Humility through Prayer

by Joshua Hoe

Person praying against a evening sky

Sorry, been taking some time to recharge my brain. It can be hard to keep up the pace of writing “new” recovery posts.

As many of you know, I am a “sex addict” (part of “that” deep dark corner of the recovery world).

My sex addiction functions something like this:

1) Something upsets me (makes me feel insecure or emotionally vulnerable

2) I see someone attractive

3) I sometimes stare or store up that memory for acting out.

Even though I have not acted out in nearly 6 years, I still confront everything on that list prior to “acting out” on a regular basis.

Refining Prayer

One thing that helps me when I am triggered is to “pray” for the person that I see who is attractive.

When I first started in recovery, I would pray for her as part of an attempt to connect myself to her as a person instead of as an object of lust.

It may sound crazy, but recovery from sex addiction (for me) is a constant battle over forcing myself to recognize people as human beings instead of just as bodies and faces.

This is really about my insecurity turning into narcissism. I feel better and safer when the world revolves around me. The emotional distress lessens when I start to see the world as confined to only my range of vision.

When I reduce the world to only what I can see.

People are always more than I can see.

And that is one of the problems I found in praying “for” someone else. It became another way of being paternalistic or of externalizing the problem so that it was their problem (and not mine).

So I refined my approach to prayer in the moment of my lust.

My New Prayer

Now when I am confronted by lust or the fantasy of being the center of a universe full of beautiful people for my gaze:

I pray for me.

I pray that I remember that when someone is “beautiful” it is not “for me”

I pray that I remember when someone dresses sexy, they are not dressing that way “for me.”

It is rarely about me at all.

And I pray that I realize that it is okay that I am not really that important in the global scheme of things.

I pray that I remember it is “of God” to be humble.

I am trying to redefine my relationship to myself and the universe.

How do you deal with your struggles with lust? How do you pray? How have you found humility in moments of weakness? I would love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment!


2 thoughts on “Humility through Prayer

  1. Thank you for your honesty. This is a part of my life I have a lot of trouble looking at. But my triggers are the same! It’s always after a long, upsetting day of work, or after confrontation. This makes me want to find my own prayer for it. My sponsor says to do things (to help me avoid porn) like turn off the technologies. Take an action, for example. Even call him in those moments (as awkward as it is).


    1. Mark,

      Calling is almost always the best move you can make. It is important, in my experience, to talk about what you are feeling “in the moment” even if (maybe especially because) it is embarrassing.

      What I was suggesting was that it can often be effective to start calling before you even get to that point. If you call and start sharing how work made you feel or how a confrontation made you feel, you might not even arrive at the porn.

      Calling is always a great idea (IMHO).

      Thanks for the comment! Hope you are having a great day!



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