Our church uses the ESV (English Standard Version) version of the Bible and there are many whom I respect promoting it. I’ve carried the 1984 NIV (New International Version) since nearly 1984, but translation questions have been raised and the newer NIV versions are disappointing in their commitment to gender neutrality.
Because of these reasons, I am going to order an ESV Bible. Our household already has the ESV Study Bible and everyone else in my family has made the leap to the ESV. So I am looking forward to having my own, as I begin again to read through the Word of God.
With this new beginning, I hope to make a habit to consistently pray before I read. Two acrostics have crossed my desk recently, both of which model “praying the Word to receive the Word” as son-in-law Andrew Jacobson puts it.
Andrew proposes the following acrostic: D.E.S.I.R.E.
D – Delight my heart increasingly in you.
E – Enlighten my eyes to see more of your glory.
S – Satisfy my soul to be replenished by your truth and promises.
I – Ingrain your truth in my heart that I might fight off sin.
R – Renew my mind to be conformed to Christ and not the world.
E – Equip me with every good thing that I might do your will.
In prayer form, it might look like this:
I pray God, through your Word, that you would…
… increase my delight in You, that I might receive the desires of my heart [i.e. God, himself] (Psalm 37:4);
… enlighten the eyes of my heart that I might see your glory and greatness in increasing measures (Eph. 1:18-19);
… satisfy my weary soul that I might be replenished by your truth and promises (Jer. 31:25);
… ingrain your Truth in my heart that I might be able to fight sin (Psalm 119:9-11);
… renew my mind so that I would not be conformed to this world but transformed into the image of Christ (Rom. 12:2);
… equip me with every good thing that I might be able to do your will (Heb. 13:21).
In When I Don’t Desire God, John Piper, likewise, introduces a memorable and helpful acrostic for what to pray before reading Scripture: I. O. U. S.
I – Incline my heart to you, not to prideful gain or any false motive. (Psalm 119:36)
O – Open my eyes to behold wonderful things in your Word. (Psalm 119:18)
U – Unite my heart to fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)
S – Satisfy me with you steadfast love. (Psalm 90:14)
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
[Painting: Vincent Van Gogh]