How S.O.A.P Changed My Life

In the midst of  discussing directions to go for our women’s Bible studies at church this fall, I remembered a conversation I had with my friend, Vivian. She had mentioned a particular book or study method they were using that intrigued me. So, I called her. She had an extra book and sent it my way. As I was reading the book, I became more excited about approaching my daily time in the Bible in a new way.

First of all, I need to give the disclaimer that this system is all from the book The Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordiero (I need to check and make sure I spelled that correctly!). It’s called the S.O.A.P. method. Here’s what you need:

  1. Your Bible
  2. A Journal to write in
  3. Some sort of Bible Reading plan
  4. Your daily planner/calendar
  5. Something to write with

Sounds easy already, doesn’t it?

Why a Bible? Because it’s God’s Word directly to you. He has something to say to YOU! “Our Daily Bread” and “My Utmost For God’s Highest” are great and so are other devotional books and you can learn from them, but it’s good to go directly to the Source.

Why a Journal? You’re going to be writing things down as you’re doing your Bible reading (more on that later).

Why a Bible Reading plan? If you’re like me, it’s easy to get distracted and spend half your time flipping through the Bible and wondering what to read next. Or maybe you read the same passage over and over again and end up missing out on all the other awesome gems in the Bible. If you use a plan, you don’t have to spend time figuring out what to read every day. There are tons of reading plans that you can google and find online. I’m using the Bible Reading Plan for Slackers and Shirkers . I love it! Use whatever plan you want. The point is to have some sort of plan.

Why a daily planner/calendar? This is for the times when you go and start your devotions time and you think of something you’re going to have to do or remember for later. Instead of getting up and doing it right then and forgetting to come back, you can write it on your calendar and free that space up in your brain.

Why something to write with? You’re going to be writing. 🙂 If you were going to a meeting with someone who knew everything that you needed to know about your job, you would probably take something to take notes with. It’s the same idea here.

So, what exactly is S.O.A.P.? I’m so glad you asked!

Now that you have all the things you need, open up your journal and write S O A P down the page.*

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For “S” write down one particular scripture verse or section that stood out to you. Just one. If you do this every day, you’re going to have A LOT of truths to look back on and see what God was showing you. More than one thing and it becomes more difficult to manage.

For “O” write down your observations.

For “A” write out an application to your own life.

For “P” write out a prayer of response.

Do you know why I like it so much? I love that it’s interactive! As I open my Bible I’m asking that the Lord would speak and show me the things that He wants to show me. Then I listen, take notes and respond. It’s my time spent in the Word more meaningful and focused. If you have something that works well for you, I’m not saying you should change. But, if you’re like me and struggling sometimes with direction or motivation, maybe this will help!

 

*I actually write the “S” and then write out my scripture and then write the “O” on the next available line and write out my observations. . . etc.,

 

P.S.  I never actually said how it “changed my life” did I? Hmmmm…. I’ll have to do that when I’m not running out the door to my camping trip!

Comments: 25

  1. Chris August 19, 2011 at 3:35 pm Reply

    This sounds great – I’m going to try it starting tomorrow. I’m starting the book of Ezra. Wonder what verse will stand out to me…?

  2. MJ August 19, 2011 at 9:08 pm Reply

    I think im interested in trying this as well

  3. Jennmaynard September 16, 2011 at 10:36 am Reply

    I have never heard of this method before, but I love it! So many times I hate relying on Bible Studies and just want to get right into the Word. I am definately trying this next week!

  4. Rachel September 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm Reply

    I am going to have to try this. What a great way to study the Bible!! Thank you for sharing. I stopped in from Kelly’s Korner. I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog. And I agree, you have 3 adorable kids! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  5. Norma September 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm Reply

    What a neat idea! This sounds like a thorough yet simple method of studying . . . some changes need to be made to my character. Let’s see if me, God, and SOAP can smooth out the edges!

  6. Bethany September 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm Reply

    I work in a Dr.’s office, but those kinds of S.O.A.P notes are different!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOAP_note

    I love this idea.

