What to Pray Before You Ask the (Four) Questions

20 Nov

In the previous post, I posted a link to Justin Taylor’s interview with Gerald Bray on the “3 Questions to Ask When Reading the Bible.”  To sum it up again very quickly, the three questions we are to be asking while reading any portion of the Bible are:

  1. What does it tell us about God?  What does it say about who he is and about what he does?
  2. What does this text say about us as human beings?  What are we meant to be and what has gone wrong?
  3. What has God done about this? (This is where we spend some time reminding ourselves of and thanking Him for the cross.)
  4. What does he expect of us in light of what he has done?

However, what I neglected to post was what we ought to pray before we actually open up the Bible to ask those three questions.  What helped me immeasurably in my walk with God was John Piper’s message for youth workers titled, “Imparting a Passion: A Challenge to Youth Workers.”  In it, he offers an easy-to-remember acronym (I.O.U.S.) that we should pray before we read the Word.  In fact, I find it best to pray this prayer as soon as I wake up.

The motivation behind these prayers (all of which are found in the book of Psalm) is that it’s a battle to open up the Bible and spend time in God’s Word.  It truly is a battle.  And so because it’s a battle within our hearts to spend time in God’s Word, we need to pray and ask God for help.  And in my experience, these are prayers that God is happy to answer.  But without any further ado, here they are:

  1. [I]Incline my heart to your testimonies (Psalm 119:36)
  2. [O] – Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things from out of your law (Psalm 119:18)
  3. [U] – Unite my heart to fear your name (Psalm 86:11)
  4. [S] Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love (Psalm 90:14)

Add to this prayer the three questions from Gerald Bray, a notebook, a pen, and some good coffee (or whatever) and you get the ingredients to satisfying devotional times with the LORD God Almighty who is gracious enough to speak to us through His Word.


2 Responses to “What to Pray Before You Ask the (Four) Questions”


  1. Ekklesia521: Undone By Grace » Blog Archive » Hearing the Voice of God in the Word of God - January 4, 2010

    […] […]

  2. Ekklesia521: Undone By Grace » Blog Archive » Bible-Reading Plan Download - August 22, 2010

    […] As a supplement to this Bible-reading plan, here is a post that describes the Four Questions to Ask When Reading Scripture. […]

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