I am a fan of the prayers of the Puritans. They put much thought into their prayers which cause us to stop and take stock of our own lives. This week I was captured by these words:
There is much unconquered territory in my nature,
scourge out the buyers and sellers of my soul’s temple,
and give me in return pure desires,
and longings after perfect holiness.
I can say with the writer that there is much unconquered territory in my nature. It’s not something I like to think about much but in order for me to become more like Christ, I must pay attention to the “buyers and sellers" of my soul’s temple that Jesus would like to drive out. It is painful to confront and the process of driving them out equally painful – but necessary in my walk with Christ.
In my wisest moments I live with a sensitivity to the unconquered territory so that the Holy Spirit can help me choose pure desires rather than the buyers and the sellers. A life long process of allowing the Holy Spirit to conquer what is yet unconquered and to replace carnal desire with pure desire.
The same prayer offers up these words:
But, Lord, I am sometimes thy enemy;
my nature revolts and wanders from thee.
Though thou hast renewed me,
yet evil corruptions urge me still to oppose thee.
Help me to extol thee with entire heart-submission,
to be diligent in self-examination
Entire heart-submission are my words for the coming week. It is the antidote to the unconquered territory in my nature. And the posture that is pleasing to our Lord.