Being a mom keeps you busy. There is never a shortage of things to do and things to fill up your calendar with. But, having regular and consistent Bible study time is important for your walk with God to stay strong and for God to give you what you need to get through your daily schedule.
So having some goto Bible study frameworks that you can use when you’re drawing a blank or just need some focus can be so helpful. And there are so many out there, with more popping up every day!
Today we are going to explore 11 step-by-step Bible study methods that use acronyms to help you form a framework for your Bible study time and make it easy to dive in and get deep, no matter how much (or how little) time you have.
Method #1 and #2: S.O.A.P. /S.O.A.K. (created by Unknown)
S.O.A.P. in this method stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. This one is probably the most popular of all the acronyms in this list so I thought I’d include it first. Here’s how it works:
- Scripture: Pick out ONE verse/scripture that you want to focus on for your Bible study time. The idea here is to keep it hyper focused on one verse, so don’t pick an entire chapter, but rather just one verse. First read it at least a couple times (out loud here would be good). Then write it down in a notebook word-for-word. Then read it over out loud once again, really trying to think about each word as you read.
- Observation: Here is where you ask yourself some questions about the verse. What stands out about the verse to you? What do you feel like God is telling you in this verse? What lesson or message is being portrayed? There is no set-in-stone questions you have to ask for this method, but just try to challenge yourself to dig deeper into the context and meaning of the verse.
- Application: Next you’ll determine how you can apply this verse to your own life. Ask yourself how this verse applies to you and your own situation or something you’re going through. What is it personally saying to you?
- Prayer: Ask God for wisdom and guidance to understand this scripture better. If the piece of scripture applies deeply to your life, consider turning it into a personalize prayer. Pray for God to open up your eyes and ears to what He has to tell you about this scripture and what you need to take away from it.
A slight variation of this method is called the S.O.A.K. method, and the only difference is that the P for Prayer has been changed to a K for Kneel in Prayer. Essentially I think the change was to reflect coming before God during your prayer time in humility, which I think you should do anyways. 🙂 But either way, prayer is the final step.
Method #3: G.R.O.W. (created by Artistic Hands of Faith)
G.R.O.W. in this method stands for Greet, Read, Observe, and Write. I found this one on Pinterest and even though I did manage to hunt down the creator of the method, their website is down (as of writing this) so I couldn’t investigate further the background behind her creating this method. But, here’s how it works:
- Greet: Open up your quiet time with God with a prayer, inviting Him in to your heart and Bible study time. So He can open your eyes and your ears to what He has to teach you today.
- Read: Read the verse you will be focusing on silently or out loud several times slowly. Really let the words soak in as you read the verse.
- Observe: Think about what stood out to you about this verse as you read it. Consider how it might apply to your own life and situation.
- Write: Write out the verse, your observations, and a prayer to round out your study time.
Method #4: P.O.W.E.R. (created by The Littlest Way)
P.O.W.E.R. in this method stands for Prayer, Observe, Write, Envision, and Response. The creator of this method states that when she made it she needed something a little more complete than the S.O.A.P/K method and she was in a place that she was doing some battling in her life. So this method came to her and I love the sound of it! Plus, it does seem to cover more bases than some of the other methods.
- Prayer: Start by coming to God in prayer. Think about what’s on your heart and what questions you have for God since the last time you did your Bible study. Ask God to open your eyes and ears to what He has to tell you today.
- Observe: After you read the verse, ask yourself what the scripture has to say about God, or about you. Think more deeply about the verse in terms of context and what it’s trying to say.
- Write: Spend some time writing about the verse you’re studying. Journal about what stood out, what you’d like to learn more about, what it meant to you, etc.
- Envision: Think about how you can apply this verse to your own life or situation. How does it speak directly to you and what can you learn/take away from the verse?
- Response: Respond to God in prayer. Thank Him for what He has shown you in this verse and ask Him to help you to continue to meditate and learn from it throughout the day/week/etc.
