If you are like me, you want to study your Bible but you aren’t sure where to start. There are so many Bible studies and methods that it’s easy to get lost and not start at all. To make the process easier, I want to share simple Bible study steps with you to dig deeper into your Bible Study. The first Bible study method I want to walk you through is the SOAP Bible Study Method.
The SOAP Bible Study Method
The SOAP Bible Study Method is a self-lead Bible study method that walks you through 4 things you can do during your bible study time.
SOAP Bible study method stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
Before you start studying your Bible, you need to know how much time you have to dedicate to Bible study. Once you know how much time you have, you can then pick how much to read and how many questions to ask yourself. Those two factors will help you determine how much to read and what Bible reading plan you could follow.
Once you know how much time you have, make sure you have everything you need so you can be productive.
Once you are all set, go through these 4 actions in the soap bible study method.
The first place to start with the soap Bible study method is to pick what part of the Bible you will be reading. If you have a hard time choosing where to start, follow a Bible Study plan. You can get free Bible reading plans here.
Then, read the scriptures for that day. Take the time and read through the words, the sentences and the paragraph.
If you find yourself distracted, read it again. Even if you’re not distracted, read through the passage 2-3 times.
The first time you read a passage, do nothing else. Just read it.
I find making observations during my first read-through distracts me and leads me down some thinking paths that actually are distracting to me. So, I don’t take any notes or anything else while I read through the passage first.
The second step in the Soap Bible study method is observation. Once you have read through the passage at least once, now it’s time to make observations.
There are 2 ways you can go about this:
- Read through the passage and write any thoughts or lessons that come up as you read. This is really easy and anyone can do this. Every time you read a piece of scripture, it reveals something new. So, you can read through the verses twice and just write what comes to mind.
- Use guided questions. Another way you can approach observations is by having a set of prepared questions you can then apply to the passage you are reading. You can choose how many questions to use and mix them up so that it’s not always the same. For a list of guided questions, click here.
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The third step in the soap Bible study method is application. Application is the action of putting something into operation.
As you read the scripture, chances are The Lord will speak to you. You will read a verse and know that something in your life has to change.
Reading and then doing nothing about it, remedies me of this verse.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.James 1:22-25
When we read the word and don’t apply it, then we haven’t really learned anything. We need to know how to take what we have read and then apply it to our lives.
When we read The Bible, we can apply it to our lives in multiple ways.
- The verses can convict us of Sin and lead us to seek forgiveness.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart
- Our eyes can be open to truths that we hadn’t seen before
- We can turn what we have read into a prayer, either for ourselves or other people.
- The scripture can convict us to start something or change something in our lives.
To open ourselves to these possibilities, it’s important to read scripture and ask ourselves: so what?
For example, when reading the gospels, what does it matter to us that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet?
How can we read this account that then leads to true action or change?
We can apply the Bible in 2 ways.
- Ask application questions: Every time you read a piece of scripture, ask yourself at least 1 application question. You can get a list of guided questions here.
- Be held accountable: The best way to change something in your life is to be held accountable. Join the Digging Deeper Christian Community. This membership program offers reading plans, Bible studies, fellowship and accountability. Click here to learn more.
Telling someone that God has convicted you to stop something, or to start something, is the best way actually to do it. When someone else knows what you intend to do, you are more likely to do it because you don’t want to let them down.
The last step in the SOAP Bible study method is prayer.
Prayers is probably the most important part of Bible study. The Method should really be called: PSOAP: prayer, scripture, observation, application, and prayer again.
Praying before you open the Bible, praying throughout your Bible reading time, and praying at the end will transform your Bible study time.
When I start my Bible study time with prayer, I find my mind more focused and my spirit becomes more teachable. The words have more meaning and my heart seems to hear The voice of God through scripture.
Also, when there are things in The Bible I don’t understand, I know that I can turn to God and seek wisdom.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.John 14:26
Jesus is the one speaking to us, so he can teach us what He wants us to learn and how He wants us to apply it to our lives.
Jesus is going to be the one who reveals sin to us and areas of growth.
God will also use scripture to guide our decisions and the way we live our lives.
How should I pray?
You may ask how you should pray. That is a good question.
I know for me; I got wrapped up in the mechanics of prayer. I have heard so many sermons on prayer and I was convinced there was a right way to pray and a wrong way to pray.
There was a time when I believed that If I prayed a certain way, or in a certain order then my prayers would have more power. If I prayed a certain way, then I could be assured that God would answer yes to my prayers.
But that way of thinking was totally wrong.
There is no formula to prayer!!!
If we say the “wrong words”, or don’t express ourselves the way we want doesn’t mean that God won’t hear or understand us.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.Romans 8:26-27
The best example I can give is telling you about my son. When he was 3 years old, he was diagnosed with a severe speech delay. I think at the time of his first assessment, he may have had 5 words.
Even though he didn’t have many words, I understood everything he said and tried to say.
I don’t know if that’s because he was my third baby or the fact that he had great expressive “language”. Regardless, I always knew what he wanted.
With God, it’s the same way.
God created you in His image. He knew you before you were born and knows everything about you. Even when you don’t know what to pray or how to pray, He knows your heart and what you desire.
God longs for us to come to Him. How we come or what we say can matter, but He cares more about our hearts and our relationship with Him.
Ideas of things to pray during Bible Study:
- That you would understand what you read.
- That God would open your eyes to things He may want you to do.
- That God would reveal an area of growth in your life that He wants you to change.
- That God would forgive you for the sin He has revealed to you.
- That God would help you act on any convictions He has given you.
Spending time in God’s word regularly is the best way to learn who God is and how He wants you to live. But spending time in His word doesn’t have to be complicated. It also doesn’t have to be legalistic.
Having children of my own has opened my eyes to a parent’s love for their child. I don’t love my children any more or less depending on how much time they spend with me.
God’s love for us is the same way. He loves us regardless of what sin we have committed or how much time we spend with Him. His desire is that we come.
Do you want more?
Do you want to read your bible more consistently? Do you want to know how to study the Bible on your own and know how to apply it to your life?
You are a Christian woman who is dedicated to living a life for Christ. You want to read your bible every day, but sometimes you get distracted or are too tired to collect all the resources you need.
It can be hard to figure it out on your own.
That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about The Christian Growth Hub!
The Christian Growth Hub is an online, monthly membership focused on helping Christian women read the Bible, understand it, and apply it to their lives.
The Christian Growth hub helps you in your faith by:
- Providing monthly Bible reading plans so you never have to think about what you’re going to read in the Bible next
- Giving you on-demand training on how to understand the Bible and new monthly training on how to apply the Bible to a particular area of your life.
- Connects you to an online community to give you encouragement, support, and accountability
There are so many more features. Click here to learn more about them, and see what The Christian Growth Hub offers.