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SOAP Bible Study Method

What is a SOAP Bible study?

The SOAP Bible study method is a simple way to dig into God's Word. The simplicity and practical focus of this method makes it a powerful tool for getting to know God better and allowing his truth to saturate daily life. 

Any time you sit down to read or study the Bible, start with prayer. This is an opportunity to put down any heaviness and distractions and ask God to open your heart to his truth. It's an opportunity to re-frame your perspective toward gratitude for God providing a way to know him more deeply.

Once you're ready to begin reading, you can use this acronym to guide your focus:


What verse or section stands out to you from the passage? The simple act of re-reading, writing it out, and meditating on it will give you a moment to consider what the Holy Spirit is showing you and allow God's truth to sink in. 


What stands out about the passage? Is there anything you haven't noticed before about the characters, the context, or the details of what is happening? What might the Holy Spirit be revealing to you?


Consider how you can apply this truth to your life. Is there something the Holy Spirit is putting on your heart to change? Is there anything you are led to do after this reading?


Pray about what you've read and how the Holy Spirit is leading you. Thank God for is truth and faithfulness. Ask him for understanding and wisdom. Submit to the work that the Holy Spirit is doing in you.

SOAP Reading and Reflection Example

A SOAP study doesn't have to be long or take a long time to help you apply God's truth to your life. Spend the time that you have and feel free to come back to a daily reading later in the day to let God's Word sink in. Here's an example of a soap reading to help get you started:

Reading: Colossians 1:24-29

S: “For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” v29
O: Paul is writing to correct and encourage the church and his stand resulted in him being in prison. But his focus is on making Jesus known and not relying on his own strength and energy.
A: At the end of an exhausting week it makes me wonder what it looks like to struggle with Jesus’s energy working in me. I think a big part is being consistently in the Word and praying without ceasing. Part of it also has to be focusing on what’s true — my identity and the identity of those around me. There are times when I know that the Spirit has given the strength and energy I need, but relying on the power of Jesus every day is something I want to experience more.
P: Jesus, please forgive the many times when I revert to living in my own strength and energy. Please teach me to submit to you, stay connected to you, and rely on you more. You are all in all, and I need you to increase and for me to decrease.

Most of all, remember that spending time in God's word isn't about checking a box — it's about spending time with and getting to know the One who loves you and created you.