Method #5: R.E.S.T. (created by Kaylene Yoder)
R.E.S.T. in this method stands for Read, Engage, Savor, and Take Charge. The creator of this method states that she came up with this method as a means to help Christians who are stuck in the idea that they can’t study the Bible completely for themselves (i.e. without the aid of a devotional). She designed it to be a way for Christians to gain some independence and confidence in their Bible study time. Here’s what each step involves:
- Read: Read a portion of scripture that you want to study for this method. Pick a small portion, just one or two verses.
- Engage: This step involves engaging with the Word of God by writing out the scripture you’ve chosen to focus on.
- Savor: Ask yourself some questions about the scripture. What is God trying to tell you in this scripture about yourself or your life? Spend some time on this step to really take in the meaning of the scripture you’re reading today.
- Take Charge: After God has revealed what this scripture means for you personally, make an effort to apply the lessons you’ve learned to your life.
Method #6: F.E.A.S.T. (created by One Thing Alone)
F.E.A.S.T. in this method stands for Focus, Engage, Assess, Spark, and Turn. The creator of this method made this one to help others move beyond the washing of God’s word over your heart to let it penetrate deeply into your soul. It’s a method that’s created to fit with your season of life, whether you have 10 minutes or all morning to spend with God. Here’s how it works:
- Focus: Pray and ask God to focus your heart and your mind on Him. Ask Him what He wants you to learn today.
- Engage: Read the passage and then write down some observations and questions you have about the text. What does it say?
- Assess: Write down anything that you have questions about or want to research more. Dig deep into the context, the original audience, etc. You can get as deep here as you want in this step.
- Spark: Ask the Holy Spirit to spark transformation in your life by applying the takeaway from the scripture to your life and your situation.
- Turn: After your time of study, spend some time turning towards God in response to what you’ve learned. This can look like praise, worship, confession, etc.
The creator of this one has a really in depth page on this method that you can check out here. It’s really helpful and gets deeper into how to use this Bible study method.
Method #7: A.P.P.L.E. (created by Arabah Joy)
A.P.P.L.E. in this method stands for Attributes of God, Promises of God, Principles for Life, Lessons Learned or Sins to Avoid, Example to Follow. This method is a bit different than the other methods in this list. All of the steps in this method really focus on examining the scripture in a different way. Although, of course, praying before and after should be a given.
- Attributes of God: After reading the scripture you’ve chosen to study, go back through and search for any attributes of God described in the passage.
- Promises of God: Now re-read the scripture and go back again, this time looking for promises God has made to His children.
- Principles for Life: Look back through the scripture again, this time searching for any principles for living. Examples would be that we are called to praise God or that we are called to trust in God, etc. Things like that.
- Lessons Learned or Sins to Avoid: Read over the passage again. This time pay close attention to what God is trying to teach you through this scripture about yourself and your own life.
- Example to Follow: Reading the scripture one more time, think about how you can apply this scripture to your life. What example from the scripture can you follow in your own life?
Method #8: W.O.R.D. (created by The Felicity Bee)
W.O.R.D. in this method stands for Write, Observe, Relevant, and Declare. The creator of this method states that she has tried many other Bible study methods but felt that too many of them left room for personal interpretation. Whereas she wanted to develop something that would encourage a deeper understanding of The Bible. Here’s how it works:
- Write: Write out the passage that you want to study. This is an important step in this method, and she recommends writing it out at least once or twice.
- Observe: In this step you want to gain some context of the passage you will be studying. Use the Five W’s (Who, What, When, Why, Where) to get a good understanding of the setting and context.
- Relevant: Ask yourself how this scripture is relevant to your own life. How does it apply to you? How can you apply it to your own life? Do you have areas you need to correct or confess?
- Declare: Finally you are to declare and pray this scripture over your life. Declare the promises, the changes, and the encouragement from this passage over your life.
