I mentioned in my 2013 goals, and a recent Instagram photo that journaling as I read Scripture was one of my goals for the year. I was really excited when several people asked questions about how exactly I journal, so I promised that I would do a blog post about it. I have been doing it for awhile and I really love it. I feel like I soak in so much more when I journal as opposed to just reading a chapter and forgetting it a few hours later. So, this year I want to make a point to do this even more.
Last year, at the recommendation of a friend, I listened to this sermon about how to study the Bible by Matt Chandler who is one of my favorite speakers. This along with a little tweaking of what worked for me is how I started journaling the way that I do.
The basic system I use is the SOAP method.
S – Scripture. First I read the passage. I usually limit myself to one chapter so I am able to meditate on what I am reading. I then write out in my journal the verse or two that stuck out to me most when I read the passage.
O – Observation. Then I take a moment to think on what I read. How the context plays into what I read, who the verses are speaking too, when it is happening, etc.
A – Application. Next, I meditate on what I have read and how it applies to my life. I try to be specific about how I can apply what I am reading to my life. I write a paragraph or two about what I have learned and how it applies to my life.
P – Prayer. The last step is prayer. If you are anything like me your mind wanders. In a way to combat the million thoughts that are swirling in my head, I write out my prayer, or at least a shortened version of it at the bottom of my page.
That is my basic process. It has been so helpful to me and I hope that it will be to you as well. It has definitely helped me move away from reading Scripture and just going through the motions and not even being able to remember what I read because there are so many things to think about. If you have been looking for a better way to do things, especially at the start of a new year, I hope that this will be helpful. It is simple, and it doesn’t take long, but it is so important. This year, I want to focus less on the silly little things that waste our time (Facebook anyone???), and more on making what matters happen. This is definitely one of those things for me.
“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” -Psalm 119:105