I. O.U.S. Prayer Method
I first heard of this method in a series of lectures given by Pastor John Piper on the topic “Fight for Joy.” Since that time I have discovered that he covers this method of prayer in one of his books.1 The idea is very simple: pray scripture back to God. Piper says that he uses this method himself, almost every day of his life. I can see why… it is very helpful in pointing your heart toward the things of God. The letters in the acronym stand for the first word in 4 different passages from the Psalms. If you will take the time right now to look up these 4 examples, you will notice that the verses surrounding them lend themselves to this kind of use as well. Here’s the outline of I.O.U.S….
I. – Incline – Psalm 119:36 – “Psa 119:36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! “ Use this example from the life of David to ask God for the inclination to desire His word. He delights to answer this kind of prayer!
O. – Open – Psalm 119:18 – “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” Ask the Lord to open your eyes, that you can see the amazing truths that lay within the pages of His word.
U. – Unite – Psalm 86:11 – “unite my heart to fear your name.” We must face the reality that we have divided hearts. We rush after too many things, forgetting that what we really need is a heart that is united in pursuit of God. Ask the Lord to unite your heart to fear Him.
S. – Satisfy – Psalm 90:14 – “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.” Ask the Lord to satisfy you with Himself, with His love, with the things of God.