SOAP Process for Fellowship Groups
SOAP (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer) is a structured method of helping individuals and groups to process, journal, reflect on, and apply God’s Word to their personal lives.
SCRIPTURE: Read out loud the assigned passage(s) of Scripture two times. Allow God’s Words to settle deeply into your heart and mind.
Esther 4:1-17: 1When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes. 4When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why. 6So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people. 9Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.” 12When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” 15Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16“Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” 17So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.
OBSERVATION: Observe the text individually in silence. Write down your insights. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal truth to you.
Write down as many observations as you can about the passage(s).
- What jumps out to you in the passage?
- Who is it written by? Who is it written to?
- What’s one thing you didn’t notice before?
- What seems interesting or unusual?
- What comes before and after the text?
- Is there repetition, comparison, or contrast?
APPLICATION | Discuss the observations that each of you made and talk about how to apply the teaching to your everyday lives.
What are you going to do to let God of YOUR Plan A and allow God’s Plan A in your life?
PRAYER | Close with prayer.
Ask God to give you the courage to let go of YOUR Plan A and find freedom and life like you’ve never experienced before in HIS Plan A.