Pull Out Those Swords and Practice!

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)

Have you ever led your children in a sword drill? Sword drills were one of my favorite parts of Sunday School when I was growing up. The teacher would say, “Swords drawn,” and we would ready our Bibles. Then she would give us the reference to a verse and leave us hanging in suspense with, “R-e-a-d-y-y-y-y-y,”  as we waited tensely at the edge of our seats. Finally she would say, “… CHARGE!” and pages would rustle as we hurried to see who could find the verse first and stand to read it.

If your children can read, a Bible drill — or sword drill — can be an effective and fun way to help them learn their way around in the Bible. It can also motivate children to memorize the order of the books of the Bible, which will further acquaint them with God’s Word. Besides teaching them to find passages in the Bible, it gives you an opportunity to select verses on a particular topic and read and discuss them together.

Below is a list of verses about the Bible to look up. Each verse compares God’s Word to some object. Have your children race to find the verse, read it together, identify what the Bible is being likened to, and discuss why it is compared to that object. You may want to read some of the verses before or after the verse to gain a better understanding.

If your children can read but are too young to look up the verses by themselves, look them up together, taking the time to show them how to find each verse. Then have the children draw simple pictures to illustrate each verse.

If your children aren’t reading yet, start to memorize the books of the Bible in order now while they’re young. They’ll memorize them quickly and be all ready to go when they do start reading. For now, you can read these verses to them, talk about them, and have them draw pictures to illustrate them.

  • Psalm 119:105 (lamp to feet, light to path)
  • Psalm 19:10 (gold, honey, drippings of honeycomb)
  • Hebrews 4:12 (sharp two-edged sword)
  • Luke 8:11 (seed) Read verses 4-15 to understand the context.
  • Psalm 119:72 (better than thousands of gold and silver pieces)
  • Ephesians 6:17 (sword of the Spirit)
  • Isaiah 55:10-11 (rain and snow)
  • Psalm 12:6 (refined silver)
  • Proverbs 6:23 (lamp, light)

Swords drawn . . . ready . . . CHARGE!


« « Previous post| Next post » »


  1. I loved sword drills as a youth. And you are right, it was great motivation to memorize the books of the Bible in their order. I also remember being taught songs for the books. The Old Testament was set to Onward Christian Soldiers. The New to a tune I don’t know another name for. But here I am, almost 50 and those tunes and practice still have me finding the right passage with ease. I only recently learned that I was somewhat unusual among a group of adult believers for being able to list the books of the Bible in order – it was taught to me so well and so long ago I guess I thought everyone knows them.

  2. Kristine, your comment helped me remember that I intended to recommend some songs for teaching the books of the Bible in order. Doorposts sells “To This Generation,” by Ruth Holleran, and it includes songs to teach the books of the Bible, as well as a collection of key Bible verses set to music. You can hear a sample of the music style at http://www.doorposts.com/details.aspx?id=45.

    A search on “Songs to teach books of the Bible” online will also provide you with other songs to use. This link http://www.sundayschoolsources.com/books-of-the-Bible.htm will give you several free options for helping you teach the books in order.

  3. I actually have not done this with my children, but I think I’ll give it a try starting next week. Racing probably wouldn’t go over too well since my 10 year old has a slight advantage to my younger children.

    But, just saying “Find this verse” is compelling enough to make them dig. I love drawing pictures of Bible verses, too. We have the Hidden Treasures book that has been a very fun thing for us in discovering Proverbs. My 10 year old chooses a verse and draws her own picture and we try to guess. I LOVE seeing what she comes up with. It really gets her creativity flowing. 🙂

    Thanks for this Pam. I always love your ideas!

  4. We do sword drill in the last 5 minute of our Sunday School class most weeks. They get so excited. I often choose their Memory Verses for extra review. With all of the big screens used in church services now, kids need to know how to navigate through God’s Word. Great reminder.

  5. Thank you Thank you for getting us going on this. We are trying this approach and my kids beg me (even on the weekend) to do this. Thank you for being such a blessings to so many.

1 Trackback

  1. Practice Sword Drills! | Growing Godly Fruit (Pingback)