When we talk about quiet time around here, we are simply talking about spending time with God in His Word. The Bible is chock-full of promises, and is “alive and active” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV), “right and true” (Psalm 33:4 NIV), and “God-breathed and useful for teaching” (2 Timothy 3:16 NIV).
See, you’re being filled with His Word already, just by reading that first paragraph! But it isn’t always so easy. Sometimes we get hung-up on the “where to start?” part. After all, committing to time in God’s Word while freely talking to the Creator of the universe can seem so . . . involved and complicated—or is it?
For starters, you only need an open heart and an open Bible. Sure there are amazing resources to use alongside your Bible, such as The Believer’s Bible Commentary, as well as amazing apps, such as Blue Letter Bible—not to mention our Daily and Weekly Planners! (Find some of our favorite tools here). And certainly, there are tips on how to dig right in when your little ones are underfoot, when you’re sleep-deprived, and when you’re fearful (*gasp*) of what God might tell you (all of which—and more!—we will discuss right here on the blog this year).
But . . . only one thing is really needed, and that is to sit at the feet of Jesus. A practical way to do this, to set sail onto still waters with the Lord—the stillest of waters (Psalm 23:2 ESV)—is to use the SOAP acronym as a guide:
S—Scripture—Get to reading the Bible! You could start by taking the verse in your Anchored Press Planner for that day, or week, if you are in the Weekly Planner. Open your Bible, find the verse and start reading where the story started to gain a deeper understanding. Another place to start is with one book of the Bible. For example, read one chapter from Proverbs each day; having 31 chapters, it fits nicely with a 31-day month! Or start with the book of John and learn about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. You could also study along with what your pastor is teaching on the weekends.
O—Observation—In your own words, summarize out-loud what you just read and take notes in your planner or Quiet Time Journal. Find the “who, what, where, why, and when” of the story.
A—Application—How can these truths be woven into your life? What areas do you find yourself stuck, afraid, or repentant? Does what you just read speak into that? Or perhaps you’re not sure what any of it means; put a question mark next to the more puzzling verses.
P—Prayer—Ahh, here we are: prayer. But before you dish, pour, and vent ALL to your heavenly Father, you need to know your position with Him. You are His daughter. He is your Daddy. He longs to reveal Himself to you in His Word—the more lost and brokenhearted you are, the more He zeros-in on pursuing you! (Read Luke 15:1-7 and discover just how committed He is to you!)
So as you navigate through the waters of making quiet time a commitment, give SOAP a try and expect His Word to make you squeaky-clean (Ephesians 5:26 NIV)—and maybe a little sudsy: “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, BUBBLING spring within them, giving them eternal life" (John 4:14 NLT).
ALL SCRIPTURE IS GOD-BREATHED AND IS USEFUL FOR TEACHING, REBUKING, CORRECTING AND TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS . . . 2 TIMOTHY 3:16