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On Being “Prayed Up”

Staff Member
"Whenever a man has an emission of semen, he must bathe his entire body in water, and he will remain ceremonially unclean until the next evening. Leviticus 15:16 NLT

Your stomach might be a little queasy after today’s reading. You won’t often hear discussions of bodily discharges from the pulpit or in Sunday school. You might even be a bit confused at why such talk is in the Bible. And given that it is, why would a man be considered unclean after an emission of semen, even in the context of the marriage bed?

Maybe bible commentator John Gill’s explanation will help: “For though marriage is honorable and holy, and carnal copulation in itself lawful, yet such is the sinfulness of nature, that as no act is performed without pollution, so neither that of generation, and by which the corruption of nature is propagated, and therefore required a ceremonial cleansing.”

In other words, even (and especially) man’s seed was corrupted by the Fall, and any emission of semen (before the Messiah arrived) made a man unclean. This speaks to the totality of sin in your body and should convince you of your diligent need for continual repentance. Christians of old used to call this being “prayed up,” meaning, they believed in confessing sin immediately. It’s still a great practice today.

Prayer: Lord, I acknowledge the seriousness of sin and want to live in the light by confessing to You often.