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
Dear Lord Jesus, my heart is heavy this morning as I think about friends, and their spouses, living under the assault and in the enslaving grip of pornography. It’s a destructive storyline that seems to be growing with exponentially. I’m so thankful today (huge understatement) for the grace and truth of the gospel, as I pray about this issue and for vulnerable people just like me.
O Lord of resurrection and redemption, bring your mercy and might to bear in observable and hope-engendering 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, to friends somewhere in the pornography continuum of titillation to addiction, please reveal yourself in the deepest place of their hearts. Only your non-condemning love is sufficient for the guilt and shame that each of us must deal with in life—especially in the arena of our sexual brokenness.
Through your welcoming heart for sinners, grant the gifts of honesty and transparency, godly sorrow and gospel 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. May the cry, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Rom. 7:24), may that cry lead to an even greater cry, “Abba, Father!”
And for friends 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, Lord Jesus, and absolutely no one redeem these messes but you.
And for those of us whose sins seem to be less “Technicolor” than those who struggle with pornography or sexual addiction, free us from arrogance and a critical spirit; free us to grieve just as deeply over our sins and to hope just as fully in the resources for us in gospel; free us to be merciful as our Father is merciful towards us. So very Amen we pray with hope, in your great and glorious name.