What is the difference between prayer and meditation and why it is so important for drug addicts and alcoholics?
Meditation is the practice in which an individual trains their mind and/or induces a mode of consciousness to help them realize some benefit .
Prayer, on the other hand, is an invocation or it can be a religious practice in which a person seeks to activate a rapport with a deity or object of worship through deliberate communication .
What these things have in common is that both prayer and meditation have been used for centuries in order to help alleviate human suffering. Consider Chinese medicine or Native American healers. While both prayer and meditation have inherent differences, there is also a great deal of overlap. For example, with ‘receptive prayer’, a person quiets his/her mind in order to receive inspiration, which is very similar to meditation .
Prayer and Meditation for Drug and Alcohol Addicts
The Big Book clearly states that trouble will come if the alcoholic fails to perfect and enlarge their spiritual life…the spiritual life is not a theory…we have to live it. Step eleven in Alcoholics Anonymous suggests prayer and meditation. This step is vital to maintain and grow the alcoholic/addicts spirituality.
Prayer is communication with a higher power. Meditation is stilling one’s mind, turning their focus inward, and listening. Both prayer and meditation strengthen the spiritual connection.
- Prayer, Meditation, and Spirituality in Rehabilitation | Ann Cotter, M.D., et. al.
O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant, that my weakness may be banished and my strength restored; and that, my health being renewed, I may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are new every morning: We give you thanks for giving us both relief from pain and hope of health renewed.
O God, the source of all health: So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, by your patience in suffering you hallowed earthly pain and gave us the example of obedience to your Father’s will: Be near me in my time of weakness and pain; sustain me by your grace, that my strength and courage may not fail; heal me according to your will; and help me always to believe that what happens to me here is of little account if you hold me in eternal life, my Lord and my God. Amen.
O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, over 17.7 million people in the
USA or 1 in 12 adults suffer from addiction to alcoholism or participate regularly in binge drinking.
That’s a staggering sum and it means that you must know someone who suffers from Alcoholism. These figures are in the USA and we know that there are many suffering alcoholics all over the world.
There are 12 steps program established to assist people in how to stop drinking. While these programs have some success the programs show only a 3% success rate. Then there are those known as the dry drunks who have not had a drink in years but still suffer from the effects of alcoholism even after they’ve discovered how to successfully quit drinking.
Why is this? Well, as Christians we know that we cannot do ANYTHING successfully without the help of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who is our helper. He is the only one that can truly heal us from disease. His name is Jehovah Rophe the God who heals. And, given these statistics we know that there must be Christian alcoholics.
The tenets, the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous and 12 traditions, are good and do have a focus in ‘spirituality’ but usually people just focus on who they want to be their spiritual leader so it could be anyone and not necessarily Jesus.
Here are the steps taken from Wikipedia and edited to make Jesus Christ the main focus since He is our Savior as Christians and the one we look to for help and wholeness
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Jesus Christ can restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care Jesus Christ.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to Jesus Christ, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have Jesus Christ remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our relationship with Jesus Christ, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the Holy Spirit’s power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
When we understand who Jesus Christ is and why He came to earth we can have a better understanding of how His power is all we need to be successful in overcoming alcoholism and any other type of addiction. To learn more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, click here
In AA, they use a big book which is used to help their member through the recovery process. In Christianity, we too have our Big Book which is the Bible. Alcoholics need this to help with their recovery. Reading the bible is important in the meditation process
When we believe and we have a full understanding that God’s word is truly medicine for our soul and has the power to heal us then we can take this medicine in daily and receive the healing, freedom and recovery that we need on a daily basis.
If you presently struggling with alcoholism or know someone who is, we would like to share some scriptures with you. These are not to beat you over the head to tell you how bad alcoholism is (we’re sure you already know that) but to help you in your recovery and restoration process. God is a God of restoration. He wants you to be restored. To be healed 100% so that you can live the life that He purposed in you BEFORE you were even born.
Here are some scriptures that will help those who are suffering from Alcoholism:
(Ephesians 5:18) “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit” Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit
(Romans 12:1-2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Surrender your life to God. Read the Bible daily and His word will transform your mind which will in turn transform your life! He will make known to you the purpose and will that He has for your life. Yes, God has a purpose for you!
(Galatians 5:13) “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Serve Others. Stop focusing on yourself and look for others that you can help.
(Ephesians 5:18-20) “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” When you feel weak, Praise God! Sing and worship Him. In the midst of your struggle He will show up and deliver you.
(1 John 1:9) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When you commit a sin, ask God to forgive you. Accept that He has forgiven you, if you truly meant it when you asked, and move on. Self loathing, shame and guilt is not from God so REJECT those thoughts because that would be the devil talking to you!
(James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When you feel weak, fall on your knees and cry out to God and He will save you from these temptations. Submit to God first and then this evil will be removed from you.
(2 Samuel 22:2, 20) “And he said: “The Lordis my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.” Make the Lord Jesus your main focus. He is your deliverer and He want to bring you into a greater life which He has planned for you, because He LOVES you.
