My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden in my Heart

Our final week of the Psalm 103 Summer Memory Challenge, the hard work is done and now it’s just a matter of how to keep that glorious Psalm hidden in our heart after all the time and effort  we’ve put into memorizing it the past eleven weeks. Don’t worry though. Moving that Psalm from our short term memory to our long term memory is so incredibly easy. I wish I had known to review my verses like this when I first started memorizing Scripture because the passages I've memorized in the past I didn't know an effective way of reviewing, and now I have limited recall on those verses.

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Here’s What I Do Now

When I finish memorizing a passage I spend the next 100 days reciting the passage once through each day, as Dr. Andrew Davis highly recommends in his excellent teaching on memorizing Scripture. This plan is so simple, but oh so effective in keeping verses hidden in our heart.

Here’s What It’s Done for Me

Like I said, I wish I had known to review like this when I first started memorizing Scripture because merely reciting my memory verses once through every day has transformed my recall of memorized verses.  The first passage I've memorized since learning this great way of reviewing was John 1:1-14 with Do Not Depart. The challenge ended May 27, 2012 and because I have been following Dr. Davis' review plan, reciting the verses once through each day, I can still say these verses verbatim as if I had just finished memorizing them yesterday. I am amazed at this! Before I began reviewing like this, by now John 1:1-14 would have become a vague memory.

Though some may think reciting a passage once through for the next 100 days is a bit extreme, the best part about it is because the memory work has already been done, each day I can recite the passage at some point during my day like while I get dressed, do my hair, cook, fold laundry, wait at a red light, etc. so reviewing doesn't take up any additional time from my busy day. As I said, I am beyond thrilled that John 1:1-14 is still so fresh in my mind. This method works great!

100 Days

While Dr. Davis instructs to spend the next 100 days reciting the freshly-memorized passage once through, I really don’t keep track of how close I am to 100 days because I don’t want to keep score, get to 100 and then decrease my review of that Psalm to just once a month. I, personally, may forget bits and pieces of it if I do that, and I’ve put too much work into memorizing it to risk forgetting parts of it.  For me, reviewing Psalm 103 once a day only takes me less than five minutes, so it is not burdensome to just recite it once through some time during my day. Because what I’ve found to be true with reviewing John 1:1-14 is that each day that I recite it, it gets etched into my brain and heart that much more. I gain deeper understanding of the verses, and am able to say them more naturally with the tone and emotion the author expresses throughout the verses.

For instance, as I learned the verses to Psalm 103, I would recite them without tone and emotion, because I was still learning the words, phrases, and the arrangement of the verses. I was just trying to say the verse right all the way through. But after reviewing Psalm 103 once through each day, I now recite the Psalm 103 with the joy and praise that radiates from David throughout this Psalm. I love it! I now have a new way to praise God!

Weeding the Garden

Each month, you’ll want to recite your passage while reading it in your Bible. Dr. Davis calls this “Weeding the Garden.” The point is to weed out any words or phrases that may have got added, left out, or rearranged over time. I like to keep my verses with me the first month I am reciting them once through each day just in case I forget something or mix something up. After that I just “weed the garden” once a month to nip any mistakes in the bud and ensure I am reciting the passage correctly.

Here’s an example: Lately I’ve noticed when I am reciting Psalm 103 when I get to verse 17, “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him…” I occasionally find myself saying “to those who fear Him…” rather than “on those who fear Him…” That’s why weeding the garden is important. Certainly God’s mercy is to those who fear Him, but how much more awesome it is knowing His mercy is actually on those who fear Him! It’s amazing how just one word makes a verse so much more special. This is why I need to weed my garden.

I hope this review plan and my story encourages you and equips you to keep Psalm 103 hidden in your heart for weeks, months, and years to come. If you have been blessed by this time memorizing Psalm 103 I’d love to hear the good things the Lord has done in your life during our journey in memorizing Psalm 103. God bless you richly!

Starting Today…
Verses to Review
Daily Review Plan
August 27-Sept 2
Psalm 103:1-22
Recite Psalm 103 once through every day for the next 100 days (Don’t panic! This is easy done during your downtime without adding any extra work to your already busy day) J I’ve done it and it is worth it! Just you see! 

Consider also praying Psalm 103 back to God. It is a neat way to pray and review at the same time!

Question for you: What stood out to you the most as we memorized Psalm 103 this summer?

P.S. If you'd like a new Bible Memory Challenge, I highly recommend joining me for the 1 Peter 1 Memory Challenge that just started at Do Not Depart. Here's a FREE printable PDF of My Plan for Memorizing 1 Peter 1. Happy Memorizing!

