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Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. – Matthew 5:8

For something to be clean and pure, it takes effort.  We go to great lengths to make sure we have clean water, using all sorts of techniques to make water pure.  Air purity is the same.  Years ago, we all remember the cloak of pollution that clung to cities, including Denver and its infamous brown cloud.  Only through great effort and expense has it been possible to diminish the pollution.  So it is with the heart.

The heart isn’t self-cleaning.  There’s nothing to automatically clean up our heart like those sucker fish that sometimes help clean fish tanks.  Heart-cleansing is intentional – it requires something that is humbling to our souls – it requires confession and repentance.  Most of us would admit our hearts need some cleaning.  We’re not perfect and certainly have things lingering around that could be swept away.  For some reason, usually pride, we’re unable to call on God, and the debris and the cutter in our lives lingers still.

But, the end of the cleansing process is one of joy and peace, being burden free.  The soul feels lighter, more willing to worship.  Willing to yield to God, leaving ourselves open to God’s divine plan and architecture.  It feels the same as when we finish doing anything unpleasant, like that presentation to leadership at work or perhaps begging forgiveness from a friend or family member for wrongs done.  The prayer below carries the emotion of reaching to God and finishes with the mercy and grace God gives once we’ve made the cleansing move.  Read it as a prayer and seek God’s forgiveness through repentance and unburdening in your own life.

Lord Jesus,

I sin – Grant that I may
never cease grieving because of it,
never be content with myself,
never think I can reach a point of perfection.

Kill my envy, command my tongue,

trample down self.

Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure, peaceable,
to live for thee and not for self,
to copy thy words, acts, spirit,
to be transformed into thy likeness,
to be consecrated wholly to thee,
to live entirely to thy glory.

Deliver me from attachment to things unclean,
from wrong associations,
from the predominance of evil passions,
from the sugar of sin as well as its gall,
that with self-loathing, deep contrition
earnest heart searching
I may come to thee, cast myself on thee,
trust in thee, cry to thee,
be delivered by thee.

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that
all things are shadows, but thou art substance,
all things are quicksand, but thou art mountain,
all things are shifting, but thou art anchor,
all things are ignorance, but thou aren’t wisdom.

If my life is to be a crucible amid burning heat,
so be it,
but do thou sit at the furnace mouth
to watch the ore that nothing be lost.

If I sin willfully, grievously, tormentedly,
in grace take away my mourning
and give me music;
remove my sackcloth
and clothe me with beauty;
still my sighs
and fill my mouth with song,
then give me summer weather as a Christian.

from The Valley of Vision

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By Rich Obrecht  

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