Prayer to stop watching porn

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I want to stop watching porn. No really, I want to quit. I have made promises. I have tried fresh starts on the New Year. I have even gone forward in church, gotten down on my knees, and begged God to help me stop watching it.

However, like a dog that returns to its vomit, I find myself back online watching porn. What is the real problem? Is God deaf to my prayers? Am I not a Christian? Is God just tormenting me for my sexual impurity? Will I ever be able to stop watching porn? Because based on my past it seems impossible.

Porn addiction is an extremely complex issue with no simple answers or cookie cutter solutions. Most men fall into what I call the “Zap Trap”–praying that God would just heal them, and they will be able to stop watching porn without having to fight the fight of recovery.

Could God do that? Well, sure He can do anything.

However, in working with hundreds of men over the past ten years, I have learned that He rarely does an instant healing in this area. So, let’s look at three main reasons why it is so hard to quit looking at porn.prayer to stop watching porn

Reason 1–Porn is addictive.

Apart from the spiritual battle you are in by simply being a Christian, you are in a physical battle with a physical addiction. You have literally become a drug addict. The drugs you are addicted to are those released in your brain when you become sexually aroused.

God designed those drugs as a wonderful part of His plan to bond a husband and wife as one during times of sexual intimacy. They all have a distinct purpose and are marvelously effective. However, your brain does not differentiate between having sex with your wife or having sex with porn. The same drugs are released with the same effect. Pleasure, focus, energy, release, and other things happen which make having an orgasm one of the most enjoyable things God has given to us.

We like it. We like it a lot. So, we want it again and again. With that experience accessible in a five minute trip to the bathroom with your smart phone, we start using it more frequently. When we get stressed. When we get angry. Or when we want escape from problems, we can easily get a fix that does not fix anything.

Dopamine, testosterone, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and serotonin flood our brains, and we feel good for a while. Then shame and fear return, and it is not long before we want another escape.

Christians who can’t stop watching porn do not like it when I tell them they are drug addicts, but that is the truth. The drugs are between their ears. They do not need a pusher. Their drugs are basically free of charge and are extremely effective. We can now access whatever things we want to view and get a quick fix within a few seconds.

Also we can walk out of wherever we just acted out and seem fine to everybody. No hangover. No trace of what you have done unless you forget to delete your history.

To break free from this addiction takes a lot of work and most men are not ready to fight that battle. Especially due to reason number two.

Reason 2–We remain in isolation.

How many people know about your secret struggle? You simply cannot tell anyone because you might lose your job, your friendships, your wife, and your family. People will drop dead in shock because everyone thinks you have it all together, and so that pressure keeps the truth buried deep in your darkest places. You feel trapped because you are in a prison of your own making.

I know this from experience. I was a pastor for 26 years and struggled with a sexual addiction for eight long years. I hated myself. I did many sexual sins, and there was no way I could just say to my wife and my board, “By the way, I am addicted to sex.” However, God in His mercy revealed my secret life and my recovery began in September 2005. Talk about a train wreck and painfully injuring my wife and our four adult kids.

Remaining in isolation makes it seem impossible to stop. Recovery demands confession, disclosure, coming clean, and genuine repentance. If I had been a better and braver man I would have stepped forward and asked for help. But I lived in denial and minimized my actions by telling myself I knew enough to be able to stop.

At 180 Ministries, we say that a lone sheep is a dead sheep. 

If you remain in isolation, you are a dead man. Satan prowls around seeking whom he may devour, and you are an easy target. The sin that so easily entangles you has its hooks in deep, and you will need a team of people to help you pull the hooks out and stop watching porn. Your daily choices allow sin to be your master, and the father of lies has you dancing like a puppet on a string.

To make it through a withdrawal period of about 90 days, you need people available to you on a constant basis and you need to learn how to reach out to them when the whole temptation process to watch porn begins. We like to say reach out before you reach in. Reach out to your team before you reach into your pants.

The opposite of isolation is community. Scripture has a lot to say about community and our ministry was founded on this passage in 1 John 1,

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

Fellowship is community. It is being daily connected to other men to help you fight the battle. How many armies send their troops out alone to fight the enemy alone? None. Stupid question. So why are you trying to fight it alone? Lone sheep are dead sheep.

Reason 3–We don’t take it seriously.

It is so easy to say to yourself that everybody is doing it. It is not such a big deal. Are you kidding me? Porn use is destroying families and marriages at an alarming rate. God says sexual sin is a big deal. He calls us to purity and holiness. He has started a good work in us and plans to finish that work but if we are walking in sexual sin we grieve and stifle the Spirit within us and will continue to be pulled into deeper areas of sin.

