How to Memorize Scripture So You'll Never Forget

Here are eight simple suggestions that will aid you to successfully memorize and recall hundreds of verses almost instantly: 

  1. Plan & Prepare
  2. Passage
  3. Paste the Reference
  4. Phrase by Phrase
  5. Perfect
  6. Partner
  7. Ponder
  8. Persistence

And, here's how I apply each suggestion in memorizing Scripture so that I never forget!

More than one person has asked me, “Give me your best 100 verses.” There are 31,176 verses in the Bible, and all are inspired and profitable. However, through Scripture memory and application, the Lord has especially used certain verses to mark my past and shape my future. With some reluctance, I've selected my top 100 “gold nuggets,” from the staggering wealth of God's Word — His “goldmine.” 

Click here to see a listing of My Favorite 100 Best Memory Verses from His goldmine. They are arranged by topic with links to topics and verses. Each verse, at its link, is quoted in the New International Version and each topic has its verses quoted together, at its link, to facilitate your memorizing. Download them or print them for easier memorizing. Don't forget to look each verse up in your own Bible to read the context.

Plan & Prepare

Make a commitment to the Lord to memorize one to three verses per week over at least a 6-month period. Use a tried memory system you can recommend to others, such as the Navigator's Topical Memory System, instead of having to select verses from scratch. After you've mastered this system, add your own verses. Put each verse on a blank calling card or something of similar size. Put the cards inside a plastic or leather cardholder, which you will take along on your daily routine.


Start memory work in your Quiet Time when possible, perhaps early in the morning. Commit to begin memorizing the first verse for the week before you eat Monday lunch. Read the Bible passage (context) where your memory verse is located. See how your verse flavors and is flavored by the verses before and after it.

Paste the Reference

The Bible reference is like a street and house address. Learn to “glue” the Bible reference to the first words of the verse. Use this sequence: topic, reference, verse phrase, reference.

Phrase by Phrase

Learn the verse by sections, versus all at once. For example, say “John 16:24: ‘Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name,’ John 16:24.” Quote the reference before and after, and repeat that phrase over and over. When you're ready to add another section of the verse, start again with the reference. Learning it only a few words at a time, you can easily memorize long verses or even a chapter. “It's a cinch by the inch, but hard by the yard.”


Strive for word perfection. Use whatever translation touches your mind and heart. I have learned more verses in the King James Version, but certain verses hit me better in newer translations. I want to eat the word (Jeremiah 15:16) and have it in my heart like a fire (Jeremiah 20:9).


Memorize with a friend. Team up with your mate, brother or sister, or best friend. Check each other out. Make it fun!


“Chew up” the verse with meditation. Ask questions about different words. Visualize how you can apply the verse. Pulverize the verse's meaning. The goal of meditation is the Word becoming flesh, infusing our beings! We want to be “doers of the Word, not hearers only deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22) Ask God to let this verse “dwell in your heart richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). There is a whole chapter on how to memorize and meditate with delight in our newest book, Living God's Word, published by LifeWay Press.


Review, review, REVIEW the verse daily for 100 days. Reviewing isn't the same as meditation; it's recalling the reference with the verse and saying it perfectly. The best way to review a verse is to use the verse. Use spare time during the day, quoting the verse multiple times. Say it as you travel or wait in line. Stick a verse card on your auto dashboard, by the sink, or on a bathroom mirror. Find a small box to place verses into for later review. You can average reviewing 30 verses per day quickly.