Reading the Scriptures is a cornerstone practice of a growing Christian faith. As the Holy Spirit directs us, God shines His light on the Word and we are both challenged and changed.
For a number of years I have been reading scripture using a journalling method pioneered by Hawaiian Pastor, Wayne Cordeiro. It has helped me immensely and I highly recommend it. It relies on a systematic bible reading plan where the reader works their way through both the Old and New Testaments over a period of time.
The SOAP method is very simple:
Before reading the text set for the day, the reader specifically prays that the Holy Spirit might illuminate that which is being read. When reading the text, the reader notes any particular word, phrase, sentence or image that has particular resonance and records that part of the passage as the focus Scripture
The reader records in their journal the observation the Spirit seems to be impressing on their heart about the text.
The observation is then internalised into the readers life by a specific application that leads the reader to greater maturity in Christ.
As a means of prayer, or a lead into deeper prayer, the reader offers a prayer to God focused around the application recorded. It might be a prayer of gratitude for new truth revealed or for strength to make the application a reality in their life. The type of prayer does not matter.
Scripture. Observation. Application. Prayer
There you have it. If you would like to see how I use this methodology, have a look at some of my journal entries under the Jesus Uncensored category in this blog.