Yesterday, I shared about Praying Psalmically and the power of writing our prayers. Today, I want to look at making the most of our devotional bible reading. Again, you will need a journal and a pen. This approach is called the S.O.A.P. devotional method. I believe it was made popular by Wayne Cordeiro in his book, The Divine Mentor. If you haven’t read that book, it is an excellent look at getting the most from your devotional habits.
The S.O.A.P method is pretty simple. S.O.A.P. is the process of digesting Scriptures.
S – Scripture
O – Observation
A – Application
P – Prayer
Here is how it works. During your time of Bible reading watch for any verse that speaks to your heart. The SOAP approach works well, especially when you have one or two verses that “jump” out at you. In your journal, write out the scripture verse.
Next, we look at the observation. This is where you glean from the verse. Observe the context of how it is written, why it is written and to whom it is written. In the observation, you are looking to understand the verse itself and the history of it. In your journal, write out the observation.
Third, we apply this verse(s) to our lives. What does this verse say to you? How must you apply it to your life? What changes do you need to make in your life? In your journal, write out how you plan to apply this verse to your life and what it specifically says to you.
Last, is the prayer. Write out your prayer to God on how you will allow this verse to work in your life. The prayer is often an extension of what you discovered in the application of the verse. Allow this to be a prayer of commitment to God.
I have found this S.O.A.P. method to be a great way to get the most from my devotional reading. I have often been the type to just read the Bible, but this method causes me to dig deeper and watch for anything the Holy Spirit wants to speak to me from God’s Word. This method is a way to allow God to not only reveal Himself through His Word but also, to help us apply to our lives.