There are so many ways to learn and grow through Scripture. I’m a person who likes variety, so I have switched things up over the years.
When I was a teenager, I used to work my way through each chapter, reading a few verses each night before bed. When I went to college, I liked to randomly open to a verse and search for answers. As I got older, I tried (and failed) to follow those “read the whole Bible in a year” plans.
Now I’m a 35-year-old wife and mother of two, and my favorite way to read the Bible is to pray the Scriptures. I love to sit silently and read a few verses, then focus in on what’s sticking out to me and what God could be trying to teach me.
I enjoy this method of reading Scripture so much, I even developed a plan and started a small Bible Study so others could learn to pray the Scriptures with me. Here’s the format we follow for our prayer time:
Brief prayer of gratitude. Someone once told me gratitude is the fastest way into God’s presence, and I’ve found that to be true. It’s the easiest way to go from the screaming world to the peacefulness of prayer time. So begin by telling God three things you’re grateful for.
Then, move to SOUL:
S – Scripture – Read a brief Scripture passage a few times.
O – One Thing – Underline or highlight the one thing that keeps standing out to you.
U – Uncover – Sit quietly and ponder how it applies to your life right now and what God might be trying to teach you.
L – Learn – Write down one thing you want to take with you throughout your day.
Closing Prayer. Thank God for this time together and talk to Him about what you’ve learned.
There is no right or wrong way to read the Bible. However, this is currently my favorite way to understand how the timeless words of God can apply to my life right here and now.
Our group meets weekly to talk about the things God has taught us. It’s incredible to hear how the Spirit is working in each of us in such different ways and yet there is harmony. We’re all moving toward the same God.
Feel free to take this plan and use it in your own prayer time. If you’d like, invite a few friends and meet regularly to talk about what you are learning in Scripture. It can be a great way to build your faith.
Click here to print the SOUL Bible Study Method Bookmarks pictured above: one for you and one for a friend!
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Surprising Ways He Already Is. Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their daily prayer time at Genuflected.com. For help in continuing to seek God, take her 7 Day Prayer Challenge.