, Vicky! That is a great benefit of memorizing Scripture, "so I can have it ready when I need it." I love how God brings those gems to mind just when I need it. Glad the tips helped. For more tips on memorizing Scripture visit my page dedicated to memorizing Scripture: http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/p/bible-memorization.html God bless you richly!

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  5. I'm going to have to check out this book. I love studying the word using Homiletics but it doesn't help with memorization. Thanks for linking up with the Prairies this week.

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    1. Michelle, you'll love this book. It is so rich with wonderful tips and instruction for studying the Bible. For more helps in memorizing Scripture check out my page http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/p/bible-memorization.html God bless you abundantly!

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  6. Really good tip--and not just for memorizing bible versus I would guess! Thanks for linking up at the MTMmixer this week!

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    1. Thanks, Janene! You're right, structuring is not primarily a Bible memorization tool. It is a Bible Study method, but I've found it helpful in breaking down my memory verses--especially the more complex ones. God bless you lots!

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  7. From a youth I memorized many scriptures, many of which at the time I did not understand - - but now I do. This sounds like a very good way to get God's word down in our hearts and into our lives.

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    1. I just love how God uses the verses we've hidden in our heart to minister to us at various times of our life. He is so faithful! God bless you richly!

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  8. Thanks for these tips! I love Precept ministries and Kay Arthur. :)

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm glad you found them helpful. I love Precept Ministries too! The Ladies Bible Study at my church that I'm part of just started Kay's study, "Lord, I Want to Know You" studying the names of God. I did it years ago, but am glad to be refreshed with the names of God. God bless you abundantly!

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  9. Very neat suggestions! Thanks for sharing. I'm usually just a repetition type of memorizer. I'll have to give these a shot!

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    1. Thanks, Falen! I can totally relate. I use repetition big time when I memorize Scripture. I really believe it is key. Regular repetition over time. I like structuring to see the logical flow of the verse as I'm working to memorize, taking a verse phrase by phrase--but all the while I'm saying the verse aloud all throughout my day. I just don't want to settle for simply practicing a verse until I finally get it right. Rather, my desire is to practice a verse until I can't get it wrong. Only then do I truly feel like I moved from being familiar with what God's Word says to actually knowing what God's Word says within my memory verses. God bless you much!

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  10. I have been using one of Rick Warren's methods of repeating the verse but emphasizing different words every time you repeat.
    Followed you on twitter!
    Stephanie

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    1. Stephanie, that is a great tip! I love that idea, "repeating the verse but emphasizing different words every time you repeat." Thank for sharing! God bless you lots!

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  11. One of your newest fans. Thanks for explaining in simple terms. Trying to care out more time for this in the midst of caring for my boys. God Bless you.
    In His Grip,
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com
    PS would love it if you'd share this at my link party Family Fun Friday this Friday link from last week: http://happyandblessedhome.com/family-fun-friday-2/

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    1. Thanks, Monica! I'm glad this blessed you. Thank you for the invite to link up this Friday. Will do! :) I know what you mean about juggling motherhood with the desire to memorize Scripture. You might find some ideas on my page about memorizing Scripture http://brookeespinoza.blogspot.com/p/bible-memorization.html

      Some ideas, off the top of my head, that might help are:

      1. If your boys are old enough, teach them your memory verse and practice saying it to each other. I've seen kids make a game of learning their verses by rolling or tossing a ball back and forth and as each one catches the ball they recite the verse. Whatever makes learning the verse fun.

      2. Post your memory verse(s) around your house. I have mine on my fridge to review while I cook, by my bathroom mirror to review as I brush my teeth, and do my hair and makeup, and even in my shower (in sheet protectors) taped on my shower wall furthest from the water.

      3. I recently bought a spiral bound set of 3 x 5 cards (for less than $2.00)to put my memory verses on. I'm working on memorizing 1 Peter between now and summer and all my verses fit on these cards, so I can carry 1 Peter with me wherever I am and can easily prop up my memory verse (i.e. on the far end of my ironing board for easy review, on the bed while I fold laundry, etc. Additionally, I can easily review my verses as I wait in line at the store, doctor's office, in traffic, etc.)

