How To Have Quiet Time Using S.O.A.P.
I don’t know about you, but for me, “quiet time” used to intimidate me. Growing up I had this idea that it needed to be at least an hour long, always at 5AM, literally sitting on my knees in reverence to God, no background music, slightly dim lighting, the King James Version, and reading at least one full chapter. (this is not a j/k folks!)
I have always struggled with reading and when doing so my mind would wander off. I couldn’t retain a thing. I tried to wake up at 5AM but I was a monster at that hour (lol) and couldn’t connect emotionally. And when I became a single mom, it became harder and harder to find an hour to myself. Eventually, my quiet time never happened and I found my relationship with Jesus suffering because of it.
I was putting way too much pressure on myself. Don’t we often do that? But our time with God does not have a checklist or rulebook. There doesn’t have to be a 5AM wake up call or specific time limit. Reading a simpler version of His word doesn’t diminish the meaning and power of His truths. And if listening to Bethel Music’s Without Words: Synesthesia album helps focus your mind then that’s more than okay too! Whatever it takes to make that time with God and being in His word a priority, the closeness, peace, and strength you gain in return is worth the trial and error.
Once I had that realization, I was able to find a routine that worked best for me as well as a structured and organized way to dive into scripture: the S.O.A.P method.
Start with selecting a verse and then follow the steps below.
Write out the passage word for word yourself. No digital copy/pasting. Using a pen or pencil, write the Scripture out on paper.
Read the passage at least three to five times. Each time, write down anything from the passage that stands out to you. Look at each word. Does one have particular impact? Think about your life circumstances and your relationship with God. What does this passage teach about God’s heart and will regarding it? What does this passage teach about people, about the world, about the relationship between people and God, or about God in general, etc.?
What is the impact of this truth? What did you learn that can be applied to your life today? How can you respond in light of what God just said to you?
Write a response to God. Take a moment in silent prayer and put those words on paper. Write what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling, as if you were talking to Him face to face. In a very real way, you are.
And that’s it! So find a version of the Bible that makes sense to you, pick a time and place that’s comfortable, and start communicating with God and investing into your spiritual growth.