How can you pray to God when you have sinful addictions?


#1

Hello everybody, i have an important question to ask about praying to God in overcoming sinful addictions. For more than 10 years, i have been highly addicted to smoking and masturbation… a bit of me blames this because of being almost alone through out my life, Or maybe these sins have made me alone through out my life… Anyway, through out the years I have been praying for the strength to stop. I really do, but I can’t do a full day with out falling back. There are days, in where my dosage is a bit in control where i would take less cigarettes and less masturbation… however it just goes in a repeating cycle.

I’ve been praying for these sins to leave my life for good, however i have to admit that my body really “aches”… i try to pray during the moments of craving and only 4/10 times it would be successful.

I’ve been feeling allot of shame in praying to God for always failing everyday. I feel like i have no right to pray because the mount of guilt, sadness, etc that I feel… i just ran out of things to say to him. How can I just ask for forgiveness and strength every night when i have been failing over and over again? How can I pray about God to grant the desires in my heart if I can’t honor him by over coming my addictions?

How do you exactly open up to God in a prayer after another failed day?


#2

How do you know where you’d be without seeking God? And, certainly, if you ever want to be free, how else but prayer and spiritual counsel are you going to expect to get there?

Speak to your priest. If you are not Catholic, or not attending Church, call a priest. You don’t fight battles for your life alone.


#3

You are doing the right thing by continuing to pray; especially for strength in times of weakness.
I made an appointment to speak with a priest and he said that Satan is always trying to undermine our relationship with God. Satan wants us to believe that since we are sinners, God could never love us or forgive us, so why bother praying. This couldn’t be further from the truth! So pray ceaselessly!
During confession (our priests are wonderful) the same priest said to me that the further along you are in your faith journey, the more you learn to hate sin and you will be tested and temptation, itself, is not a sin.
Another priest said that during times of temptation to say the simple prayer, “Lord, I offer you this temptation for the conversion of sinners.” I say this prayer as many times as I need to and literally place my hands folded in prayer above my head, far from the rest of my body as I’m going to sleep. I know it sounds crazy, but it helps! It helps me to keep my focus on heaven.
As a Catholic woman who struggles with temptations, I have found saying the rosary frequently, going to daily mass, and confession 2-3xs weekly (not just for the big sins) helps me immensely.
I’m sorry to ramble on. I’m not sure if you are Catholic or not, or if any of this applies to you, but I understand your struggle. STILL RAMBLING!!!
I will pray that God gives you strength to overcome your struggles. Peace!


#4

To add to the great post by “Franciscan Way”, I would suggest that you exercise, find a hobby that interests you…change the patterns in your life that cause you to keep stumbling.

Our Blessed Mother’s intercession helps a lot too!

May our Lord Jesus Christ be your guide on your spiritual journey to Him.,


#5

I went through a very similar phase a while ago. Sin does damage our relationship with God, but our Lord is merciful.

Do you know the story of the prodigal son? If not, go check out Luke 15:11-32. The prodigal son left his father in sin, and lived in that sin for a long time. When the son hit rock bottom, he realized that he needed his father more than ever. The son then went back home to beg forgiveness of the father, and to humbly ask for a position as a slave.The father saw his son from afar (in his sin), and raced to him, embracing him, and rejoicing in his return.

This is who God is when we are living in sin. We must remember that even the greatest of saints sinned often. He wants to embrace you again, so call out unceasingly to him. Pray more if anything! Humbly ask him to bestow upon you the grace and strength necessary to overcome temptation. Go to confession (if you are Catholic) as much as you can. Talk to a priest. I found praying the rosary, and devoting myself to the Blessed Mother to be extremely helpful. Mary leads us to Christ in a very special way. Every time we sin, we say “no” to God, but Mary always said “yes.” Ask her to help you say “yes.”


#6

I went to a Priest several times on this, and I was given the suggest to seek counseling on this, and I would if i had the money to do it.

My problem isn’t just the praying it’s how to start it. I feel like opening with praises is like patronizing already, I’m praying for the same thing yet failing on it… I feel very ashamed and speechless to talk to God. What am i going to pray, a bunch of sorries, help me’s… again?


#7

Something like this?

Oh Lord…you know I am weak and fragile. I need your grace and your strength. Have mercy on me and be my strength…

You can use your own words and do not be afraid.

You can also use words from a prayer book, and make them your own.


#8

This is a great thread, because I think it gets to a part of prayer that we often overlook, don’t consider, or feel awkward with. But remember that there are many “images” of God, many perceptions, and some of those are Christ as a “friend” or a “brother”. So don’t feel like you should be talking to him in any particular way.

My suggestion would be to bring everything you wrote in your posts here to the Lord in prayer. Whether that’s at home, in a pew, or in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Just direct your points to Jesus. I’m copy and pasting some things you wrote below, then writing it in the way I’m talking about since it’s easier to see what I mean:

“Hello everybody, i have an important question to ask about praying to God in overcoming sinful addictions.”

…Jesus, I have an important question to ask about praying to you in overcoming sinful addictions

"For more than 10 years, i have been highly addicted to smoking and masturbation… a bit of me blames this because of being almost alone through out my life, Or maybe these sins have made me alone through out my life… Anyway, through out the years I have been praying for the strength to stop. I really do, but I can’t do a full day with out falling back. There are days, in where my dosage is a bit in control where i would take less cigarettes and less masturbation… however it just goes in a repeating cycle.I’ve been praying for these sins to leave my life for good, however i have to admit that my body really “aches”… i try to pray during the moments of craving and only 4/10 times it would be successful. "

…perfect, ask the Lord exactly as is if you want. spill your heart to him. Tell him you find him difficult to pray to if you want to. It won’t offend him. Ask him to help you and try and be more accessible to you.