  7. […] A great tip for your personal Bible study–how S.O.A.P. changed my life […]

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  9. Gretel January 7, 2012 at 1:48 am Reply

    I have been doing SOAP for over a year now. It has helped me immensely. In fact, I have attended Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s church on Oahu now for the past 4 years. I’ve done other Bible reading programs in the past, but this has helped me much more than simply reading through Scripture verses methodically.

  10. Kayla February 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm Reply

    I can’t wait to try this! I have some many daily devotionals because I never know where to start reading. I will definitely find a plan so that I can get deeper in God’s word. I can’t wait to see what God teaches me through this type of studying. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Annie~SavorThisMoment May 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing! It sounds much less intimidating than a full-blown scripture study. There is always something that stands out to me, I love that you isolate and contemplate it. I always like to begin my study with prayer asking God to guide me in my reading and for help in the areas I need it.

  12. Alie Jo June 7, 2012 at 5:09 pm Reply

    This sounds like I might be able to fit it into my schedule (read: make myself actually do it!). I love the idea of meditating on a single scripture and making it a part of my life.

  13. Shandi Perry September 13, 2012 at 10:13 pm Reply

    I like this idea and will try to incorporate it into my study of both the Bible and The Book of Mormon (another testament of Jesus Christ) http://www.lds.org Thanks for sharing your inspirational growth 🙂

  14. Jerralea March 1, 2013 at 10:48 am Reply

    I just realized that I have never commented on this post. I have referred back to this post several times on my blog to let people know about S.O.A.P. Thank you for sharing about it – it has definitely been life changing for me as well. I was never consistent about bible study until I heard about S.O.A.P. I have been using it almost daily since I learned about it.

    • amy March 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm Reply

      That’s awesome! It’s my most read post. I had no idea so many people would like it.

  15. Annette March 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm Reply

    Great idea. Brings back memories of when I started as a nurse and we wrote SOAP notes. Same idea. Great way to reuse skills I learned a long time ago for a better bible reading experience

  16. Sarah May 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm Reply

    I am a high school that is part of a group that plans and runs all of my school’s celebrations, masses, grade level retreats and everything in between. SOAP is a great idea that I am going to share with the other students in my group and hopefully we will be able to use it at our grade level retreats. I would love if you could do more posts on activities like this that center around God and religion.

  17. Melanie June 23, 2013 at 9:05 pm Reply

    Like your idea because it’s so simple, portable, and flexible. You may be on a plan but something major comes along and you need to give attention to that one thing for a day or two. Your plan is still waiting for you right where you left off. You didn’t miss out on anything. Sounds like a great tool.

  18. Jen hammond July 1, 2013 at 11:13 pm Reply

    What is a prayer response? That is not a vernacular used in my church.

    • amy July 5, 2013 at 10:05 pm Reply

      Jen, It’s just a prayer that you pray in response to what you just read and feel like God was speaking to you about. Like a simple conversation with God about the Scripture passage.

  19. Shannonfabulous September 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm Reply

    I love this! I found you on Pinterst and the rest is history! I will be teaching my 12 year old girls how to study scripture like this, so thank you!!!!!

  20. Tanequa Hampron December 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm Reply

    This sounds like a great idea. I have been struggling with reading my Bible. What exactly is the observation?

  21. Linda Hunter January 6, 2014 at 8:11 pm Reply

    I knew about S.O.A.P. from Bible studies at church but had not put it into effect in my personal reading. Thanks for being on Pinterest and for reminding me of a great way to interact with my LORD and Savior, Jesus the Christ (anointed one). May God bless you with His compassion and mercy.

  22. Pam February 1, 2014 at 9:28 pm Reply

    So…how did this “change you life”?

  23. Debbi May 14, 2014 at 7:43 am Reply

    Tanequa, I think observation means your interpretation of the scripture, your thoughts, maybe what God is telling you in the scripture. I know this is a late response, hope it still helps!

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