If you are just joining us here, we have embarked on a book study of Fervent by Priscilla Shirer. If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy HERE. (affiliate link) I also encourage you to go watch the movie War Room if you haven’t yet as it is a great encouragement to be serious about your prayer life. You can also join our Facebook group where we are taking the discussion on this study further throughout the week. If you would like to receive these weekly blog posts in your inbox, sign-up at the end of the post.
If you missed the previous posts, you can check them out here:
- Getting Serious About Prayer
- Praying For Your Passion
- Praying For Your Focus
- Praying For Your Identity
- Praying For Your Family
- Praying About Your Past
- Praying About Your Fears
Today we are looking at the seventh prayer strategy that is covered in the book:
Praying For Your Purity
Today we look at Purity: Staying Strong in Your Most Susceptible Places. Here’s the opening paragraph from the chapter:
If I were your enemy, I’d tempt you toward certain sins, making you believe they are basically (even biologically) unavoidable. I’d study your tendencies and proclivities till I learned the precise conditions that make you the most likely to indulge them. And then I’d strike right there. Again and again. Wear you down. Because if I can’t separate you from God forever, I can at least set you at odds with Him for the time being.
This is not a subject most people like to discuss openly. It’s something we like to keep hidden. If sin has crept into this area of our lives, we don’t want to admit it. We want to deny it and keep it hidden. Yet, sin that is kept hidden grows, and all sin has consequences.
You may or may not struggle with this area of your life, but you are not immune to this struggle. We live in a world where perverted sexuality is thrown at us in images and words almost anywhere we look (whether we want to see it or not) and those images can stick in our minds and show up when we least expect them. That’s exactly why this prayer strategy is so important.
If you struggle in this area or if you don’t think you do, this prayer strategy is for you!
For instance, when we get more and more exposed to different things on TV or in a movie, it becomes less shocking and more easily acceptable. If we really look at what we allow into our minds through media, we can see that we might justify it by saying, “It’s entertainment,” or, “There’s nothing else on and I can ignore ‘those’ parts.”. Problem is, if we allow ourselves to look at it, there is no ignoring. It’s there. Blatant. And, it has consequences.
Here are some traps women might fall into in the area of purity:
- Fantasizing because it isn’t “real”
- Allowing a relationship to progress further and further outside of marriage because that’s what everyone is doing these days
- Reading books with explicit, sexual images in them because it’s just entertainment and it’s not as bad as watching something
- Watching shows or movies that elevate impurity by justifying that you are ‘ignoring’ those parts and it’s a really good plot line!
- Allowing yourself to get too involved emotionally with a married man and riding the line and telling yourself you are just friends
Do you do this?
If you struggle with any form of impurity, it’s time to confess your sin and begin to live differently. This may sound daunting, but there is good news! Here’s what is written in the book:
Don’t worry now. This job of overcoming temptation and living in purity is not something you’re tasked with pulling off on your own. When God saved you, it was with the understanding that He’d be providing you “sanctification by the Spirit” all along the way, from the inside out, His purity and holiness changing your heart until it comes through as purity and holiness in action. As you yield yourself to Him in prayer, inviting Him to do His work, it won’t just be the sweaty, exhausting chore of avoiding sin. It’ll be God Himself building up strength at your core, enabling you by His resurrection power to passionately pursue righteousness. Then go from your prayer closet, ready to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.” Strategize your obedience as diligently as the enemy is strategizing those temptations.
There are several verses that can help us in this strategy:
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart, my portion forever.”
2 Peter 2:9 “The Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Galatians 5:16 “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
I encourage you to make praying about your purity a regular part of your prayer life.
Sometimes I connect with these blogs during the week.