What is S.O.A.P.?
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word. Wayne Cordeiro of New Hope, Oahu introduced us to this devotional study plan … and be fair, I use a form of it almost every day.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the Bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.
Then in a journal, Google Doc, or whatever your favorite writing method is, add the following entry:
If you’re just starting your journal journey, leave the first two or three pages blank so you can use them to create a Table of Contents.
Leave some space at the top for a date and for a title.
Scripture. Write down the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading. Don’t forget the reference.
Observation. What did you observe about the scripture that struck you? This can be one sentence or a whole book.
Application. How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today? Sometimes I simply answer the question: “What is Jesus asking me to do about this?”
Prayer. Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.
Finally, review what you’ve written and give it a title. Then turn to your Table of Contents and add the page number (I almost always have to add page numbers on each page by hand … I haven’t found a paginated journal yet!), the Bible reference, and the title. By having a TOC you’re able to find your reflections much more easily … and who knows, your thoughts could be the content for your next book!