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Can Prayer Actually Help My Porn Problem?

by Paul R. on June 17th, 2016 in Men, Women, Students

jouney-1st-stepThe Porn Prayer goes something along the lines of “God, I’m so sorry that I just looked at porn. Please remove my urges next time and give me the strength to say no.”

You’ve maybe uttered those same or similar words to God a million times before and—let me guess—it didn’t work. Maybe it did the first time but I bet eventually God seemed to go completely silent. The frustration grows every time you medicate with porn until eventually you give up even asking God for help or forgiveness.

The frustration grows every time you medicate with porn until eventually you give up even asking God for help or forgiveness. That’s a completely frustrating place to be and I get it. It’s no fun. Surely God wants you to be free from this crap, right?!

So why do you keep stumbling and why does God keep insisting to take a vacation from answering your prayers when you need them the most? You probably are thinking … “Can prayer help my porn problem?”

That all depends on what and how you’re praying.

I think prayer can be one of the most difficult parts of following Jesus. Often, there are no concrete answers, and how do you even know if God has even heard your prayers in the first place?! Thankfully, there can be so much more to prayer if we let it. Perhaps we even need to open ourselves up to a new way of viewing both prayer and God. Here are a couple ideas that might just help.

1) God is Already Present

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when praying is assuming that we need to invite God to come be close to us. Take a look at some of the popular worship songs that are sung in churches all across the country and you’ll discover that one of the most popular lyrical themes is asking God to make himself present or to come into a situation.

The reality is that God is already here. Right in the midst of our suffering or pain or joy and peace. We don’t need to send God a special invitation. Of course this can simply cause us to feel more shame if we view Him as standing over us all the time, waiting for us to screw up once again.

But if we start to realize that in those moments of intense triggers, that the same Spirit that lives in Jesus lives in us, we can do so much more than we ever imagined. The trouble is that we’re not very good at seeing. Seeing is really key because if we can see what Jesus sees in those moments, then everything can change. We can see what pain we’re medicating. We can then heal from that pain. We can become aware of what is really true about ourselves. We can see where we’re feeling disconnected. We can then experience peace. And we can turn away from porn.

So the problem isn’t that God’s far away, dealing with bigger problems, but that we don’t have eyes to see what’s in front of us already. The next question of course is: how do we open ourselves up to that experience? I’m glad I asked.

2) Meditation (Or why silence is golden)

If you do all the speaking in a relationship, if you never shut up long enough to listen to the other person, then that relationship will get very strained, very quickly. Why do we think our connection with God is any different? Sure, He can listen to our prayers all day long, but if we don’t learn to still ourselves long enough to hear His voice, it’s little wonder we struggle with thinking God doesn’t hear our prayers.

God is answering our prayers; we’re just not listening.

It’s like in 1 Kings 19:11-13 when the writer tells us that God’s voice is not found in the wind or the earthquake or the fire but in a “gentle whisper.”

Meditation is a word that can cause a lot of anxiety in people but really it simply means “listening.” It’s the practice of centering ourselves enough to be aware of what God is trying to say to us.

Sometimes that is as simple as putting away the technology that seeks to keep us connected but really keeps us disconnected when overused. Other times it’s about finding a quiet space to sit or lay down, closing our eyes and saying a Holy word over and over to connect ourselves to God, and then being quiet. (This centering prayer from the Liturgists is a great place to start.)

But however you start you will find truly transformative things can happen when we learn to be still and hear that still small voice of God. That’s a kind of prayer that can truly help your porn problem.

There you’ll find healing, just wait and see.

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