Eradicating Spiritual Virus | The Practical Disciple

Eradicating Spiritual Virus

This past week I have spent an inordinate amount of time isolating virus’s and spyware that have wreaked havoc on my computer. I got lax about security and failed to scan regularly. I found myself saying those huge horrible words, “if only I had…” Fortunately, I lost nothing. I just found my life unnecessarily complicated. The time and productive lost was less than helpful. I find myself wondering after the experience, “How often does this same drama play itself out in my spiritual life?”
Disobedience and neglect of God is like an awful virus slowly creeping into our lives. I am realizing more and more how much I need to spend time in self-examination as a sort of scan of the soul. This past Lent when I used the Book of Common Prayer to help me pray an hour a day, the model included a prayer of confession for each day. I tried to make sure that I did not rush through this. Just the act of saying something like, “I have sinned not only in what I have done, but what I have left undone. In thought, word and deed I have disobeyed You.” caused me to slow down and think of the specific ways I had neglected God or my neighbor. The resulting peace I experienced by consistently having this practice in my life is hard to describe. I slept more soundly, functioned better, and most importantly my sense of intimacy with God swelled.
The near crash of my computer system has brought to my awareness my spiritual lack of diligence in consistently bringing before God the many attitudes, actions, and words that are simply wrong. Do you have any type of daily self-examination and confession time that you spend with God? If not, what could it look like? I suggest having something as a structure when you get started. A classic prayer of confession that I frequently prayed during my Lenten discipline went as follows:
Most Merciful God,
I confess that I have sinned against you
in thought, word, and deed,
by what I have done,
and by what I have left undone.
I have not loved You with my whole heart;
I have not loved my neighbor as myself.
I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me and forgive me;
that I may delight in your will,
and walk in your ways,
to the glory of your Name. Amen.
The key here is for the prayer to be a guide for holistically considering your faithfulness to God. Do not mindlessly mouth the words like some magic formula. Read the pray one phrase or word at a time pausing frequently. Consider each phrase and how it plays out specifically in your life. For example, what have been the specific thoughts, words, or deeds that you have done or left undone? How have you not loved God with your whole heart?
Self-examination and reflection will shape you. Over time the Holy Spirit will reveal just how great the gaps are in your life and help you through them. If confession like this has not been a regular part of your life, then I encourage you when you finish reading this post to take some time and try it using the above prayer.
Lastly, one benefit of using a form to prompt our reflection is that often times it will cause you to reflect on issues you would neglect if you only prayed about whatever came to mind. Blessings to you from the Practical Disciple.
P.S. If you enjoyed this post and are serious about improving your prayer life immediately CLICK HERE.

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  • Awesome prayer!

    papercide 9 years ago

  • I agree with you that there is a spiritual virus and the Holy Spirit revealed this to me today

    Save the World 9 years ago

  • […] When I extol the goodness of God through adoration I find myself humbled.  I am reminded of my sins.  So I move from adoration into confession.  When you confess try to be specific about acknowledging what you have done wrong.  Get beyond generic confessions such as, “I haven’t been as loving as I should be.”  Be specific, “God I have been avoiding Janet because I am angry with her.  Forgive me for pushing her to the side so that I don’t have to deal with my anger.  It is sinful for me to not give her the grace I have received.”  Being specific will help you change.  Notice in the example that I actively acknowledged my action as sin and why it is wrong.  That sort of processing your actions within your prayers will help you change, but you only get there by being specific.  To learn more about confession click here and read the post, Eradicating Spiritual Virus. […]

    A.C.T.S. Prayer, A Simple Key to Greater Breadth and Depth in Prayer | The Practical Disciple 7 years ago

  • As I read this, the Holy Spirit showed me that when I don’t pray specifically it is because I don’t want to face my sin. I want to ignore it or I am not willing to let go of my hurt, anger or whatever I am hanging onto at the moment.
    Thank you for helping me actually acknowledge that to myself because though I knew it I kept sweeping it under the rug so I wouldn’t have to face the truth.

    Arlene 5 years ago

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