Psalm 103 Memory Challenge Quick Links 
For tips and helps in memorizing your verses this week, check out the previous posts for the Psalm 103 Memory Challenge:
Introduction to Memorizing Psalm 103
Week 1: Psalm 103:1-2    Remembering God’s Faithfulness.
Week 2 (Part 1): Psalm 103:3   There's No god Like Our God!
Week 2 (Part 2) Psalm 103:4   Oh, How He Loves Us!
Week 3 (Part 1) Psalm 103:5   Strength For The Weary
Week 3 (Part 2) Psalm 103:6   God Will Give You Justice!
Week 4 (Part 1) Psalm 103:7   God Makes Himself Known!
Week 4 (Part 2) Psalm 103:8   Mercy in Abundance!
Week 5: Psalm 103:9-10 Better Than I Deserve!
Week 6: Psalm 103:11-12   How High and Wide is God's Mercy For Us!
Week 7: Psalm 103:13-14  God's Loving Compassion For Us!
Week 8: Psalm 103:15-16 Soon and Very Soon, We are Going to See the King!
Week 9: Psalm 103:17-18 God's Mercy is from Everlasting to Everlasting!
Week 10: Psalm 103:19-20 God Rules Over All!
Week 11: Psalm 103:21-22 Bless the Lord! 
Week 12: My Plan for Keeping Psalm 103 Hidden In My Heart!

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  1. You are such an inspiration, Brooke. You're helping me to stay motivated to continue reviewing older chapters because I certainly don't want to lose them. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! That's awesome to hear. I know it is more fun learning new verses, than reviewing the old ones--but when we are diligent to review the old passages, what a joy it is that we can still recite a passage we memorized so long ago. God bless you abundantly!

  2. Sounds like such a great program, Brooke! I've found that often I retain the gist of my memorization but sometimes forget the exact words. Good advice to hide the Word in the heart!

    1. Thank you, Laura! I can relate to what you said about retaining the gist of a passage, but occasionally forgetting the exact words. Since I began reviewing every day, just for the couple of minutes it takes to recite, I noticed those words I'd tend to forget quickly became much easier to remember. For me the less time that passes in between reviewing a passage, the less I tend to forget, and the easier I'm able to recall on average. For me, daily review keeps the verses fresh in my mind. God bless you richly!

  3. I'm excited to work on this challenge. I haven't tried memorizing any scripture since I took seminary classes in high school. God has been telling my heart it's time to do it again.

    1. That's wonderful to hear, Jean! You are going to love it! Psalm 103 is so rich! God bless you abundantly as you strive to hide His Word in your heart!

  4. Loved this helpful post. This here:

    "I now recite the Psalm 103 with the joy and praise that radiates from David throughout this Psalm."

    That made me smile. I love it.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer for your encouraging words. Glad this blessed you. I've been enjoying your blog, too. God bless you much!

  5. Very inspiring, loved this and while I'm not sure I'm going to join the challenge, I am going to give this a try. With His help, I can do it!

    1. Thanks, Lori! So glad you're going to give this a try. It is very effective in whatever Scripture the Lord puts on your heart to memorize. You're exactly right. With His help, you can do it! (Philippians 4:13) God bless you abundantly!

  6. Here from Five Minute Friday...a little confused on if I'm on the right post :).

    Of course, scripture memory always a great thing.

    1. Robin, I agree. Memorizing Scripture is a great thing! God bless you lots!

  7. Brooke...I believe hiding God's word in your heart is important and found your post encouraging to others that it can be done and not just for the moment but for a lifetime. This week I am featuring your post at WJIM. Thank you for sharing last week.

    1. Thank you, Naomi, for your encouraging words. So glad this blessed you. I love how you said about memorizing Scripture, "...that it can be done and not just for the moment but for a lifetime." Retaining my memorized verses is more important to me than even learning new ones. If I don't retain what I have already memorized and just move on to new verses, without a solid review system for keeping those verses hidden in my heart, what makes me think i won't also forget new verses I go on to memorize? Thank you so much for the blessing of being featured at your blog, What Joy is Mine. I'm honored. God bless you richly!

  8. Reviewing is something that I need to improve on. It saddens me that I have worked so hard to memorize chapters and then don't retain them with review. I'm going to use the 100 days suggestion. Thanks so much!

    1. You're welcome! You'll be amazed how solidified it becomes in your memory before the 100 days are up. You'll begin reciting it with the emotion conveyed in the text. So powerful. Even when my 100 days are up I like to review it weekly then monthly so I don't ever lose what I've worked so hard to memorize. Who knows the wonderful ways the Lord might use those verses you've hidden in your heart as a Word in season, both in your life and in the lives around you. So neat to consider. God bless you greatly!


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