Spiritual Practices, Part 5

In this post, I would like to share a simple way of praying and meditating on Scripture, known as the S.O.A.P method. This is the method I use most consistently because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

What you need is a Bible, a larger, school-type notebook that you can dedicate for your S.O.A.P devotions., a pen and quiet table somewhere in your home. For many with young children home right now, the last item is the hardest to come by. My suggestion is to wake up earlier than the rest of the house if you are a morning person or do this after the kids are asleep if you come to life in the evenings. If neither of these is possible right now, please do not feel guilty about another thing you can't do. Just return to this method when you are able.

S.O.A.P consists of Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. You will write out these words on the far left of your paper and then write out what the Lord reveals to you to the right of these words. In most cases, each devotion should take up one page.

Begin with prayer. Do a brief version of Centering Down, and ask God to speak to your heart and mind and be present to His presence.

  • SCRIPTURE: Begin with a few Bible verses. One way to do this is to choose a book in the Bible, such as John or Psalms. Currently, I have been going through the book of Proverbs. Starting with chapter 1, read through half of the chapter and see what verses are sticking out to you. Pick 1-3 of these verses and write out this Scripture in your journal near the word Scripture.
  • OBSERVATION: Next, write down any thoughts, anything that you notice about the text or questions you may have. This is not yet the time to make it personal. I do typically read some notes that my study Bible has as well as any cross-reference scriptures that relate to the passage that may be listed on the page, but I do not use the Observation time for an in-depth study. Observation is a few sentences in which you are writing down any initial thoughts you may have.
  • APPLICATION: Now, it's time for the Holy Spirit to make this Scripture personal. You may want to ask God again to speak to you through His Word. How may these verses apply to your life presently? How should you respond to such revelations? Take a few sentences to write this out.
  • PRAYER: Lastly, commit this time to God in prayer. This can be a prayer of thanksgiving, repentance, a plea for help, or a pledge to live differently. Write out a few sentences of your prayer.

Lastly, give your devotion a title and write this in large letters at the top of your page. As time goes on, you will have a treasure of these precious times with God and the insights you have learned along the way.

If you have any questions or care to share your experience, leave a comment here or email me at [email protected].

-Vince Donnachie, Pastor of RCC

1 Comment

thulsidass - June 19th, 2024 at 9:31am

As a spiritual seeker, I found this blog post on spiritual practices enlightening. The emphasis on prayer and contemplation as means to connect with the divine resonates deeply. Incorporating these practices into my daily routine has brought a profound sense of peace and clarity. Thank you for sharing these invaluable insights.