Have you ever used journaling as part of your Bible study? Here’s a method you can add to your current reading plan. Instead of just reading through the Bible, you really stop and think about what you are reading and what it means to your life.
If you need a new reading plan, here’s a site you can check out: http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/
So what is SOAP?
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.
S – Complete the “S” by reading the scripture. Don’t just skim through it, but really think about what it means. It’s best to only focus on a small portion at a time. Write down the scripture reference or the verse that stood out to you the most when you were reading.
O – Complete the “O” by writing down observations about the scripture you just read. Consider the 5 W’s – you don’t have to answer each question, but allow these to guide your observations:
- Who: Who wrote this passage? Who was the author writing to? Who is the passage about?
- What: What is the author saying to the audience?
- When: When was this written? What was going on at the time?
- Where: Where was this written? Where was the audience? What was going on in their country/city/church?
- Why: Why did the author write this? Why did God include this passage in the Bible?
A – Complete the “A” by writing down how this Bible passage applies to you right now, in your daily life. Everyone’s application of a particular passage may be very different depending on their present circumstances.
P – Complete the “P” by writing down a prayer. This is a personal message from you to God, so don’t worry about getting the perfect words down. Just make it honest and heartfelt. Remember that God always listens, and already knows your needs. He just wants to hear from you. If you don’t understand the passage, tell him that. If you need help in applying this to your life, ask Him for His help.
This is a great method to teach your children too so that they can begin processing what they’ve read instead of just reading quickly through it. And I find that God always gives me the wisdom I need for the day when I stop and truly think on His Words.