Ways to Worship | S.O.A.P

This is the second post in the Ways to Worship series. Please join us as we look at different ways to worship God through reading the Word.






I have a confession to make. Once when I was a very little girl, I went more than a week without having a shower. I could probably get away with that then, but I wouldn’t even dream of it now. We can’t just shower once and then expect to be clean from then on – we need to clean ourselves each day, washing away the dirt and keeping fresh. The Bible speaks of our spirits being washed in the word, being transformed by the living word of God. We need to spend time in the word each day to keep our hearts and minds cleansed and focused on the things of God – it can’t be merely an occasional thing. Just as we use soap to keep our bodies clean, I use the SOAP Bible study method for my daily Bible reading times.




SOAP is based in the idea of inductive Bible study – where you start with a Bible passage and find out what it says. The idea of inductive Bible study has been around for a long time, but as far as I can tell the SOAP acronym is fairly new. It comes from a book called Divine Mentor by Wayne Cordeiro and was developed as a way for people to go deeper in their personal Bible study.


What do I need:

  • a Bible

  • a notebook

  • a pen





How to do it:

The SOAP method has four steps that make up the acronym. In this method, you start with the passage first. Don’t jump straight into practical application but find out what the passage itself is saying.


1. Scripture:

  • Read the Bible passage – reading out loud helps me to keep focused.

  • If you’ve got the time, write out the whole Bible passage. Or, if you prefer, write out a key verse or phrase that really stands out for you.


2. Observation:

  • What does this passage say? Summarise the passage in your own words.

  • If it’s a narrative, what are the main plot points? If it’s an epistle, what’s the flow of the argument?

  • What does it say about God? What does it say about people?

  • Is there anything new you’ve noticed, or anything you’ve noticed afresh?


3. Application:

  • Now it’s time to take what you’ve observed and apply it to your own life.

  • What is God saying to me today? How will this change my life?

  • Be specific in your application – is there a particular sin to put off? Something particular to do?


4. Prayer:

  • Pray to God in response to everything you’ve come across in your Bible reading

  • Thank God for what you’ve learned – ask him to help you with your application point.

  • I like to write out a short prayer in my notebook and then continue deeper in spoken prayer, but it’s completely up to you.




Potential pitfalls:

The SOAP method has the danger of being superficial, especially if you’re only using single verses or short passages in isolation. Reading through a whole book of the Bible or a series of passages that focus on the same theme can help avoid this.


Why do it:

I find this is a really practical way to read the Bible on a daily basis. It’s structured, but within that structure there’s the freedom to go as deep as you want in each step. Sometimes, Bible reading can be ‘me-focused’ as we jump straight into practical application, but this way actually makes us stop and focus on the passage itself, giving us a deeper application in the end.


Helpful resources:

The Divine Mentor, Wayne Cordeiro

How to SOAP a Bible Study, Love God Greatly

How to study the Bible using the SOAP method, One Thing Alone

My Daily SOAP, Joyful because of Him


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