Every Monday night about 100 men gather at our church because their sexual sin has and is ruining their lives. They cannot stop and are heading into very dangerous and dark waters. We lie to ourselves when we think that we can handle it. If that is the case, why are you reading this article? Why are the statistics saying that over 50% of all Christian men are addicted to porn?

Did you see the cover of Time on March 31, 2016? They found that Millennials who have used porn over the years are experiencing erectile dysfunction because they have trained their brains to see sex as something you do online. So, when it comes time to have a real relationship they fail to answer the call.

Are you aware of the rise and prevalence of sex trafficking around the world?

We need daily encouragement to stop watching porn

I believe with all my heart that the answer to stop watching porn is found in God’s Word. He calls us to community with no condemnation. He wants all of us to be connected and truthful with one another (and Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability can help with this). We need to do as James says. We need to confess our sins to one another, pray for each other and then healing can begin to come. Lastly, we need encouragement. Look at this passage in Hebrews 3:

“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

We need encouragement every day or we will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. For this reason,  I began writing e-mails to encourage believers struggling with sexual sin. Six days a week I encourage people all over the country, and you can receive that encouragement as well. Just e-mail me at [email protected], and I’ll add you to the list.

www.covenanteyes.com

Ishmael Ndayi testified how a strong addiction to pornography and masturbation was miraculously broken through prayer in the name of Jesus Christ!

“I greet you all in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! I want to share a testimony for what the LORD has done in my life. I was addicted to watching pornography, browsing nude pictures online and masturbating. I was also watching worldly movies practically every night. All of these issues crippled my focus and robbed me of peace. A time came when I started seeking for help from servants of God; I received prayer many times but nothing seemed to change. However, I give glory to Almighty God that I discovered Prophet TB Joshua on Emmanuel TV.

“I began praying along with Prophet T.B. Joshua on Emmanuel TV and touching the screen whenever he prayed for viewers. Within a few days of beginning this prayer, I just realized that the spirit of watching porn, worldly movies and masturbation fled from me! Just like that! Now, I don’t have the URGE to watch all of that trash or masturbate. I really thank GOD so much for Prophet T.B. Joshua and Emmanuel TV for this deliverance! Emmanuel!”

Are you struggling with a similar addiction? Distance is not a barrier to the Holy Spirit. Pray along with Prophet T.B. Joshua right now and believe God for your own touch from Heaven:

distanceisnotabarrier.wordpress.com

That being said, lets get back to the article below – How to Stop Porn Addiction – written by my close personal friend and founder of this site, Alex. It is organized in 8 major parts.

How to Stop Porn Addiction, By Alex (founder of Feed The Right Wolf)

In parts 1-3 I (Alex) share my understanding of the porn craving. In part 4 I share a powerful technique that allowed me to stop porn addiction, at least for the first 30 days. And in parts 5-8 I list some other tips for long term recovery.

A few words about me – founder of this site. My name is Alex and I am a recovering porn addict. I have been in recovery since early 2008, and while my recovery is not perfect, I was able to abstain from watching pornography for over 99% of my time. Additionally, although I do not recommend this for single people, I have not masturbated since January 2009, CHOOSING my wife as the only source for my sexual  experience.

What I am about to share with you does work.  Below is a quote, from one of our readers. You can read more reviews here, if you want.

I never though that porn addiction is real, but after reading the info on this site I now truly understand it. This site is beyond awesome and amazing… it really explains what and why I am going through right now.
Anonymous

I am not here to tell you what you should  or shouldn’t do with your life. But I think that techniques that I used to stop porn addiction, could be used to make lasting change in all areas of our lives.

1. Pornography Is Not Just a Bad Habit!

A first major component in my own recovery was an understanding that pornography viewing was not just a bad habit. It was an obsessive compulsive cycle (see Figure 1 below) from which I was not able to break free. It usually started with an unwanted sexual thought that I would try to avoid for as long as I could.

prayer to stop watching porn

Figure 1. Obsessive Compulsive Cycle of Pornography Addiction

Unfortunately, trying NOT to think about something never really worked for me, and eventually I would get to a point where thoughts would get so intense that I couldn’t handle the pressure any longer. Then I would go back to the only way that I knew to make sexual thoughts temporarily go away – watching pornography and masturbating.

After sexual acting out I would slowly come back to my senses and realize what have happened. I would feel guilt for being so weak and giving in and I would swear to never do it again!

Unfortunately over time I would find sexual thoughts coming back, and since I didn’t know how to handle them in a healthy way, the whole cycle would repeat itself.