Method #9: H.E.A.R. (created by Ladies Drawing Nigh)
H.E.A.R. in this method stands for His Word, Examine It, Apply It, and Respond in Prayer. The creator of this method states that when she created this method she was in search of something that would remind her everyday of the need to communicate with God. Rather than just talk to God and going through the motions, we need to be ready to hear God and what He has to say to us. Here’s how it works:
- His Word: Write down the scripture/passage that you want to study more in depth today.
- Examine It: Dig deeper into this verse. Write down some facts that you’ve learned about it to help you gain context (perhaps using the Five W’s — Who, What, When, Why, and Where).
- Apply It: Think about how you can apply this scripture to your own life. Is there a command to obey? A principle to live by? A promise you can claim?
- Respond in Prayer: Write out a prayer response to God based on what you believe He is trying to speak to you today through this scripture. Thank Him for the wisdom, ask him for help changing so you can apply what you learned, etc.
Method #10: P.R.A.I.S.E. (created by Starla Jimenez)
P.R.A.I.S.E. in this method stands for Pray, Read, Assess, Investigate, Submit, and Express. The creator of this method made it to help Christian women to stop reading the Bible with a casual heart. But rather with a passion on a daily basis. This one has a few more steps than some of the others, but I think it’s a great method to help you dive deep into God’s Word. Here’s how it works:
- Pray: Ask God to lead you into His Word, what you should study, what He has to show you and teach you, etc. Let Him lead you and ask Him for open eyes and ears to be able to learn what He wants you to know.
- Read: Intentionally read the Bible. Allow God to lead you with where to start. However, the creator of this method recommends spending time focusing on one section of the Bible at a time. Try to get as much as you can out of the book you are reading before moving on to the next book you want to study in the Bible.
- Assess: Think deeply about the words and phrases you’re reading. Ask questions about what it means to your life, what was the author trying to convey, etc. Really just meditate on the scripture and ask questions to dive deeper into the context and meaning.
- Investigate: Dig deeper into the words/phrases that stand out to you in the scripture you’re studying. Look into the original Hebrew/Greek to gain better understanding of them. Research the history of the book/scripture, culture at the time it was written, etc.
- Submit: Submit to the teachings in this scripture (and in the whole Word of God). Submit your life, heart, thoughts, etc. to the ways of God and what He is trying to teach you in this passage. Determine what you need to do to apply this to your life.
- Express: Live out what you’ve learned from this scripture every day. Allow it to really change your life and shape and mold you into being more Christ-like.
Method #11: R.E.A.P. (created by Unknown)
R.E.A.P. in this method stands for Read, Examine, Apply, and Pray. The creator of this method is unknown, but according to this blog it has been endorsed by multiple churches and by some well known leaders/authors/speakers. Here’s how it works:
- Read: Read and re-read the passage while asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truths about this passage to you. As you read it ask yourself some questions about what’s happening, what’s emphasized, etc.
- Examine: Next take some time to dig deeper into the scripture you’re studying. Learn more about the context, the author, the audience, etc.
- Apply: Think about and meditate on how this scripture applies to your own life and situation. What lessons can you take away from the scripture to apply to your life? What sins is it telling you to avoid? Etc.
- Pray: Pray the scripture over your life and ask God for the wisdom and strength to make the changes in your life you need to in order to apply this scripture to your life.
Don’t let studying the Bible be intimidating
There are so many great resources out there to help you study the Bible. If you’re feeling stuck or going through a dry season, or even if you just want to try something different, these 11 different methods can help to kick start your Bible study time.
If you’re not sure where to start, why not try each one? Try Method #1 today, then Method #2 tomorrow, etc. Bookmark this page and come back when you’re ready to move on to the next study method. Have fun with it and treat it as an adventure through the Word of God.
I hope that these Bible study methods help you in your studies, and feel free to comment with your own favorite Bible study method too!