I have often heard people say how much they love journaling when doing daily devotions, or they journal whenever reading scripture. Over the years, I attempted it many times, but never really new what to write or how to do it, so it was often a jumble of sentences and half finished thoughts. Maybe I’m just not a deep thinker. lol
It wasn’t until someone actually showed me that you could do it in a systematic fashion that it began to interest me.
Now, there are many, many different methods out there, but I’d like to introduce to you a very common, popular and simple system. The S.O.A.P. method
What is S.O.A.P.?
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word.
BENEFITS OF FOLLOWING A METHOD
First, a method helps you focus. A method offers you a pattern to come back to when your attention wanders. Having a structure is a bit like having an agenda for a meeting, or a grocery list for a trip to the market. A method helps you set and keep an intention for your time with God.
Second, a method creates greater faithfulness. We very often can get through tasks easier, and more likely to complete them if we have a method.
Third, methods broaden your experience of God. It will help with getting into the rut of just thanking God for things, or just writing your thoughts about a passage, or just writing prayers for things. This will help give a more rounded experience
How does it work?)
It’s quite simple. All you need is a bible, journal (electronic or paper) and a pen if needed.
Begin a heading with the first letter; “S”
Write out or type in the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading. . No copying and pasting blocks of text. Serves a dual purpose of helping to commit this verse to memory. For our Psalm 119 challenge, write or type out all 8 verses each day.
What did you observe about the scripture that struck you? Are there areas you need to confess or repent? Just remember, if you are looking at just one or two verses, read the verses before and after to ensure you understand the context of what is being said.
How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.
Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.
I read an article that a person wrote regarding the SOAP method, and they said they would add one thing, and I really liked their idea, so I am going to borrow that idea and rename our method S.O.A.P.S.
Last “S”- Still Unsure If there is something that you read in these passages that you are still unclear about, or don’t understand, jot them down. It will serve as a great reminder to look into that at a later date, and if we write it down, it will more likely come back to mind if we encounter this topic further in the scriptures.
As I mentioned, there is many methods to journaling, and I encourage you to use the one you already use if you like it. This is simply a suggestion to try to get you started. However you choose to journal, I look forward to the following weeks as we explore Psalm 119 together. God bless, have a great day!