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. Rom. 7:21-24, 8:1-2
Jesus, we’re stirred to pray today for friends, married and single, whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography. Only the gospel gives us a mercy large enough and a power great enough to bring hope and healing to those impacted by pornography. This is why we run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.
O Lord of resurrection and redemption, bring your grace and might to bear in stunning fashion, liberating 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 overabundance of both.
Jesus, for our 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. Only your non-condemning love can answer the cry, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Rom. 7:24).
Getting “busted” won’t be enough. They need a lot more than embarrassment and fear; they need contrition and hope. They need to see your beauty, Jesus. Only your beauty and bounty are sufficient for the guilt and shame created by the abuse of pornography. 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 wounds, the shame, and the mistrust that goes with this story. Grant us grace and wisdom to 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.
Jesus, for those of us who know this issue isn’t just “out there” somewhere—for those of us who are sincerely praying for others while avoiding naming our own struggle with pornography, grant us grace to do the next right thing on the path to repentance, hope and healing. We don’t have to pretend and we dare not try to get free on our own.
Only you, Jesus, can bring a willingness to be honest and to hope again. Only you can rebuild the broken trust. 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 can redeem these messes but you. So very Amen we pray, in your great and glorious name.