WHAT DOES S.O.A.P. MEAN?
S– The S stands for Scripture- Take time reading and allow God to speak to you, removing as many distractions as you can. If you physically write out the scripture you’ll be amazed at what God will reveal to you just by taking the time to slow down and actually write out what you are reading!
O– The O stands for Observation- I’m seeing at first glance when looking at the verses. 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 a greater understanding. Write down all those thoughts (observations). If you write them as you go, you will be less likely to forget them later.
P– The P stands for Prayer- Pray God’s Word back to Him. If He has revealed something to you during this time in His Word, pray about it. Confess if He has revealed some sin that is in your life. Studying God’s Word like this can take as little or as long as you have time to give. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days longer
A– The A stands for Application- Personalize what you have read by asking yourself 'how can what I have read be applied to my life right now?'. Did the verse or passage contain a promise to claim? Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, or correction for a particular area of your life. Your goal should always be to correctly understand, so don’t hesitate to ask your pastor. Write how this scripture can apply to you today. Be as specific as possible.