(Matthew 17:20-21) “I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” God wants you to know that will just a little faith if you rebuke that demon of addiction you can remove it. You may need to fast along with praying to be free of this. Ask other Christians to pray and fast for you as well.
(2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”When you become a Christian, God made you a new creation so everything that was broken in your life before is now made whole. All you need to do is access the wholeness that is already yours through prayer and meditation on the scriptures.
(1 John 5:4) “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Jesus overcame the world so that you, because of your belief in Him, will also overcome this addiction.
For those of you who came from parents who were also alcoholics or perhaps while you were in the whom your mother was abusing alcohol, you may have an issue with a generational curse that needs to be broken. Here is some information on
breaking generational curses
In AA they have different prayers through each step, 3rd step prayer, fourth step prayer, 7th step prayer, etc. We feel that this one will encompass all the steps. Here is a prayer against alcoholism
Father God, I humbly come before you crying out for help from this addiction to alcohol. I’ve seen so many lives ruined by this disease. I too have hurt others in going through this process. First I ask you to forgive me. I also ask you for the grace and strength to ask others to forgive me. Reveal to me all the people that I need to ask for forgiveness and I pray that you will work on their hearts so that they will accept my apology. Please don’t let me be a part of the statistics that have tried and failed. Weed out the root of unbelief from my heart and give me that grain of mustard seed faith that will believe that if I say to this mountain of addiction be cast into the sea, it will be removed from me. I speak to this demon of addiction and I say be removed from me. I have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and born again as a new creation in Christ Jesus. I bow my knees, my spirit, my will to Jehovah Rophe my healer and my God of miracles. Just as Jesus overcame the world and the things of this world, I too will overcome this illness. Jesus , intercede on my behalf in heaven in the areas of my life where I don’t know how to pray. You have given me authority to trample upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm me, including alcohol, so I trample upon it. I will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony which I will have as a result of this great miraculous deliverance! I thank you for being my deliverer. I submit and surrender my life to you. I ask you God to renew my mind with Your Word. Restore me to the joy of your salvation. Holy Spirit direct my steps. Show me the people and places in my life where I need to stay away from while you are healing me and restoring me. Lead me to the right church and Christian friends who can support me in this journey, in Jesus Name, Amen
We know that you will need to have some support as you are going through this process so you will need to
find a church
where you can be accountable to other believers in Christ and a pastor. Also, getting in an
or calling one of the
for guidance will help you through the process. Just remember that your focus is Jesus Christ, prayer and His word. This is what will keep you on the road to recovery.
We hope these tips for alcoholism helped you in some way and if you want to include your name in the comment section below we would be happy to pray for you.
A word to Christians who don’t suffer from alcoholism but have friends who are in recovery. Do not drink alcohol around them. It’s just disrespectful and it does not honor God. And, it doesn’t matter if they have been clean and sober for 20 years! Show your support and refrain from drinking alcohol in their presence. (1 Corinthians 8:9) “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak.”
Here are some other articles which you may find useful for this topic:
Bible Verses About Hope
A Prayer for your Future
Praying against Depression and how to cope
People affected by alcoholism (i.e., alcohol dependence) have undergone long-term, damaging changes in their normal brain activity. During treatment, these changes pose a real challenge for doctors and their patients. Still, it’s possible for even long-term, severe alcoholics to establish sobriety and recover at least some of their key brain functions. A crucial step in recovering from alcoholism is enrollment in an inpatient or outpatient program that follows up-to-date, evidence-based treatment principles. These principles include the use of alcohol-specific medications and any one of several forms of behavioral psychotherapy.
Hope Without Commitment
Find the best treatment options.Call our free and confidential helpline
Treatment Is Fully Covered by Insurance In Most Cases
If you or your loved one are dealing with the effects of alcoholism, recovery help is available in the form of outpatient or inpatient alcohol treatment. For more information on suitable options and the milestones of effective treatment, call (888)-459-5511 today.
Table of contents
What Is a Recovering Alcoholic?
Anyone affected by alcoholism is dealing with the lasting mental and physical consequences of alcohol dependence. This dependent state occurs when the brain adapts to the many chemical changes produced by the frequent presence of heavy amounts of alcohol in the bloodstream. A recovering alcoholic is anyone trying to address the damaging effects of alcohol dependence and regain sobriety. The term commonly applies to people receiving treatment in an alcohol-oriented substance treatment program. It can also apply to people who have completed active treatment and returned to their everyday lives. In some respects, recovery from this chronic brain disease continues long after excessive alcohol consumption comes to an end.
Stages of Recovery from Alcoholism
Before entering formal treatment programs, people seeking to recover from the effects of alcoholism typically stop drinking and go through a period of medical detoxification. This supervised process provides an appropriate environment for safe alcohol withdrawal. Such an environment is especially important for severe, long-term alcoholics, who have a significant chance of developing seizures, delirium tremens (the DTs) or other major withdrawal complications. Without the proper professional oversight, these complications have the potential to lead to fatal consequences. Regardless of the severity of symptoms, experts recommend medical detox for all alcoholics.
