When we are struggling with sin, when we are faced with tempation, do we just pray passively. John Piper says that we should fight our mind battles with all our might. Faith without works is useless. He encourages us to have a very detailed image of Christ’s crucifixion as described below. This is an excerpt from the article, “A passion for purity vs. Passive Prayers”, from Desiring God website:
Demand of your mind to fix its gaze on Christ on the cross. Use all your fantasizing power to see his lacerated back. Thirty-nine lashes left little flesh intact. He heaves with his breath up and down against the rough vertical beam of the cross. Each breath puts splinters into the lacerations. The Lord gasps. From time to time he screams out with intolerable pain. He tries to pull away from the wood and the massive spokes through his wrist rip into the nerve endings and he screams again with agony and pushes up with his feet to give some relief to his wrists. But the bones and nerves in his pierced feet crush against each other with anguish and he screams again. There is no relief. His throat is raw from screaming and thirst. He loses his breath and thinks he is suffocating, and suddenly his body involuntarily gasps for air and all the injuries unite in pain. In torment, he forgets about the crown of two-inch thorns and throws his head back in desperation, only to hit one of the thorns perpendicular against the cross beam and drive it half an inch into his skull. His voice reaches a soprano pitch of pain and sobs break over his pain-wracked body as every cry brings more and more pain.
By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org
So next time you’re having temptation struggles literally fixate your eyes on Christ 🙂