Clearly fighting my sexual desires only made them come back stronger and faster, and I began to rely more on pornography and masturbation to help me get a temporary relieve.

Eventually this cycle got completely out of control to the point where I would have to spending most of my day watching porn. My brain got so used to regular imagery that I would have to seek out really hard core pornography in order to temporary satisfy my desires, and allow me to return to my normal state.

In other words, I found that the more I fed my porn addiction, the stronger it got.

2. No Craving Can Last Forever!

The second component that I learn was an understanding that any human feeling, including cravings, cannot last forever. In actuality any physiological impulse is shaped like a bell curve (see figure 2 below).

At first cravings starts out slow but grow exponentially until they get really intense. Somewhere along this path most of addicts would end up giving in. As the result they get used to an idea that they could never get past their cravings and that their cravings will eventually get so strong, that they will have no choice but to give in.

prayer to stop watching porn

Figure 2. Craving Curve

In actuality human beings cannot sustain any emotion or feelings indefinitely, and eventually any feeling or craving will decrease.

So the trick to stopping porn addiction is to learn to ride out cravings; to master a skill to stay away long enough for cravings to go away. This of course sounds simple, but as many addicts know it is not as easy to do.

Below I am going to share a technique with you that have helped me do just that. But first let me show you a few simple physiological signals that can be used to measure how strong our craving really is.

3. Physiological Signs of a Strong Craving

It is important to know certain physiological changes that begin to take place in human body when they experience strong desire to watch porn and/or masturbate compressively. Such changes include:

  •     Rapid Pulse
  •     Increased blood pressure
  •     Dilated Eyeballs
  •     Shallow Breath

It is important to know these symptoms because this knowledge can provide us with information needed to help us on our way to recovery from porn addiction. Let me explain.

We can learn our pulse rate during normal state and then use this information to recognize if our pulse is getting too high. Therefore pulse can serve as an easy to measure indicator that we are about to get out of control. At the same time we can use pulse measurement to let us know that we are exiting the danger zone and that the physical craving begins to decrease.

Another very important component that is easy to observe is our breath. Breath is the only subconscious bodily function that we can consciously control. Think about it! You cannot control your blood pressure, you cannot control you pulse, but you can control your breath. You can take slow, deep, controlled breaths, and through that you can have a direct effect on your subconscious mind. This is a very powerful key to stopping porn addiction!

4. Killing the Craving

So let’s move right into action. The technique that I used to help me overcome the craving is called Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP and is generally used for Obsessive Compulsive disorder and other psychological problems. It’s been around for a very long time, tons of people use it, and it is very effective. I’ve originally learned this technique from a book called “Kill the Craving” which uses ERP to help people with alcohol and drug addictions, and I slightly modified the approach to help me overcome porn addiction.

The key idea of this technique is to systematicallyexpose yourself to situations that would usually cause you to feel a strong craving and practice responding to this craving in a healthy way.  This practice allows our subconscious mind to learn a healthy response mechanism by the time we are faced with a real craving.

Over time you will learn that cravings do not rule your life, and that there is a way for you to ride out a craving and return to your normal self without having to act out. And the high that you get from feeling proud of yourself will be much stronger than any high that you could possibly get from porn addiction.

ERP works in the following way. You first identify a trigger, and as soon as you feel the physiological response from your body, you measure your pulse rate, which you would likely find to be a bit higher than your normal pulse. After that you immediately shift into a controlled breathing exercise to calm your subconscious mind. Next you review your personal motivation statements, to remind yourself of all the positive things that you can bring into your life if you were not to act out. Then you measure your pulse again, and note the difference. Last but not least, you follow up with an act of self care. Let’s look at those steps a little more closely.

Step 1 – Identify or imagine the triggering situation.

While ERP is very effective with helping you overcome a real trigger, it will not be as helpful unless you have already practiced it continuously before facing the real danger. Therefore I recommend a commitment of at least 30 days with complete ERP practice being done the first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

A quick note on sources of trigger is due here. The book that I’ve mentioned earlier “Kill the Craving” recommended alcohol and drug addicts to look at photographs of their addictive substances in order to generate an addictive response. This approach, however, did not seem practical for porn addiction, because looking at addictive images was precisely what I was trying to avoid.

I solved this conflict by creating a strong mental image of myself in a triggering situation instead of looking at actual photography. For example I would imagine myself being alone with computer, or passing by a magazine stand at the store.

Our brain is not able to tell the difference between a vivid mental image and a real life situation, and will produce a similar physiological response. That way Exposure and Response Prevention techniques can be practiced in a safe environment, without having to expose yourself to the real danger.

