SOAP is a method for reading scripture, prayer and reflection. SOAP stands for: Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a method that can be used by anybody no matter if he or she is new to the faith or someone who has been a Christian all his or her life. It doesn’t matter if you are a Bible scholar or not. It is easily explained and easily practiced. The wonderful thing about the SOAP method is it helps us to intentionally develop our faith.
Before you begin, decide on some type of reading plan. Perhaps you are reading through the bible in a year, or reading through the Psalms. The amount of scripture you read isn’t important. It is more important that you are paying attention to what you are reading.
Spend some time in prayer. Try quieting your mind. Remind yourself that this time is for God. Keep a pad of paper handy. For some reason this will be the time we will remember all the things we need to do. When we write those down, we have a tendency to be able to also ‘let them go.’ The SOAP method has four movements; Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.
S – Scripture: Read through the passage slowly. There’s no reason to rush. You can read through it two, three, four or even more times depending on the size of the passage and the amount of time you have. As you read your passage for that day pay attention to anything that grabs your attention. It might be a verse, two verses, or a sentence. When you have that scripture, write it down. Writing it down is important. Write down the whole verse.
O – Observation: What do you observe about this scripture? You might know some background on why or when it was written.
A – Application: What do you think God is saying to you through this scripture? Is there something you need to do or perhaps stop doing? Does it challenge some attitude you have? Perhaps it serves as a confirmation or encouragement. Write it down.
P – Prayer: Write out a prayer. Use this prayer as a starting point for silent prayer.
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