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     Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:21-8:2

     Jesus, my heart goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography.  I know of no other power sufficient for the task but the gospel. This is why I run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.

     O Lord of resurrection and redemption, bring your mercy and might to bear in stunning fashion. Things impossible for us are more than possible for you. You have come to set captives free and to heal the brokenhearted. Pornography is creating an over abundance of both.

     Jesus, for friends somewhere in the pornography continuum of titillation to addiction, we ask you to reveal yourself in the deepest place of their hearts. We ask for the holy gift of godly sorrow, not the short-lived remorse of worldly sorrow. For your non-condemning love has great power to deliver those who cry, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body which is subject to death?"

     Lead them to that cry, Jesus. They need a lot more than embarrassment and fear, they need contrition and hope. Where pornography has desensitized our friends, re-sensitize them so they can see and feel the horror of their entrapment, and more so... much more so, the wonder of your deliverance.

     For our friends who are married to someone in the talons of pornography, dear Jesus, theirs may be the greater pain and struggle. No one but you can help them with the anger, the disgust, the wound, the shame, and the mistrust that goes with this story. Help us walk with our friends who are right in the middle of this dark vortex. Show us how to validate their feelings without confirming hurt-driven conclusions. Bring patience and perspective, forbearance and faith.

     Only you can rebuild the trust. Only you, Jesus, can bring a willingness to hope again. Only you can heal the places in our hearts which have suffered the greatest violation and harm. Absolutely no one understands all this like you, Jesus, and absolutely no one redeem these messes but you. So very Amen, we pray, in your great and glorious name.

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11 thoughts on “A Prayer for Friends Struggling with Pornography”

  1. Thank you so much for this timely prayer!

    So many who are struggling are right now believing the lie that they are the only ones battling this and that they just need to get their behavior in order. Your prayer helps bring this epidemic into the Light so that men and women can find healing.

    Traylor Lovvorn
    Route1520 | The Journey Home

  2. Donna K Devine says:

    Thank you so very much for this prayer.

  3. I’ve never known anyone with a compulsion for pornography so strong that they looked at it while they knew their spouse, parents, or other respected persons were looking on. Why do people have the power to resist looking at pornography in front of other people but don’t have the ability to resist looking when alone? Because such people have the fear of man and not the fear of God in them. If you truly feared God, you could stop doing anything in front of Him that you could stop doing in front of a human being.

    In other words, all you need to resist pornography is faith – faith that Jesus is watching everything you say, think, and do. If you have that faith, you will want to please Him.

    I say again, if you can resist looking at pornography when you are in the presence of people who you don’t want to know that you look at pornography, then you can resist looking at it when you are in the omnipresence of God.

    1. Nate says:

      “… all you need to resist pornography [sin] is faith…”
      This is a very short-sighted and insensitive response.

      The apostle Paul used extremely strong language in the passage above, “law at work… waging war… making me a prisoner”. Addiction to pornography is all out WAR in the mind; war that produces prisoners and casualties, death. Nothing in this passage and nothing having to do with addiction is as simple as your comment seems to imply.

  4. Scotty Smith says:

    Nate, thanks for your response to the response. Indeed, pornography abuse/addiction is a war. Oh how I wish it were simply a matter of simply remembering Jesus is watching. Try telling that to a cocaine addict. Scotty

  5. Mike Gantt says:

    Nate and Scotty,

    How can you say faith is ineffectual in a war when Paul calls it a shield (Eph 6:16) and John says it’s the victory that overcomes (1 Jn 5:4)? Moreover, Paul says it’s what the fight is all about (1 Tim 6:12; 2 Tim 4:7).

    Paul’s point in Romans 7-8 was that nothing but faith could overcome the power of sin. Do you not understand Paul’s argument for setting the mind on the spirit (i.e. whom you can’t see) instead of on the flesh (i.e. what you can see)?

    If you’re not fighting sin with faith, what in the world are you using in its place?

  6. Finola says:

    Mike, whilst I agree with you, that faith is the most fundamental weapon in any battle of spiritual warfare such as pornography, and that if we were fully aware of God’s presence we would be able to resist any temptation… however, God veils His presence and tests our faith. We need other weapons in addition to faith, the whole armour of God. Even Adam, who was well aware of God’s presence in his life in a very immediate way, fell to temptation. It has become an inherent part of the human nature as a result to be selfish and proud, even men of faith such as Adam, Moses, Abraham, who all spoke directly with God made mistakes based on pride or doubt. Ephesians 6:10-18 mentions more than faith as a shield, that there are many spiritual weapons that God has given us to battle the evil spirits prowling the world, seeking the ruin of souls. There is truth in what you are all saying, combine them together and you have a much more complete perspective to battling pornography amongst other temptations. Don’t bicker on which are the greatest virtues, even faith is not the greatest. Meanwhile we have with us, faith hope and love, and the greatest of the three is LOVE.

    1. Finola says:

      P.S. They didn’t say faith was ineffectual, they said it wasn’t the SOLE solution to overcoming addiction. Even if I have faith to move mountatins… Being strong in one virtue is not enough, God calls us to become as perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. That requires growing in every virtue that we have a deficet in. And that takes guts and effort. Kudos to all that are actually struggling with porn addiction, struggling means you haven’t given up as many have. Struggling means you care and you try to do something about it!

  7. Mike Gantt says:

    Finola, I think you mean well, but you don’t understand faith.

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Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is the founding pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tennessee. You can follow him on Twitter.

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