How My Family Memorized Psalm 23 (Video)

Memorize Psalm 23; it’s easier than you think. Here’s how my family did, our plan for memory work, and the hand motions we used for each line.


When I was 10 years old, my family visited my grandma over the summer. She had a magnet on her refrigerator with Psalm 23 on it. For some reason, I was drawn to it multiple times and decided to memorize it. 

My grandma was very supportive of my idea. I can’t remember what she said, but I remember how she encouraged me when memorizing the 23rd Psalm became more challenging than I thought. 

I was so happy and proud of my work when I was able to recite it to her and my other family members! And I’m glad I memorized it because I’ve never completely forgotten it. (I have had to brush up my memory over the years).  

Here’s how my family memorized Psalm 23, our plan for memorizing, and the hand motions we used for each line. (+ Video) #LiveYielded #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet

My Plans for Our Family Memorizing Psalm 23

You might already know that I homeschool my kids, and each morning (for the most part) we have what I call “virtues class.” The class lasts only about 10 minutes, but is well spent seeing that it helps us start the day with getting our minds on God. I love it because it’s a chance for a teaching moment to invest in my kids’ spiritual growth and to pray together

One of my goals this school year is to have my kids memorize more Bible verses and passages. The 23rd Psalm was top of the list, and we memorized it by adding hand motions to each line or phrase. It was fun! 

As we went through each line to decide on a hand motion, it gave me a chance to talk to my kids about what it meant. Sometimes they would get an idea of what the hand motion should be after we talked about the meaning. That always made me smile.

RELATED: 27 Ways Your Good Shepherd Helps You Thrive

I chose the British edition of the World English Bible for the version because not only is it in the public domain, but it uses Lord in place of the regular version’s use of Yahweh. So that matches what we’re used to with our English. 

Another reason I chose this version was mainly because I wanted to avoid the phraseology about “wanting nothing” as some versions use. I’ve heard this misinterpreted before and want my children to know that the KJV wording in Psalm 23:1 doesn’t have to do with desire, but lack. I shared this with them too.

Psalm 23 WEBBE 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall lack nothing. 

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 

3 He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil. My cup runs over. 

6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the LORD’s house forever.

Since I memorized this in the KJV as a kid, I kept accidentally saying, “Yea though” on verse four instead of “even though.” Oh well, at least the Scripture sticks when you memorize it! 

The Hand Motions We Used with Psalm 23 

Please see the video below for more clarification. (Don’t forget to subscribe!) The hand motions helped us memorize each line of Psalm 23 quicker and keep the order right.

The LORD is my shepherd;point to the sky with right hand

I shall lack nothing. – extend right hand as if to receive; close right hand with left hand

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.put both hands together by tilted head

He leads me beside still waters. extend flat right hand from chest outward 

3 He restores my soul. – lay right hand over heart 

He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.put both hands vertically by eyes (like horse guides) and bring them straight down slowly

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,walking in place

I will fear no evil,wagging finger back and forth no

for you are with me. – look up

Your rod and your staff,run your hand from the top to the bottom of an imaginary staff

they comfort me.hug yourself

5 You prepare a table before meboth hands straight out touching together, separate then move to outline a table

in the presence of my enemies.stand with arms down

You anoint my head with oil.wiggle fingers from top of head (on each side) down to sides

My cup runs over.index fingers circle to represent spilling over a cup

6 Surely goodness and loving kindnessleft hand out, right hand out

shall follow me all the days of my life,join hands with the person next to you

and I will dwell in the LORD’s house forever.raise joined hands

You Can Memorize Passages in the Bible Too

I hope you and your family will try to memorize the 23rd Psalm together. It’s a great family project to encourage spiritual growth. If not, you can certainly memorize it or another passage. 

Check out my post How to Memorize Verses without Sweating It to discover 10 ways to memorize Bible verses. Find one that works for you in this season. It’s easier than you think!


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