S.O.A.P. is an intentional and strategic method of Bible reading and journaling. Intentional because it will require a commitment. Strategic because it provides a system that will allow you to evaluate progress. S.O.A.P. can be used with any daily Bible reading plan. We provide monthly Bible reading guides in our lobby for your convenience. There are three readings for each day, allowing you to customize a plan that fits your schedule. Reading all three will take you through the Bible in one year.
S is for Scripture
Prepare for your S.O.A.P. time by removing as many distractions as you can, grab your journal and pen and open your Bible to today’s reading (according to whatever plan you are following). Take time reading and allow God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly spoke to you that day, and note it in your journal. Don’t let cost be an obstacle. You can purchase a composition book for about $1 that will work just as well as a fancy $20 leather-bound journal.
O is for Observation
Dig into God’s Word and act like a detective or reporter. What struck you and caught your attention in what you read? Who is the intended audience? What do you think God is saying to you in this verse or passage? Where is the geographical location, or setting? Is this a parable, or an actual event? Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to give you greater understanding. If you are the type of person that wants to go deep, have a concordance handy. There is also a wealth of information on the Internet to help you understand difficult passages. Write down all those thoughts (observations). If you write them as you go, you will be less likely to forget them later.
A is for Application
Personalize what you have read, by asking yourself how what you have read can be applied to your life right now. Did the verse or passage contain a promise to claim? Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, or corrections for a particular area of your life. Your goal should be to always correctly understand, so don’t hesitate to ask your pastor. Write how this scripture can apply to you today. Be as specific as possible.
P is for Prayer
Ask God to help you apply what He may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say! Finally, write the prayer out, and then pray it.