I often read the Bible on the train, and so it is handy to have a number of tools to help study. A few days ago I encountered this little study technique and thought I would share it with you today.
It is called R. E. A. P. And stands for read, examine, apply and pray.
R is for Read – the first part of the technique is to read. You take a passage and read it. Simple right? Pay attention to the things that stand out to you . Always think about the context as this can affect the meaning. Ask yourself if the passage is poetic, historical, prophetic or another type of literature. Watch out for who is speaking, and to whom.
E is for Evaluate – Having read the passage thoroughly, we then move on to evaluate it. Here we go a little deeper and try to listen to the Holy Spirit and what He is saying to us through this part of the Bible. We consider the main themes of the passage and what it would have meant to those who first received it. Before we can apply it to our own lives, we need to understand how it would have applied to those originally hearing or reading it.
A is for Apply – At this stage, we start to think about how this passage applies to us. The Bible is timeless, but sometimes we need to think about the way that what we have read applies to our modern day lives. Does the passage require us to do anything? Is God asking us to give something up, or to start doing something positive? Do we learn something about God here, and if so, how does that affect the decisions we make today?
P is for Pray – Lastly, having read and applied the passage, we take it back to God. We pray about the passage at hand, and ask God to help us apply it and live for Him more. It may result in us praising God, and thanking Him for a particular blessing or worshipping an aspect of His character. We may realise we need to pray for someone we know, or for ourselves, and it is great to be led by the Spirit in that respect.
So there you have it! It is not a perfect tool, nor should it replace dedicated study, but in certain situations, you may find it a helpful way of looking at a Bible passage.
Whatever you do, I pray that your Bible study time is fruitful this week.