Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I just wanted to know how to keep my mind away from lustful thoughts and desires. Whenever I go to confess I almost always confess about the same sin. Even after having confessed it, I still keep on thinking about it. I can't control myself against temptation; I still watch bad movies and go to bad places and when I start to do it again I regret it, but then I keep doing it again. I give myself all kinds of excuses for doing it. I don't pray much because usually I just tell myself that God knows what I'm thinking. Could you please advise me?

If you need a particular thing from your parents or from someone don't you go and ask them? If they do not respond from the first time, don't you ask over and over again? What you are doing here is trying to solve your problem on your own without asking the help of the One who can really solve it for you. We cannot say God knows what we are thinking; otherwise why did Our Lord Jesus Christ make it clear in the Sermon on the Mount "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt 7:7; Lk 11:9).

Temptation is from the devil, so we have to equip ourselves in order to wrestle him and defeat him. Reading the Holy Bible and, partaking in the Holy Communion are excellent tools that can help you in your warfare. St. Paul taught us to "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints" (Eph 6:11-18). Persevere in prayers daily and as soon as these thoughts come to your mind switch to God right away asking Him to stop them and help you conquer the devil.
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