What to Pray Before You Open Your Bible

In his book, When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy, John Piper introduces his readers to an acronym he uses images (46)to help him pray for his heart as he prepares to read God’s Word in the morning.  IOUS stands for Incline, Open, Unite, and Satisfy.

Incline – Psalm 119:18 – “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!”  Very simply we ask God to take our hearts, which are more inclined to breakfast and the newspaper, and  change that inclination.  We are asking that God create desires that are not there.

Open – Psalm 119:18 – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”  So many times we read the Bible and see nothing wonderful.  Its reading does not produce joy.  So what can we do?  We can cry to God: “Open the eyes of my heart, O Lord, to see what it says about you as wonderful.”

Unite – Psalm 86:11 – “Unite my heart to fear your name.”  Parts of [my heart] are inclined, and parts of it are not.  Parts see wonder, and parts say, “That’s not so wonderful.”  What I long for is a united heart where all the parts say a joyful Yes! to what God reveals in his Word.

Satisfy – Psalm 90:14 – “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”  What I really want from all this engagement with the Word of God and the work of the Spirit in answer to my prayers is for my heart to be satisfied with God and not with the world.


About Brent Osterberg

Ransomed sinner, husband to Keri, father to the kiddos three, associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Fort Worth, TX, and lover of most things epic. View all posts by Brent Osterberg

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