Monday, March 5, 2012

A prayer for grace to love and serve those in the grip of pornography

The following prayer was written by Pastor Scotty Smith on his Heavenward blog.Visit his blog everyday, for powerful, heartfelt prayers that speak to the heart. 

   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. 7:21-248:1-2
Lord Jesus, we praise you for the promise, provision and power of the gospel. There’s no crisis or snare beyond the reach of your grace or outside the claims of your kingdom. Today our hearts goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the enslaving grip and ravaging effects of pornography. O, that our churches, and we ourselves, would become less surprised and better equipped to walk with one another through these kinds of stories…
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 overabundance of both. We look to you for wisdom, courage, compassion and hope.
Jesus, for friends living somewhere along the pornography continuum of titillation to addiction, we ask you to reveal yourself in the deepest place of their souls. The issue isn’t moral reform, but heart capture. O how sin has corrupted the legitimate longings you have given us for intimacy and connection…
Grant the gift of godly sorrow—conviction before the face of our gracious God. Worldly sorrow will only drive them into further despair and death (2 Cor. 7:10). Only 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 that is subject to death?” (Rom. 7:24). Lead them to that cry, Jesus—that holy and liberating cry.
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… and us standing right there with them, not throwing stones, but throwing open our arms to extend your welcome and hope.
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 heart-wrenching vortex. Show us how to validate their feelings without confirming hurt-driven conclusions. Give patience and perspective, forbearance and faith.
Jesus, only you can rebuild the trust. Only you 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, with confidence in your great and glorious name.