Dear Redeeming Grace,
This week we wanted to pass along a helpful tool in approaching God's Word. In his concise and very helpful book, "Before You Open Your Bible", Matt Smethurst writes this:
"I am convinced that a prayerless approach to God's Word is a major reason for the low-level dissatisfaction that hums beneath the surface of our lives. We rob ourselves of joy and peace when we fail to pray."
Maybe that resonates with you. If so, take heart because God listens and answers when we pray. The following tool, which Matt shares from John Piper, is a great way to seek God's help before you open his Word. It's memorable because all you need is to remember the IOU'S. Those letters start the beginning of each prayer below.
I - "Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain" (Ps. 119:36 ESV)
O - "Open my eyes, that I might behold wondrous things out of your law" (Ps. 119:18 ESV)
U - "Unite my heart to fear your name" (Ps. 86:11 ESV)
S - "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love" (Ps. 90:14 ESV)
We'd encourage you to ask the Lord to accomplish these requests in your heart as you open up his Word. We need help to have hearts that lean in, undistracted; eyes to see the wonderful things God reveals to us; and a desire to be satisfied by God's love and mercy toward us in Christ.
May the Lord accomplish these things in our lives this week as we ask him for grace and listen well.