If at any time during the day you begging to feel a strong craving and a desire to act out, follow up with an extra ERP exercise. Personally, at first I found myself doing 3-5 ERP exercises per day, but soon was able to get through most of my days with only 1 or 2 exercises.

Step 2 – Measure your pulse rate as soon as you observe your body begin to change.

It is easier to measure your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply it times four. Follow this link to download a quick reference chart that will help you to quickly convert your pulse rate and keep the record of your progress.

It is likely that measuring your pulse rate may feel like a burden at first, but after a few days of ERP practice you will get used to it and it will become very easy.

Also, after 5 to 10 days of regular ERP practice you may notice that your pulse rate will not change as much as it did at first from you merely imagining a triggering situation. Please do not use this as an excuse to go look for more triggering stuff. After all it is the sole purpose of ERP practice to train your body not to react addictively to triggers. Therefore, take the decrease pulse rate as a sign of progress, and continue your practice for at least 30 days to allow new habit to form. (It takes about 30 days of repeating a certain task for human beings to form a habit)

Step 3 – Perform Controlled Breathing Exercise.

After you record your pulse rate, follow up with a controlled breathing exercise. Simply, breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for 10 seconds, and breathe out for 10 second. Repeat it 10 times.

I use my fingers that I keep resting on my knees to keep the count of my breaths, tapping each finger for one of ten counts. That way I can free up my mind from counting and concentrate on breathing.

Remember that our breathing is the only subconscious function that we can control through our conscious effort. Do not overlook this step.

Step 4 – Review Personal Motivational Statements.

Next you review your personal statements. You will have to do a little homework on this. Just sit down and write down all of the reasons why you want to get sober. Why do you want to stop watching porn? What positive changes would it bring into your life? What negative consequences will you be able to avoid?

Answers to these questions must be able to touch the bottom of your soul. When I read mine I can literally feel the Goosebumps! That is how badly you need to want to stop this addiction and get the good things in your life. If you are not going to feel the Goosebumps and if it is not going to touch your soul, it is just not going to be strong enough to make you choose life instead of porn when you will be faced with real temptation.

Some of the statements that I used were: My dreams of having a wife and a child will come true if I walk away. I will be stronger and more in control if I walk away. I will regain my self-respect and dignity if I walk away. My family will be proud of me if I walk away. I will be able to look into people’s eyes, and feel proud of myself if I walk away. You can download 30 sample stamens here.

I had each of my reasons written on 3 by 5 cards, which I would read out loud to myself during each ERP practice. Cards allowed me to be doing (i.e. moving the cards), reading and hearing the message at the same time. Human beings learn the best by combination of action, seeing and hearing. (We learn even better by teaching something that we already know to somebody else. So when you get a handle on ERP practice yourself, try to teach it to another addict).

Step 5 – Re-measure your pulse rate.

When you first begin your ERP practice, you might notice that your pulse rates remain the same between steps 2 and 5. Sometimes you may even find it going up a little. It is normal. Over time you will learn to decrease your pulse rate, and you will be able to bring yourself back to your normal state. Ideally you should be able to decrease your pulse rate from its highest point by about 4 to 8 bits per minute.

Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, overtime you will notice that your pulse rate in step 2 will not be getting as high as it did at first in reaction to the triggers. This will be a sign of your progress.

Step 6 – Follow up with an act of self care.

This is also a very important step. You have to do something good for yourself. Preferable you need to get out of the house.

For my first 30 days I would go out and jog after my morning practice. And if I felt the craving again during the day, I would do another ERP exercise and follow up with a different act of self care, like cooking a healthy meal, journaling, or taking a nap. After my evening practice my act of self care was simply to go to bed early. You can view a list of 67 healthy things to do for fun.

5. One Technique is Not Enough!

I want to share one short story with you that helped me to put everything together and stop watching porn for good. Exposure and Response Prevention technique is great, but I think it would not have gotten the job done if it was used alone. Anyway, here is the story:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.

“One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

So I thought what can I do to feed the right wolf? The answer was not as obvious as it might seem.

Over time I came to a conclusion that if I took a good care of myself, my good wolf will be stronger, and my bad wolf will be weaker. Therefore in addition to the daily practice of Exposure and Response Prevention, I committed to the following rules:

  • 8 hours of sleep a day
  • Eating Healthy (3 meals, and 2 snacks a day)
  • Drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day)
  • Journaling about my triggers
  • Meditating
  • Morning and Evening Prayer
  • Avoiding Dangerous Situations (think acronym HALT)
    • Hungry
    • Angry
    • Lonely
    • Tired

6. Warning!

Soon after you’ll stop porn addiction, you will become able to get in touch with your true feelings. While this might sound like a good thing, you could find those true feelings to be unpleasant.