      Hope these ideas helped! God bless you richly!

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  12. Wonderful! I am trying to memorize scripture with LivingProof Live, and this is so helpful! I'll have to check out Kay Arthur's book too.

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    1. Thanks, Mikah! That is so neat that you are memorizing Scripture with LivingProof Live! I love Beth Moore's studies! You'll love Kay Arthur's book--lots of wisdom and practical instruction packed within those pages. God bless you abundantly!

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  13. That's sort of how my husband memorizes scripture. I have done a different method with myself and the children. I show a video of it on my blog post on memorizing scripture. You can find it here: http://teachingwhatisgood.com/the-power-of-the-scriptures/

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Kate! That was really neat to watch. Great idea! God bless you lots!

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  14. One of the first Bible studies I became involved in after many years away from the church used the inductive Bible study method, which I believe is a Kay Arthur thing, isn't it? It was amazing how much I learned and how deeply the scriptures spoke to me. Thank you for sharing these resources, Brooke. I'm excited to check into these books!

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    1. I agree, Laura, it is amazing how many Biblical truths are unlocked by inductively studying Scripture. Yes, it is a Kay Arthur thing. She even has an Inductive Bible Study Bible. You'll love these resources. I refer to them time and again. God bless you much!

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  15. What a great resource you've created/ are sharing here. I'm looking forward to leaning a little harder on the word in the days ahead. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Stopping by to follow along and to share big huge aloha with ya. We're riding the wave of life at Local Sugar Hawaii. It's silly and fun and down right awesome... and, I'd love for you to join us.

    xoxo,
    Nicole
    www.localsugarhawaii.com

    If you'd like to enter, our amazing 30 hosts, 12 months of advertising, 1 winner giveaway ends in like 2 days.

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    1. Thanks, Nicole! I'm glad this blessed you. I look forward to visiting your site. God bless you richly!

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  16. Thanks so much for the tips in this post. I'll have to check out Kay Author's book. As a child I remember re-writing verses on notecards or notebook paper to memorize them. :)

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    1. So glad this blessed you, Misty! You'll really enjoy Kay's book. It is so rich! That's how I started too--making flashcards. It still helps. :) I agree, writing out verses over and over is a great way to both mediate and memorize Scripture. God bless you much!

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  17. This is inspiring and a great but gentle reminder for me.
    Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday at Happy and Blessed Home!
    http://happyandblessedhome.com/category/family-fun/

    In His Grip,
    Monica
    http://happyandblessedhome.com

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    1. Thanks, Monica! So glad you enjoyed this! God bless you lots!

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  18. I don't know if this is anything like "structuring" but many verses loan themselves to being "set up" in meaningful ways. For example, this is how I "set up" Heb.13:5.
    Let your Conversation
    Be without Covetousness
    and be Content
    with such things as ye have, for He hath said
    I will never leave thee
    nor forsake thee
    When I thought about the verse the three C's would come to my mind, and also the two things, that He would never do to us (leave us, forsake us) This kind of thing helps me, may not work for everyone!

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    1. I believe it is definitely a type of structuring because you're emphasizing the structure of a verse by setting it up "in meaningful ways" I love your observations from Hebrews 13:5--the three C's and the two things. Great observations! God bless you tremendously!

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  19. Then Isaish 55:11, I paid attention to the word SHALL:
    "So SHALL my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth,
    it SHALL not return unto me void, but it
    SHALL accomplish that which I please, and
    it SHALL prosper in the thing whereto I sent it..
    When I close my eyes, I can see all the SHALL's and it does give structure to the verse.

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    1. Wow, great word study! I love zeroing in on a repeated word. We know when the Lord repeats something, He wants us to really listen up and not miss what He has to say. Based on your word study, I'd say Isaiah 55:11 is one of those verses the Lord especially wants us to sit up and notice. God bless you abundantly!

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Thank you for taking the time to share. May God bless you richly!