How to SOAP journal
Here’s how to practically use your journal to dig into God’s Word and apply it your life.
STEP 1: S for SCRIPTURE
Look up the readings for today’s date from the Bible Reading Plan. As you turn to the chapter in your Bible, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and to reveal more about God to you. As you read the passages, underline or mark anything that the Holy Spirit impresses on you and write down one or two key verses in your journal.
STEP 2: O for OBSERVATION
Paraphrase and write down in your own words what the passage means. Ask, Who, What, When, Why questions to get a clearer picture of what is recorded. Use a Bible Commentary or Dictionary to help you understand the passage. Some Study Bibles also have helpful explanatory notes at the start or end of the chapters.
STEP 3: A for APPLICATION
Write down anything the Holy Spirit impresses on you as a personal word to be applied to your life. What do you think God is saying to you in this Scripture? When you read and think about it with an open heart, the Lord will speak to you in encouragement, direction, correction, challenge or a promise. How will you be different or do things differently because of what you have just read?
STEP 4: P for PRAYER
Think about a simple prayer based on: adoration, confession, thanksgiving, or supplication (A.C.T.S) to God for what He has shown you or promised you today. It may be asking God for help to do what He has shown you to apply to your personal life. Remember prayer is meant to be a two-way conversation. Don’t do all the talking but also listen to what God has to say to you! Now write it in your journal.
STEP 5: MAKING YOUR JOURNAL WORK
Suggestions to make your journal really work for you:
• Enter the date at the top of your daily page
• Write a title/topic for your journal entry
• Record the main Scripture verse(s)
• Write observations about the Scripture before making your personal applications
• Be as specific as you can with your personal applications
• Record your prayer
• Fill in the Index, so you can easily find what you have written. At the end of the year you may be able to discern that there are specific themes that God has been speaking to you about.