Chances are you’ve used your addiction for a very long time to escape discomforts of life, and when you take away this crutch, you might feel the full weight of your past mistakes.

Just realize that this pain is a temporary. Use this pain as a guide to identify what areas of your life need improvements, so you can face them and get the life that you truly deserve.

7. Other Resources to Consider

I used everything that I’ve outlined so far to help me get my first ever 90 days of sobriety from porn and masturbation. In the matter of fact I have not masturbated yet since I did my first 30 days of ERP practice. I did however look at soft core pornography on a few occasions so this method is not perfect. Actually, I have yet to find a perfect method, and when I will I’ll make sure to let you know. But for now I wanted to share a few other resources that I found helpful.

12 step groups

There is a lot of criticism out there in regards to 12 step groups, but I’ll recommend you doing what my sponsor told me to do, “Take what works for you, and leave the rest behind”. The best thing about the 12 step groups is that the infrastructure is already in place.

If you live near a major city, chances are you will have multiple meetings in your area. If you live in a remote location, you can always attend a phone meeting. It is there, it is available, and you can meet people who have similar problems and are looking for similar solutions. And best of all, it will only cost you a 2 dollar donation per meeting. You can view a full list of 12 step meetings here.

I’ve been attending Sex Addicts Anonymous for almost 2 years now (I started right after I lost my first 90 days of sobriety), and it has been a tremendous tool in my own recovery.

Professional Coaching

Professional counseling and coaching is a great tool, but you need to be careful, and pick a person experienced with porn addiction. That is why we are so happy to announce that we have partnered with Craig Perra, former Sex Addict and founder of The Mindful Habit® System – who has saved the lives of thousands of men all over the world. If you need help NOW, please contact him by clicking here where you will be directed to a form to fill-out (Craig will call you within 6 hours). 

I am sure there are other good programs available, so make sure to find what works for you.

Accountability Software

Knowing that there is no way to hide my internet history made it much easier for me to make good decision when browsing the internet.

I recommend Covenant Eyes that costs $10 a month. This software does not filter any of the internet content, but it keeps a detailed report of all your internet activity and emails it to your accountability partner.

A free option that I also use is K9 web filter. This filter can block access to certain sites and keep track of all of the internet history. Just make sure that somebody else is in charge of the password.

No software is perfect and there is always a way around it, nevertheless I found those tools to be extremely helpful.

Educate Yourself

Read as much as you can on how to stop porn addiction. This is what I did and continue to do. It will not only help you to stop watching porn, but it will help you with the rest of your life.

Spiritual Life

Get involved with your spiritual life, and make sure you make room for it.

Journaling

Journaling was one of the most beneficial tools for me. There is something magical about getting your thoughts on paper.

Remember, progress and not perfection!

Don’t try to do it perfectly and don’t try to be perfect. You will make mistakes, we all do. As long as you keep working at it, you will get better. It took you many years to get this far into your addiction, don’t expect to fix it all in 30 days. It will take you some time. Be patient with yourself, keep going, and your life will continue to improve.

If you stumble don’t beat yourself up.

Just learn from your mistakes, and over time you will become a new person. If you keep working at it, there is no other way; you will become a new person!

8. Thank You!

Thank you for carrying, thank you for trying to change yourself, and thank you for continuing to look for solutions. By making changes in yourself you are making this world a much better place!

If you know someone who is looking for ways to stop porn addiction, please share this message with them!

And remember to feed the right wolf 🙂

9. Join Our Free Recovery Course To Discover…

  1. A chemical process that takes place in your brain causing you to get addicted
  2. The addictive cycle that your body goes through and how to break out of it
  3. How the human brain works and why sometimes you lose control of your actions
  4. Four simple exercises to strengthen your brain
  5. How to create your sexual recovery plan
  6. How to control your cravings
  7. An important strategy to help you beat your addiction once and for all
  8. How your beliefs are causing you to suffer
  9. Seven beliefs that were keeping me trapped
  10. One big lesson that I learned from my relapse and what you can do to avoid my mistakes
  11. Two very important tools that can magnify your recovery
  12. Four things that you CAN do to help you stay sober for the rest of your life

Old Video Version

Links:

  • Reference Chart
  • Sample Statements
  • 67 Healthy Activities

www.feedtherightwolf.org

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