You are right about our prayers alone not helping when it's us in bondage AND you are so right about the fellowship being critical for these types of things. In fact, that's a Biblical teaching. I'll show you.
Originally Posted by Ceegen
2 Timothy 2:22 (You can remember this verse because of all of those "2's")
"So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart."
STEP 1: "Flee youthful passions ...."
To me, flee means to not even entertain the thought when it germinates in our minds. That was Eve's downfall. She considered eating the fruit - convincing herself that it was something worth pursuing - no harm. She let the temptation grow roots in her mind and blossom. She watered the thoughts with more thoughts and justifications until sin bore fruit in her. When thoughts - of anything that has us in bondage and pornography is just one thing on that huge list - but when these thought enter our minds, we need to train ourselves to reject it in a "fleeing" fashion. Just like we would start slinging our hands if we looked down and saw a spider crawling on us. THAT's fleeing! But that's not enough......but it's where most people stop and usually crawl back to the thoughts in defeat.
STEP 2: ...and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace.....
If we are running quickly away from something, we won't run hard enough or fast enough unless we are running TO something. Something better. Something of more sound mind. The Bible says here that it is "righteousness, faith, love, and peace". Only you can determine what these four terms mean concretely, to you. You might want to do a personal Bible study as to what those four word mean. God will show you his way of escape and what to run TO when temptations attack your mind. This is just my personal opinion and I may be dead wrong, in terms of fleeing sins - these four things listed here should be in concrete in nature. Something tangible or if not tangible, something obvious and pre-planned AS a way of escape. Pornography is a concrete thing. The mind, in fleeing from the youth lusts - will not readily run to something that isn't concrete - auditory, visual, or kinetic. What I mean by that as an example is [and this is just off the top of my head - I don't know what will actually work for you]:
- "righteousness" - Pre-plan some memory verses that you can cite out loud and hear the words of how God does not want you in this bondage or listen to a CD of whatever Christian music you like
- "faith" - Keep a journal of your prayers to God - write them out and speaking them aloud as you go and include all the times he rescued you from temptation
- "love" - have some Christian friends who love you that you could be accountable to
- "peace" - go running; do some exercise; watch a favorite TV show that makes you laugh
As I said, only you can decide what these four attributes that God said to "pursue" mean in your life.
STEP 3: ...along with those who call on the Lord with a pure heart."
And there it is - just what you said - fellowship! The more you can talk about this with a small group of others - preferably in person, the more power YOU gain over IT. When we keep things locked away inside of us out of shame or guilt or fear or doubts - those "things" rule over us. We think we are alone in the struggles. And we don't know where to run. Fellowship is a big key here - with any type of bondage.
Did you know that the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous met in a bar? They were just two drunks who met one night and in talking, had a few things in common. So they drank and talked. They met over several weeks and began to notice that the more they talked about everything they are going through and that they were putting their families through - the less they drank. So .... they decided to meet in one of their homes the next week and not a bar. And the rest is history.
Fellowship is critical. You hit that nail on the head.