Bedtime was fast approaching. “Time to take a shower and get ready for bed,” I called out to my son.
“I’m not dirty! I took a shower yesterday!” he replied.
“Well… but you’ve been playing soccer today and you’ve been outside on the playground. You need to wash off the sweat and dirt. You’re dirty and you kind of smell.”
Reluctantly he replied, “Fine! I’ll take a shower, but do I have to use soap?”
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Not an uncommon scene for most parents, especially little boys who are too busy to notice the dirt, grime, and sweat. My little one is often oblivious to the dirt he picks up throughout the day. He doesn’t notice his own ‘funk’ that settles in after an afternoon of playing sports or running around with the neighborhood kids.
As much as we may sit here and laugh about the folly of youth, don’t we do the same thing with our sin? We walk around every day picking up more ‘dirt’ in our lives.
We sin – daily – because we’re human. We live in a sinful, broken world and can’t help but pick up some of its dirt and grime as we go along.
Yet, do we regularly take the time to wash it off – with the soap of our faith – and cleanse ourselves?
How often do you come before God and ask for purification, praying a cleansing prayer for the soul?How often do you wash off the 'dirt' of the world through #prayer? Click To Tweet
Cleansing Prayer – the Soap of Faith
At your baptism, God washed away your sins through his grace. Yet, you must continue to ask for cleansing and as you go through life – not to be baptized again, but as purification to help you in the journey of becoming closer to the image of Christ.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of maturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 The Message)
This is how you purify yourself, continually, until you become perfected in the image of Christ. Regularly come before God and give him your life as an offering.
Ask God to cleanse you with the soap of his grace and mercy. Wash with the waters of prayer, fasting, and trials.Ask #God to cleanse you with the soap of His #grace and mercy. Cleanse yourself through #Prayer Click To Tweet
Why Pray a Cleansing Prayer for the Soul?
Prayer is a crucial way you come before God and ask for cleansing.
Acknowledge to God your filth and ask him to wash you clean again.
Ask for God’s help to not walk through that mud puddle again, but to help you find a cleaner path.
Recommit yourself to God time and again, fixing your eyes on him, and setting yourself apart from the world around you.
Pray this cleansing prayer for the soul to remove your dirt and leave it behind for good.
I love the direct way that James tells us how to submit and purify ourselves, especially in this translation from The Message:
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. (James 4:7-10 The Message)
P.A.S.T. – A Cleansing Prayer for the Soul
I’ve created this template to help you pray for purification and cleansing. Use this prayer to ask God to cleanse you from the dirt you’ve accumulated and to help you stay cleaner the next day.
P. A. S. T. (Praise – Acknowledgement – Supplication – Thanksgiving)
A purification prayer is going to God in prayer, bringing your past and laying it at God’s feet – and then leaving it there. Don’t go back later and bring it home with you.
Let the dirt be washed down the drain forever. Leave your sin and burdens in the past, step fully into the present cleansed through Christ, then, with God’s help, try to stay cleaner as you walk into the future.
Start your prayer by praising God to get your heart in the right place and focused on God.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. (Psalm 30:4)
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,’” (Matthew 6:9)
Next, with a humble and penitent heart, acknowledge and confess your sins.
Own up that you’re dirty and need a shower. Then, hand over that dirt to God and allow him to wash you clean.
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble. (Proverbs 28:13-14)
Ask for God’s help to do better next time and for his guidance to stay away from that sin. Ask for help to find a cleaner path to travel.
“With weeping they will come,
And by supplication I will lead them;
I will make them walk by streams of waters,
On a straight path in which they will not stumble;
For I am a father to Israel,
And Ephraim is My firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:9 NASB)
In all things, thank God for his greatness, his compassion, his forgiveness, his mercy, and his grace.
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB)
How Will You Purify Your Heart through Prayer?
Will you come before God with an open and penitent heart and bathe in the waters of God’s grace and forgiveness?
Will you remember to wash off the dirt of this world and stay clean in your baptism, asking God for help to find cleaner paths to walk?
Will you leave the sins of your past behind and keep stepping forward with God?
Will you ask God to purify your heart through this cleansing prayer for the soul?
[This post is part of the Visible Faith series. Click here to learn more about this series on how to live a vibrant, visible faith.]
Great post Kathryn. I laughed thinking back to my little boy. Sometimes I wonder now if he uses soap and he’s married. LOL!
Ha! I think mine may still need reminding even then.
I love your graphic and these four steps. Easy to remember: P.A.S.T.
Michele Morin says
I love an acronym! And I was just reading in Hebrews 9 last night about how the cleansing of Jesus involves the cleansing of our conscience — the only way to make it clean and clear!
I love talking to God in prayer. And i am so thankful that when we come to Him in repentance, He is faithful to forgive us and wash us clean. Thanks for linking up to Grace and Truth.