Preparing Your Heart for Reading the Bible | Free Printable

One day as I was listening to John Piper teach an episode of Look at the Book (an excellent podcast to listen to, by the way–click here for link), I heard him rebuke himself for taking a long time to introduce the segment and the Scripture he was going to expound upon. He hadn’t yet prayed to God for the wisdom and help in unpacking the Word and in effect said, “How can I expect to get anything at all from this passage if I have not first asked the Lord to reveal it to me?”

I appreciated hearing him think aloud this way because although he clearly prepares for these teaching segments, he did not presume that the power of the Spirit to enable wisdom would automatically come from his lips to the ears of the hearers. In reverence and complete awareness of his reliance upon God to faithfully present the Word to listeners, he stopped in his tracks and began to pray.

What he prayed then was his I.O.U.S. prayer acrostic, and that is what I’m sharing with you today. You may have already seen this from other postings, but it is such a fantastic reminder for those of us who also need to be taught how to approach our bible reading/devotional/quiet time with a heart prepared to receive its riches.

What does the acrostic actually mean?

I : Incline my heart to your testimonies

Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! {Psalm 119:36}

O : Open my eyes to see wonders in your Word.

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. {Psalm 119:18}

U : Unite my heart to fear your name.

Teach me your way, O Lordthat I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. {Psalm 86:11}

S : Satisfy me with your steadfast love.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. {Psalm 90:14}

Because I too felt the conviction of not regularly praying before diving into the Scriptures, I created the “Preparing Our Hearts for God’s Word” printable card, which highlights this acrostic. It is taped into the interior flap of my bible, and it is the first place I turn to before beginning my morning devotions and journal time. I have found it easy to memorize and a terrific way quiet my heart before God, being mindful not to presume that I will “figure something out” on my own accord.

If you feel as though something is missing from your bible reading time, or if it has become a robotic “to-do” in your daily routine, I would encourage you to print out this card and include it in your bible or journal. Use this Scripture-based tool as guide to intentionally humble yourself, ask for wisdom, and seek to grow in your relationship with God.

Free Prayer Acrostic Printable Card

John Piper Prayer Acrostic I.O.U.S. Printable Cardpraye card

This printable comes on one page as a set of four cards. I typically print it out on card stock so that it is more sturdy than regular computer paper. Print a sheet, cut them out, and share some with your children, spouse, or friends!

>>>Click here for download<<<