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National Day of Prayer . . . For Porn

Last Updated: April 7, 2015

Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Coming Clean: Overcoming Lust Through Biblical Accountability and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Tomorrow is the National Day of Prayer in the US. This yearly event has been going on since 1952 when, after a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, the U.S. government declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.

The coordinators of the National Day of Prayer 2008 are asking U.S. citizens to commit to praying for their country in seven specific areas this year: government, military, media, business, education, church and family. Seven points of prayer for seven days a week.

As I was reading through these seven areas I was struck at how much pornography is a force affecting several of these areas, especially the media, the church, and the family. As you join the nation in prayer tomorrow, please add these issues to your list of things to pray for:

Media and Pornography

The National Day of Prayer task force writes, “The media is unquestionably one of the most powerful and influential voices in our culture,” and they are right. Tomorrow as people pray about the influence of journalism and the entertainment industry, we should not minimize the influence of pornography as a part of that media culture. The task force reports, “the heroes of pop culture model vices such as materialism, promiscuity, substance abuse, and violence.” This is true, but surging beneath the surface is an industry that rarely gets mentioned, an industry that has released over 71,000 pornographic films since the turn of the millennium.

I would argue that there are unspoken “heroes” in our culture, heroes of sexual fantasy that are shaping the cultural mindset about sex.

Pray for those behind the pornography industry, both the actors and producers, who are saturating the Internet, magazine racks, pay-per-view, hotels, and video stores with pornographic content. Pray for radical change to take place in their lives; pray for them to encounter God and repent of their sin. Pray also for the women who are involved in the industry who feel they have no other options to support themselves. Pray for the Holy Spirit to break through the lies that hold them captive in the sex industry. Finally, pray for the church to hold up the ethic of “not even a hint” of impurity in their midst (Ephesians 5:3) as they guard against temptations online.

Church and Pornography

Freedom Begins Here has labeled the “20/50 Crisis” in the church today: 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women admit they are addicted to pornography. Not just struggling . . . addicted. This means that in some manner, pornography is affecting every church.

Some stats show that 40% of pastors consider pornography to be a great struggle or an addiction. A recent book by Mark Laaser and Ralph H. Earle Jr. called “The Pornography Trap” deals with this issue head on. This pertains directly to what the National Day of Prayer task force has asked us to pray for concerning pastors: “As they strive to remain obedient to Christ, ask the Lord to provide them with strength and avenues of accountability so that they may maintain steadfastness in their vital callings.”

Pray for the church to lift up a standard of absolute purity and love. Pray for the church to be given wisdom to “try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” as we expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:10-11). Pray also for the Spirit to pour compassion into our hearts for those in the church who struggle with pornography addiction. Pray for a real spirit of accountability and discipleship in our midst.

Family and Pornography

Over 11 years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice said, “Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors in so many American homes with so few restrictions.” Today the Internet is the chief contributor of that access. With over 4 million websites that host pornography, it is very easy to access pornography in the comfort of one’s own home. The average age of first time exposure to pornography is 11 or possibly younger.

In a 2003 Focus on the Family poll, 47% of respondents said porn is a problem in their home. The same year, in a meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago.

The National Day of Prayer task force asks us to remember that “the family holds a special place in God’s heart.” As we pray, keep in mind the major role pornography is playing in shaping the sexual education of children and the fidelity of marital unity.

Pray that wise counsel about sexuality will flood the gateways of communication in America, so that people will begin choosing marital intimacy over pornographic fantasy. Pray for the husbands and wives of the nation, that they will find satisfaction in spiritual, emotional, and physical unity with their spouses. Pray for parents and educators to take necessary protective measures to guard the eyes of young children. Pray for the minds of the children that God will heal their distorted beliefs about sexuality that have been shaped by over-exposure to pornography at such young ages.