SOAP Scripture Reading Plan

The SOAP reading plan was developed by Bishop Dick Wills of Honolulu.  The SOAP schedule presents the reader with at least 3 chapters every day.  I recommend it as an effective way to read God’s Word.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Your Bible
  2. A pen/pencil
  3. Your daily planner/Calendar
  4. A Bible reading plan – There are many plans available using You Version or you can just put a bookmark in your Bible as you read along
  5. A “SOAP Journal” (Can be any notebook, spiral bound or otherwise, with blank pages for writing… could even be done on the computer!)


Journaling is an excellent way to both record and process what God has spoken to us. It’s also a useful tool to use at a later time, to reflect on and review some of the ‘gems’ that you have received. Without writing them down, you may forget those blessings and some very important lessons!

Here’s how it works:

Scripture – Read the Scripture you have chosen for that day.  If you are unsure how to start,  You Version has many wonderful options.  As you are reading through your Scripture, begin to underline or highlight verses that stick out, or really speak to you.  Use a Bible that you feel comfortable marking up and making notes in.  Don’t worry about summarizing anything at this point.  Just let your spirit be open to God speaking to you through His Word.  When you are finished reading your section of Scripture, skim back over it, and note the sections that you’ve underlined.  What stands out to you the most?  Where do you feel God really opened your eyes today?  Whittle that down to a phrase or a verse or two of Scripture.  In your Soap Journal, turn to a fresh page and put down today’s date.  Under that write an “S” and write out the verse or portion of Scripture that spoke to you.Then make a note of the Biblical Reference.

Observation – Write down an “O” and then write things that you observed during your reading or study of today’s text.  This can be as extensive as you want it to be.  Perhaps you are accustomed to following cross-references in Scripture, or looking up historical information and the broader, situational context, or even just recognizing what’s happening in the preceding and following chapters and verses (immediate context) of the current book of the Bible you’re reading. 

Application – Now write an “A” and then write how God is speaking to you personally through this verse. What is He saying that you need to hear?  What is He saying that challenges you, or perhaps comforts or encourages you?  This section in your journal simply helps you apply the verses of Scripture to your life and your current situation. 

Prayer – Finally, write down a “P” and the prayer(s) that emerge in your heart following your devotional time.  By this point in your time with God, it is likely you will realize God is leading you toward action of some kind. Maybe God just wants to encourage you or make you stronger in some area of your life.  Talk to God in this section.  Tell Him what’s in your heart and ask Him to give you what you need.  He longs to do this for you.  He is waiting for you to come to Him.  This is the part of your journal where you don’t want to hold back.  You cannot hide anything from God.  If you do, you are only short-changing yourself of God’s power to heal, strengthen, comfort or grow you.  Write it down.  Be real, honest and sincere with God.
“Be Anxious for Nothing”
That encouragement is right from scripture (Philippians 4:6).  So, if this plan seems a little overwhelming, don’t get anxious about whether you are doing it right or wrong.  When my kids come to visit, I don’t care how they get there, what they’re wearing, or how they are feeling.  I’m just glad to see them.  It’s the same thing with Jesus.  He is always glad you’ve taken time for Him, no matter what it looks like.