“I’ve been feeling allot of shame in praying to God for always failing everyday. I feel like i have no right to pray because the mount of guilt, sadness, etc that I feel… i just ran out of things to say to him.”

… I’ve been feeling a lot of shame in praying to You for always failing everyday. I feel like I have no right to pray to You…I just run out of things to say to You.

“How can I just ask for forgiveness and strength every night when i have been failing over and over again?”

… bring to Him as is!

"How can I pray about God to grant the desires in my heart if I can’t honor him by over coming my addictions? "

… Lord,low can I pray to You to grant the desires of my heart if I can’t honor you by overcoming by overcoming my addictions?

“How do you exactly open up to God in a prayer after another failed day?”

…Lord, how can I open up to you in prayer after another failed day?

“I feel like opening with praises is like patronizing already, I’m praying for the same thing yet failing on it”

… I feel like I’m patronizing you, i’m asking you for the same thing and keep failing on it!

“I feel very ashamed and speechless to talk to God. What am i going to pray, a bunch of sorries, help me’s… again?”

… I feel very ashamed and speechless to talk to you. What am I going to pray, a bunch of sorries, and help me’s…again? Seriously, Lord, what am I supposed to get through this!? I’m at a complete loss.

Everything you’re bringing here can be brought to Christ in the same way. It’s even ok to get frustrated and sarcastic with Him. Let him know how you feel deep down. Talk to him like a friend. have a “heart-to-heart”. Pray from the heart, and listen with your heart. Have a conversation with him and spill it out to him. You can start the conversation the same way you would with one of your friends, or the same way you did here on the forum. There’s no formula, you don’t need to start or end a prayer any specific way. Just spill it out on him, frustrations, emotions, and all.

On a more practical level, I recently heard somewhere that temptations last about 15-20 minutes. I don’t know the source or accuracy, but it’s worth considering. Perhaps when you feel tempted, find 15-20 minutes worth of something else to do to redirect that kind of energy and put it towards use in something else. It takes about 15-20 minutes to pray a rosary, for example. Or, go for a walk or run. Call a friend to chat. Write an email. Browse this forum. etc.


#9

Pretty much - yes! Often, when we pray we’re crying out to God from the depths of despair - as St Paul puts it: “I do not do the thing that I want to do, instead I do the thing that i do not want to do.” The question though isn’t so much whether God forgives you it’s whether you forgive yourself. I’m only too aware from my own struggles just how difficult it is to have to keep coming back to God after having sinned in the same way time and time again. That said, I’m also aware of just how humbling it is to receive God’s forgiveness in these circumstances.The beauty of our relationship with God comes down to three simple words: “God loves sinners” and this is what gives us hope because sinners are the one who attract to themselves God’s limitless compassion. So keep coming back to Him and keep praying no matter how many times you fall.


#10

Prayer is important; but you may benefit from therapy or free 12 Step groups.
One such group is Sexaholics Anonymous www.sa.org
They have meetings around the country, on-line, and via telephone.


#11

I don’t know about you, but when those feelings arrive I go take a cold shower. I think a cold shower works because it forces the blood in the body to retract from the surface which helps get rid of the erection, from there you might begin to pray that strength be given.


#12

I am glad that you feel that way. If you didn’t have any guilt at all, we would all be concerned. But God gave us prayer, confession, and penance because He knows we will need it. Fr. Mike Schmitz said that God didn’t say that He created these things for us but that He will be disappointed if we ever need it. God is disappointed of your addiction, but you will make Him happy again by your return to Him in prayer, confession, and penance.
I was once addicted to masturbation myself. I do not know how this advice will help you, but here is what I did. I thought of each day as an individual unit, and I made goals that will only last one day at a time. I prayed a prayer like this:
“Lord God, today with Your help, I will not masturbate. If I do fall to the temptation, I am sorry; and I will start over and try again.”
Each day, I would fail, but I knew that I can start over again the next day. I gave God my apologies, I went to confession, did my penance, received the Eucharist, and started over.
Also, know that you pray to God to have a tightly-bound relationship with Him. He will help you when He thinks it is time. Who knows, maybe He is just waiting for you to fully come back to Him!
Ask Mary to be with you, and to help you come closer to her Son. Pray the rosary. Ask her to make you chaste. The fact that you came here is a good indication of your desire to come back to God, and come back to the Church.
In regard to your addiction to masturbation, I recommend that you watch videos on YouTube of this man Matt Fraud. He was addicted to porn and masturbation, and now he is an advocate of those who suffer the same route he trekked.
I have blabbed enough, but I think that if you don’t absorb the things I just told you, just remember to do three things:

  1. Go to Mass. That is God’s love letter being read! Relate the readings to you. Easter Sunday is the best time to go!
  2. Go to Eucharistic Adoration. If you don’t know what that is, call your parish and come over. If you can’t make sense of what it is. Just sit there and watch the Body of Christ being exposed in the altar–even if you don’t talk to God in that way, just look and keep watch.
  3. Go to confession. As to your condition right now, I do not know whether confession is sacramental, but that spine-tingling feeling when hearing of your sins being forgiven is itself God’s gift that you may use in your journey. YouTube has the videos for you to watch if you don’t know how to do it.
    With that, know that I keep you in my prayers, and feel free to contact me through private message.
    All the best!

#13

When I start to get those feelings, I pray the Hail Mary for an increase in virtue. I just keep repeating the prayer and go for a walk to get away from whatever was giving me those thoughts. I keep repeating the prayer until the thoughts go away.

Just always remember that God loves you. If He didn’t He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die on the cross for you and me and everyone else.


#14

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