After successful completion of detox, the next steps of alcohol recovery take place in inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is the usual option for people with moderate or severe alcoholism symptoms. People with mild-to-moderate symptoms may be able to recover while enrolled in an intensive or standard outpatient program. Whether treatment is inpatient or outpatient, it frequently involves the use of one of the three medications approved for use in cases of alcohol dependence:
Disulfiram (branded as Antabuse) helps deter drinking during treatment by intensifying alcohol’s toxic, unpleasant physical effects. Acamprosate (branded as Campral) helps promote abstinence by correcting some of the chemical brain imbalances that support alcoholism. Naltrexone creates a chemical blockade around sites in the body called opioid receptors. In so doing, it reduces the pleasure of drinking and helps tame alcohol cravings.
While enrolled in treatment, recovering alcoholics also frequently receive help in the form of behavioral psychotherapy. This active therapy has two main purposes:
- Identifying the thoughts and behaviors that contribute to excessive alcohol use
- Creating substitute thoughts and behaviors that don’t contribute to excessive alcohol use
There are several effective forms of behavioral psychotherapy for people in alcohol recovery. Options with backing from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) include:
- MET (motivational enhancement therapy)
- CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy)
- Family therapy
- Marriage therapy
After completing primary treatment, people in recovery still have clear risks for relapsing back into dangerous alcohol use. In fact, some studies indicate that four out of every five recovering drinkers will experience a relapse within a year of program graduation. Enrollment in a continuing care or aftercare program can help reduce the risks triggering a relapse. This type of program typically requires periodic check-ins for health assessments and participation in some form of therapy.
How Long Does It Take to Get Sober?
No one can say for sure how long it will take an alcoholic to complete detoxification and establish initial sobriety. Factors that affect the required amount of time include:
- The length of involvement in excessive drinking
- The severity of alcoholism symptoms
- The severity of withdrawal symptoms experienced during detox
Most people make it through withdrawal in about five to seven days. However, the process can last for 14 days or more. Also, some people experience a lingering condition called protracted withdrawal or post-acute withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms of this syndrome include restlessness, anxiousness, sleep disruption and a general feeling of uneasiness.
As noted, most people recovering from alcohol dependence will relapse at least once before they finally achieve sobriety. However, it’s critical to note that addiction experts view relapse as a temporary obstacle, not a permanent problem that prevents recovery. Also, the longer people stay sober, the less chance they have of ever relapsing. The majority of people who remain abstinent for five years will maintain their sobriety for life.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Alcoholism?
Attaining sobriety is crucial for alcohol-dependent drinkers. However, in important respects, sobriety does not equal alcoholism recovery. This is true because of the wide-ranging harm that chronic heavy drinking has on mental and physical health. The long list of problems associated with alcoholism includes:
- Changes in the shape, size, and function of multiple structures throughout the brain
- Alcohol-induced liver disease (i.e., fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis)
- A form of heart failure called alcoholic cardiomyopathy
- Heartbeat irregularities in the upper or lower chambers of the heart
- Hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure)
- Ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke
- Progressive kidney failure
- Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
- Immune system disruption
- Increased changes of developing cancer of the breast, esophagus, mouth, larynx, liver, and pharynx
Lasting changes in the brain’s size and function help explain the high rate of relapse in people attempting to gain their sobriety. And in a worst-case scenario, untreated problems in the liver, kidneys or heart can lead to deadly organ malfunctions. Also, any alcohol-related cancer can produce a fatal outcome.
Despite these daunting facts, people can and do recover from alcoholism, or at least some of the disease’s harmful secondary effects. The NIAAA notes that anyone who maintains abstinence for several months or longer may experience a significant improvement in some of the key brain functions that are damaged or altered by chronic heavy drinking. Fatty liver, the least severe form of alcohol-induced liver disease, can be reversed if alcohol use comes to a halt. The same fact also holds true for some cases of alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. However, the best way to avoid some of the worst health repercussions of alcoholism is to seek alcohol treatment as soon as possible. Once they appear, many of the most severe problems may not improve even with expert medical care.
Can Alcoholics Recover?
The road to alcohol recovery can be long and challenging. Still, every day, people across America receive the help they need and start their successful journey back to sobriety. Perhaps a bigger issue is how few people seek professional help for their serious drinking problems. Current statistics from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that less that 20 percent of all Americans affected by substance abuse/addiction receive treatment for their symptoms. An even smaller percentage of affected adults and teenagers receive treatment in a dedicated facility run by addiction specialists.
Successful alcohol addiction recovery requires a multi-step process that includes medical detoxification, participation in inpatient or outpatient treatment and follow-up enrollment in some type of continuing care. While relapses happen frequently, they don’t prevent recovering alcoholics from eventually achieving sobriety. And once long-term sobriety is established, there’s a good chance of avoiding any further problems for the remainder of a lifetime.
Enrollment in the right type of alcohol treatment program can have a decisive effect on the short- and long-term prospects of recovering from alcohol dependence. For more information on how you or your loved one can get the specialized help you need, call (888)-459-5511 today.