What do you do when you are asked to lead a short devotion for a church group or committee meeting? Panic? Scour the shelf for a devotion book, and then page through it frantically looking for something remotely appropriate to the situation or circumstance? What if you come up empty-handed? More panic!!
Wait! Don’t panic! Get SOAP!
No, I’m not talking about hand washing for health. Concordia students use “SOAP’ as a tool for meditating or reflecting on Scripture. The SOAP acronym stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
Students are introduced to SOAP as freshmen, and use it periodically throughout all four years in their theology courses. It only takes a couple of times through to become familiar and comfortable with the process.
As one freshman recently observed, “I realized that I can use SOAP to write a devotion.” In fact, that is exactly what our students do, beginning in the second semester of their freshman year. This is a life skill that students will be able to use throughout their adult lives, a skill that will help them be confident and contributing members of committees and groups in a variety of settings.
If you want to try it for yourself, here is the resource that our students use:
Scripture: Choose a verse or passage (several verses) in Scripture OR complete the SOAP based on an assigned Scripture passage.
Observations: Journal your observations of the reading. Use complete sentences. The following questions serve as idea starters for what might be included in this section.
- What are the main points in the reading?
- What's interesting in the passage?
- What didn't you understand? What did you have questions about?
Application: How does this reading apply to your life? Use complete sentences. The following questions serve as idea starters for what might be included in this section.
- What does this passage make you thankful for?
- What blessings are you reminded of after reading this passage?
- In what way does this passage show you your sin?
- In what way does this passage show you your Savior?
Prayer: Write a prayer that focuses in on one portion of this reading. Use complete sentences, and include an introduction and conclusion to your prayer. Follow this format for your prayer:
- INSTRUCTION – What does this passage teach me?
- THANKSGIVING – What am I thankful to God for in this passage?
- CONFESSION – What sins do I need to confess based upon this passage
- PETITIONS – What can I ask God for based on this passage?
Deaconess Dr. Deborah Rockrohr,