Studying your Bible using the SOAP Bible Study Method is an easy way to pay closer attention to the Scriptures you read every day.
In Proverbs 4:20, the Bible says: My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words.
I’m not sure who first invented this Bible study method, but it has become quite popular, in large part because of its simplicity and adaptability. You can take as little or as long as you have time to give when using the SOAP Bible Study Method. Some days it can take just 10 or 15 minutes, other days you can spend much longer.
So what is the SOAP Bible Study Method?
SOAP is an acronym, which stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer.
Here is how it works:
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S is for Scripture
Write down the Bible passage you are studying. This can be one verse or several verses.
Taking the time to write out each word helps you to slow down and really focus on each word individually. You will be amazed at the things you notice that you never saw when you just read the verse. I remember handwriting Scriptures in a little tiny notebook when I was just a child. Today I use tiny notebooks, spiral journals, pocket journals, travelers notebooks, journal cards, journal templates (see below), sticky notes, the backs of junk mail envelopes, and just plain notebook paper.
O is for Observation
Write down what you noticed when writing out the Scripture. Then write down anything else that jumps out at you. Then examine the Scripture more closely and look for answers to these questions:
- Who is it written by?
- Who is it written to?
- What is the context of this passage?
- What is the main message of the passage?
- Does this passage remind you of other Bible verses?
- Is there repetition, comparison or contrast?
- What seems interesting or unusual?
A is for Application
How can you apply this Scripture to YOUR life? I also like to personalize the Scripture by putting my name into it. For instance, where John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world…”, I will say, “For God so loved JoDitt…”
The A can also stand for Ask or Action. If you have questions or something you don’t understand about this passage, record those here. Furthermore, if applying this Scripture to your life means taking some kind of action, write that down also.
P is for Prayer
Write out your response to the Scriptures. If you are not used to writing down your prayers, this may feel a bit weird to you, but it can really be life-changing. Start out by responding to what God is saying to you in the Bible verses you just studied, in your own words. Just like you would if you were talking to him over coffee.
Sometimes my response is repentance. Sometimes it is praise or thanksgiving. Sometimes what I just studied and learned challenges my current beliefs and I have to work through that. Sometimes, my response is: “I don’t understand.” God is perfectly OK with whatever your response is.
But the important thing is that you remember that prayer is a conversation, not a monologue. So after you have recorded your response, take some time to listen for God’s response to you. Then write that down also. If you are not sure if what you are “hearing” is God speaking to you, go ahead and write it down anyways. Then you can go back and analyze it later.
Another thing I like to do is to pray God’s Word back to Him. There is so much power in agreeing with God! For instance, after studying John 3:16, I will pray: “Father God, thank you that you loved me so much that you sent your only begotten Son, and thank you that because I believe in him, I will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Color and Creativity
You can do the SOAP Bible Study Method using just a pen and a notebook or journal. However, if you know me at all, you know that I believe in combining creativity with The Word because it helps me to connect with God on a deeper level, is more fun, and helps me retain things in my memory.
So I have created some cute SOAP Bible Study Method Journal Templates for
me you. The journal templates include fun flower doodles—ready for you to add your own color and creativity to them.
The Roses SOAP Bible Study Journal pages
are included in my Free Printables Library
. Instructions are also included with the journal pages.
If you haven’t already signed up for myFree Printables Library
, just fill in the form at the bottom of this page and you will get access these journal pages, plus a large assortment of pretty printables, geared toward helping you DELIGHT in The Word of God.
You can print them at full size, or print 2 per page, in order to fit them into your planner or journal.
In January, members of the Delight in the Word Club
are getting a set of 2 SOAP Bible Study Journal Pages
with cute butterfly art to color and also a set of 6 SOAP Bible Study templates with beautiful watercolor butterflies. Non-members can get the journal pages/templates from my JoDitt Designs online shop
To add more color and creativity to my journal pages, I love to use colorful pens, like Super Doodle glitter gel pens
. They are my favorite glitter gel pens! They write so smoothly and dry faster than others. Plus, Super Doodle is a family owned and operated business. So I love supporting them.
When I want to be able to write smaller, but still write in beautiful colors, I use THESE PENS
. These are also what I use in my daily planner. They come in fine-tip in lots of pretty colors. I like the ones with the click-top because the barrel is smooth (no ridges) and has such a wonderful, almost rubbery feel to it, that doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hands. Plus, I hate having to keep up with caps to pens.
Join me in the Delight in the Word Facebook group
and show us how you use the SOAP Bible Study Method
. Leave any questions you have about the SOAP Bible Study method below.