Today I share how I'm trying to do daily bible studies. Not just the simple reading of text, but actually taking time to talk to God. I'm implementing a technique called S.O.A.P. Bible study and I'm loving it.
I feel more calm. I feel more connected to God. It's not WORK. It's something I look forward to and I'm finding I have more patience. I'm finding I have more comfort when life throws me a curve.
In Luke 4 we hear about Jesus getting tempted. Every time the Devil through something at him he replied with “it is written”. The scripture was on his heart. It was in his mind, and he ran to it for strength in his time of trial and we should follow that example.
How many times is our first reaction to just freak out? Lose it. Go ballistic and scream. Our first action in times of need should be to pray first.
The Calming Effect of Prayer
My first marriage was over long before we filed for divorce. My ex was an alcoholic and I was waiting (for years) for her to see the errors of her ways and sober up. Instead she cheated on me. When she finally told me (I had suspected as much) I felt so betrayed. I felt hurt. I was in deep pain. I started yelling at her. I just wanted to burst into flames. I wanted her to feel the same pain I felt. I walked into another room and said this simple, but effective prayer.
“God, Man, you gotta help me.”
Honest. Sincere. To the point. No big words.
God heard me and he answered my prayer as I felt a calming effect on me as I switched from emotions, to logic. I said, “Well we will need to split the checking account…” as I went into problem solving mode. I'm not proud of my first marriage ending (I was not a great husband), but I never will forget the power of a simple prayer.
Jesus Taught Us To Pray
Jesus told us to acknowledge God and praise him. Acknowledge his will, and his plan. Ask for what we need. Confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness, and end with acknowledging God.
Oddly enough many churches recite “The Lord's prayer” with as much enthusiasm as a cold piece of bologna. It has as much meaning as a plagiarized term paper. We are using someone else's words. God wants to hear what is on YOUR heart. SAY IT to him (I think Jesus us wants us to SPEAK the words). It's these little, simple things that add up.
For more on S.O.A.P Bible study (and links to a free journal) check out our SOAPING Page.