Lust & FantasyPornography

When Porn Pops Up in Prayer

Life is going great.  You’re getting back on track in your walk with God. You are enjoying fellowship with Him, spending time in the Word and in prayer every day.  You are reveling in the Divine Romance.  Then, one morning, you bow your head, close your eyes and start:

“Dear Jesus, thank You…”

and it happens.

Just as you’re getting ready to praise God for His goodness and thank Him for His grace and mercy, it happens.  A video, pictures, sounds, as clear as if you were watching it on a computer screen.  Your eyes shoot open.  You feel scandalous, dirty, disgusting.

It’s common.  I’ve mentioned it before- the reality that the back of our eyelids makes a great screen for the filthiest projections of our minds.  Oftentimes, unwanted.  

In her book Authentic Beauty, author Leslie Ludy tells the story of a wedding night with many lovers.  She paints the picture of the groom sweeping his beloved off her feet and carrying her down the hall.  He whispers tenderly, “I’ve been waiting for this.”  But, when the bedroom door opens, an awful stench fills the air.  Trash bags everywhere, slimy gross men just hanging out in the corners.

She goes on to weave the ultimate worst-wedding-night ever scenario illustrating the importance of getting rid of the ‘other lovers’ in our lives not only in our relationship with a man but in our relationship with Christ.

I think that is why this whole problem of porn stalking us is so devastating for us.

If I’m not safe while at the feet of Jesus, where on earth am I going to be safe?

Perhaps this is what it’s like leaving organized crime.  As you walk out the door, turning your back on the life you once knew, your former boss whispers under his breath, “I will find you.  You will not be safe.”

We sing about being safe in Jesus, how He is our cornerstone, our solid rock, our resting place, but when it comes to actually putting that into practice, many of us are terrified.  It is much like a child fearing the monsters under the bed.  She doesn’t even think about them until it’s bedtime.

Some of us don’t even have an issue with a wandering mind until it’s time to pray.

That makes us feel spiritually defective.  How can we make it through a whole day without struggling only to fall while praying?  Praying of all things.  Is this never going to end?

The devil would like you to believe it won’t.  He would love for you to be afraid to pray.  He would love for you to feel unworthy to come before God.  I’m not saying he planted those images there.  Human memory is a real, powerful, and complex thing.  However, all the lies and shame you feel are not founded in truth.

If porn pops up throughout the rest of your day, what do you do?  I know that if that happens to me and I’m in the middle of something, like making dinner, for instance, I use prayer to fight the thought and then go back to what I was doing.  That’s what you have to do too.

Keep on praying.

I wonder, sometimes, if we think we’re trying to hide something from God.  We get embarrassed and ashamed about pornography popping up during a prayer, as if He doesn’t know it’s there.  Most of us just stop.  Others keep on praying, as if the struggle isn’t happening.

Just be honest with God.  He’s not impressed by your ability to stay focused on Him while your body is trying to distract you.  Tell Him what is going on.  Yes, He already knows, but we forget that.

It is OK to go ‘off script’ in your prayer life.  It is no different than if you are walking with a friend having a conversation and a pterodactyl flies overhead.  You would both look up, the conversation would stop, you would talk about the distraction and then go right back to where you were.

If you are in the middle of praying and porn pops up, open your eyes (it’s allowed), and just be honest.  Let Him know that you are really struggling.  Let Him into that struggle.  Let Him help you.  You aren’t impressing Him by acting like it’s not happening, and you aren’t going to grow in Him if you keep letting your ‘unimpressiveness’ scare you away.

You’re broken.  He knows that.  It’s OK to tell Him.

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5 comments

  1. This is an excellent post. Something that happens to me personally so I’m really glad to see someone talking about it!

  2. This is really true. It happens to me. It’s so hard to be struggling with this. Everyday i’m struggling when I pray. These thoughts just wont get out of mind. :/

    1. “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 {ESV}

      Praying for you!

  3. I struggle on and off. I am 40 yrs old. I got addicted at 11. I am a Christian and married but still I fall and continue to struggle. Need prayer.

  4. What a beautiful blog. I have truly learned and realized I’m not alone in being distracted during prayer like this. Thank you.