Seven Kinds of Prayer to Soak Our Bible Reading

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law” (Ps. 119:18).

We should pray . . .

  • That God would teach us His Word. “Teach me Your statutes” (Ps. 119:12b; see also verses 33, 64b, 66, 68b, 135). True learning of God's Word is only possible if God himself becomes the teacher in and through all other means of teaching.
  • That God would not hide His Word from us. “Do not hide Your commandments from me” (Ps. 119:19b; see also verse 43). The Bible warns of the dreadful chastisement or judgment of the Word of God being taken from us (Amos 8:11).
  • That God would make us understand His Word. “Make me understand the way of Your precepts” (Ps. 119:27; see also verses 34, 73b, 144b, 169). Here we ask God to cause us to understand—to do whatever he needs to do to get us to understand his Word.
  • That God would incline our hearts to His Word. “Incline my heart to Your testimonies and not to [dishonest] gain” (Ps. 119:36). The great problem with us is not primarily our reason, but our will - we are disinclined by nature to read and meditate and memorize the Word. So we must pray for God to incline our wills.
  • That God would give us life to keep His Word. “Revive me according to Your lovingkindness, so that I may keep the testimony of Your mouth” (Ps. 119:88; see also verse 154b). He is aware that we need life and energy to give ourselves to the Word and its obedience. So he asks God for this basic need.
  • That God would establish our steps in His Word. “Establish my footsteps in Your word” (Ps. 119:133). We are dependent on the Lord not only for understanding and life, but for the performance of the Word. That it would be established in our lives. We cannot do this on our own.
  • That God would seek us when we go astray from His Word. “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant” (Ps. 119:176). It is remarkable that this godly man ends his psalm with a confession of sin and the need for God to come after him and bring him back. This too we must pray again and again.

© By Dr. John Piper. Used with permission.

About the Author

John Piper

John Piper is Founder and Lead Teacher at Desiring God. He is the Chancellor of Bethlehem College in Seminary, and served as Pastor for Preaching and Vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for thirty-three years.