Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The 5Ps of Personal Bible Study

At the end of April, our church hosted a two day live simulcast event featuring the teaching of Priscilla Shirer.  At the time of the simulcast, none of us knew much about Priscilla except that she is the daughter of Dr. Tony Evans and one of the speakers at the Deeper Still events with Beth Moore and Kay Arthur.  As it turns out, Going Beyond was a wonderful event with the theme of looking at life's interruptions as opportunities and gifts from God rather than as annoyances or even tragedies.  I know from experience that this is not easy- it is one of many motivations for counting the gifts.  It was good to challenged on this again by Priscilla's teaching from the book of Jonah.  There was also a beautiful two part prayer experience at the event that touched every woman there- it was the one thing every woman who completed a survey mentioned as an important part of their experience that weekend.  

At Going Beyond, Priscilla also described a tool she uses for Personal Bible Study and I wanted to share it here.  I have been using it fairly regularly and it has been WONDERFUL!  I have heard God speak to me clearly each time I have used the method.  This is not something Priscilla dreamed up on her own.  It is a type of Inductive Bible Study, actually.  She shared it so simply and clearly though, that I think many who had been wary of delving into Bible study on their own in this way before felt empowered to try. 

Priscilla calls her tool The 5Ps of Personal Bible Study.  The 5 Ps stand for:
  1. Position (yourself to hear from God)
  2. Pore (over the passage) and Paraphrase (the major points)
  3. Pull (out the spiritual principles)
  4. Pose (the questions)
  5. Plan (obedience) and Pin (down the date)

Here's how it works in practice.  Simply grab your Bible, a journal and a pen.  Choose a short passage of scripture- 1 to 3 verses at a time- to study.  You can work methodically through a book or large passage of scripture or you might choose several scriptures related to a topic you want to study after looking them up in a concordance and work through them over a period of time.
  1. Position:  Simply take a few moments to quiet yourself before the Lord.  Worship, pray and clear your mind of other concerns.
  2. Pore and Paraphrase:  Ponder the passage you chose.  Contemplate and meditate on it.  Personally, I read it aloud several times, stressing different words each time in an attempt to "hear" all the possible meanings of the verse.  After you have pondered the verse(s), write a simple paraphrase of each verse of the scripture you chose.  Do not do anything more than write it in your own words for this step.
  3. Pull:  Take each verse of the passage and pull out the spiritual principles it conveys and write these principles down.  This is simpler than it sounds, trust me!  To do this, consider what the verses mean.  Ask yourself these questions: Is there a promise, an attribute of God, a boundary for me, an encouragement, an instruction, conviction? 
  4. Pose:  This is the part Priscilla calls the "Divine Dialogue."  It is where you examine whether your life lines up with the spiritual principles the passage lays out.  It's here that you allow the Holy Spirit to convict, correct, encourage, etc. you personally.
  5. Plan and Pin Down:  If the Lord has revealed an area in which you need to grow as a result of the above process, here is where you strategize how your can bring yourself into obedience with God and His Word.  You might simply need to act in response to what you've heard (i.e., call someone and forgive them) or you might need to determine a process for bringing yourself in line with the truth (i.e., getting a prayer and/or accountability partner, etc.)  Then, you pin down a date for following through on your plan.
I've been using this tool in my morning Quiet Time and depending on the length of the passage I study each day, the whole process has been taking about 20-25 minutes. Using the 5 Ps method, I am doing my own topical Bible study on obedience!  I am working through about 20 passages of Scripture- studying one each day. 

I'm linking with Kristen and Works for Me Wednesday today!

1 comment:

Mary B said...

Dear Natalie,

Thank you...this touches me in more ways than you can imagine today. It reinforced some ideas I know work and gave me new ideas to try.

Mary

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