I was 11 years old when I felt the fleeting pleasure of masturbation for the first time. I didn’t know what it was called – but I knew it felt good, but deep down inside I also knew it was wrong.
For two more years, I pushed my conscience aside, and justified my actions. It just felt too good. It was just too easy. There was no reason to stop.
But soon, I received Christ, and shortly after, God convicted me of my sin. God knew as a young middle school student, I wasn’t ready to fight this battle, so after I repented and confessed my sin, the temptations completely vanished – and I didn’t have to face it any longer. Truly it was a miracle.
But at age 16, it returned – stronger than ever. And for the first time in over three years, I started to masturbate again. But this time, it was more intense, and more pleasurable.
But it was still just as wrong. And I soon realized that even if I tried my hardest, I couldn’t stop. It was official: I was addicted to masturbation.
I tried every trick in the book. I tried willpower, reading scripture, making a plan, memorizing verses, prayer, and even telling my father. But in the end, nothing worked. I never lasted more than two weeks, before I went straight back to it once again.
I tried and tried for more than six months. But each time, I failed. I knew I couldn’t do it. I realized it was impossible. But then I remembered something: Even though I couldn’t do it, God could. After all, doesn’t it say in Luke 18:27…
“What is impossible with men is possible with God.”
But this is something I already knew. It’s something I kept hearing, but couldn’t apply. It was something everyone said, whenever they talked about temptation. You know, the “You can’t beat it on your own. You have to depend on the Lord’s strength” one. And, to be totally honest, I really had no idea what that meant – which was kind of frustrating.
But now I do.
Last month, God’s placed a heavy conviction on my heart that I needed to end this sin. And, since I didn’t know how, like any good American, I turned to google, and for the first time, I typed in those humiliating words:
“How do I beat masturbation?”
It was a sign that I didn’t have the answer, and I was completely out of ideas about how to fight sin on my own. And as I scrolled down the results, I found this one article, that frankly changed my life. It was about how one man – a new Christian – had put to death the filthy habit of masturbation, all through the power of… prayer.
“But I already tried that!” I thought.
But then I read on. And soon, it clicked with me, what it meant to truly rely on God’s power. It was the secret Paul proclaimed long ago when he uttered the words “pray without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
You see, the kind of prayer I tried, that failed to help me overcome temptation, was one-time prayer. That’s where you’re sincerely asking for help, but once the prayer is done, you attempt to rely on your own strength to fight temptation. Occasionally it’ll work, but many times, it won’t. When I felt temptation, I would pray for help, but then, I’d just sit there and wait, as the enemy slowly wore down my resolve. It usually didn’t take long until I finally gave in, and repeated my sin.
But I learned that to get through temptation, one-time prayer wasn’t the answer – continuous prayer was. It’s a matter of being all in with prayer. To the point where if you’re tempted 10 times in 5 minutes, you pray 10 times in 5 minutes. It’s being so ridiculously zealous for demolishing sin, that you’re putting complete trust in God’s power, even if takes a full hour of your day away, as you pray to defeat temptation.
And that’s just what this man did. Every time he was tempted, he would look up towards heaven and pray for strength, freedom, and focus on God. He would continue to do this until the temptation subsided. And if the temptation came back, even within a few seconds, he would pray again – until eventually the temptation finally ended.
As this man continued doing this, the temptations became weaker… and weaker… and weaker, until finally, he became completely free from even the desire to fall back into masturbation. Now, years later, he’s happily married, and doesn’t want masturbation any more than he would want to eat a plate of garbage. The temptation is gone – and he’s free.
As I read this article, I was amazed by how prayer – something we often overlook as unimportant – was actually the one and most important key to beating sin. And, after I thought about it, it made sense too. I mean, didn’t the Lord say in 1 John 5:14…
“Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.”
And then in Matthew 7:7…
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door l will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
And also in John 16:23…
“I assure you: Anything you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.”
These promises are right in front of us! We just overlook them, because we’re so used to our halfhearted quick prayers, and our self-centered “give me stuff” prayers.
But when we humble ourselves before God, and keep asking for supernatural intervention to help us, we finally stand a chance. And as for me, I have started practicing this new continual prayer. And you know what happened? It worked.
Ever since I’ve begun this, and started actually depending on Christ’s power instead of my own, I’ve noticed a huge difference. Temptation is pathetically weak, and my relationship with God has really grown. And lastly, since I started depending on the power of prayer, I’ve been completely clean from this sin.
And now I’m sharing my story, so if you’re battling with masturbation, you can be free too.
Love you guys!