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
Learn how to:
- Set Up A Telephone Prayer Lines for free
- How to build your Prayer Team
- Obstacles in Building A Prayer Ministry & how to overcome them
- How to Incorporate your Prayer Ministry
- How to Set Up your 501 c3 tax deductible Non Profit Organization
I’m telling my “story” tonight at a women’s meeting. My friend asked me to do it last weekend and I immediately said, “Sure.” I have no idea what my “story” is but I’m sure I can think of something!
It seems I have lots of little stories – like chapters, maybe. I can break my life down by ages, places I’ve lived, academic/career stages, relationships with men, being a mother. One thing is for certain, God has always been there. From my earliest memories I’ve always had a sense of the divine. I knew He was there. I loved Him, and He loved me.
Sometimes that was the whole extent of it. I knew He was there. I loved Him. He loved me. Like the sense of touch or smell. One of the ways I experience my world is through the lens of my “sense of God.” I don’t call it a “sixth-sense” because that phrase makes me think of a fortune teller. I don’t really call it anything. I experience it and know it’s there. It’s always been there.
Our senses Mr Webster tells us are, “the faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, by which humans and animals perceive stimuli originating from outside or inside the body.”
So, maybe perceiving the spiritual, the divine – which certainly can be a “stimuli originating from outside and inside my body – has been a big, consistent, unquestioned, ever-present thing for me. Just like touch or sight or smell..
As I’ve been journaling about what to say in my “story,” (I have no idea why I keep putting that in quotations?) I wrote a lot about knowing God, never leaving Him or abandoning my faith and spirituality. Many in AA have do experience leaving their faiths behind. Some joyfully find it again once sober, having that “spiritual experience” the AA Big Book tells us about.
When I got to the part in my story where I stopped going to meetings and participating in AA, I thought about my reasons why. I was sober almost two years, when I decided I wouldn’t go anymore. It had been building in me over a few months but I kept trying to overcome this because I’d heard the stories of alcoholics who had been sober for years stopped going to meetings and eventually relapsed. But, nonetheless I stopped going to meetings completely.
I had absolutely no intention to relapse. I loved sobriety. However, 18 months later I did. One glass of wine in a romantic bed and breakfast overlooking a lake in North Georgia in October…. leaves changing, time away from the children with my husband, feeling good and serene. Then, “Man that glass of wine looks good. I’ll have just one,” I told myself. Within three weeks, I was having the whole bottle of wine.
This first long-term AA experience did not include fellowship, which I understood to be a very important component of recovery. Fellowship with other alcoholics. I heard other women experiencing this “fellowship,” and they all seemed to LOVE EACH OTHER. I really liked all of them and was happy for them they found new friends in AA. I was happy “ for them” they had lots of new friends. But I didn’t need any more friends.
What was going through my mind at the time? I don’t know. Perhaps it was a confluence of factors: my temperament, my life experiences, my lack of trust of others, my introvertness. All I knew is AA was helping me and I loved it; but I already had many friends and five sisters who are my best friends. I went to a meeting each day but left immediately after in a hurry afraid someone might ask me to have lunch or something.
So, why did I leave AA back then and go it alone? Well, I had been sober almost two years, had no desire to drink and everything was fine. We started to have financial problems at home, so dealing with all that took me away from things, as did getting a new job which seemed to take up all my free time. Since I had no fellowship with other alcoholics, there was no one to stop me from rationalizing and justifying my decision to myself and those around me.
But what is the REAL reason I left? It was a self-righteous internal defense of my Catholic faith.
I started hearing – day after day, meeting after meeting a lot of “Catholic-bashing.” Maybe it was always there and I never paid any attention to it; but back then it seemed so prevalent in my AA meetings. Sober, I was drawn to learn more about my Catholic faith and why we do and believe the things we do. It became a very real part of me, of who I am; so when my AA “friends” in meetings spoke negatively about it, I took that as a personal affront. Like talking bad about my family. You just don’t do that around me!
Maybe I was looking for a reason to leave? So, that became my reason and I sat waiting for it in each meeting. Things people say in meetings (still):
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans) so I had a twisted understanding of God.
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans) so my concept of God was a “punishing” God. If I did something wrong, I was told I was going to hell.
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans) so all I had to do was confess my sins to a priest, say one Hail Mary and go right back out there and do it again without guilt.
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans) so I have so much shame and guilt to overcome.
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans) so I had no personal relationship with God. We went to Mass every Sunday and that was it. I never knew God until AA.
- I grew up Catholic (wink, wink, nods, everybody groans); but it wasn’t for me. Now I’m spiritual but not religious.
All these statements may be true for the individual expressing them in a meeting; but at that time in my life I took each of these very, very personally. Too personally, actually. That was my problem. Resentment built, which I’m told in meetings is the #1 offender and leads us back to drinking as our solution. And I just didn’t like anybody there anymore. Catholic bashing was not discouraged. It seemed to be a group-think mentality to me. Of course everybody hates the Catholic Church!
While sensitivities were increasing and evolving with all other religions, it seems it was/is still quite politically correct to bash our Faith. So, whatever. Today, none of this bothers me (unless I’m PMS’ing) – it seems easy for me to separate my experience from anyone else’s. I simply see it as that person has their own journey and they have the right to be wrong. lol. This is where she is in her life; and God is leading her down her path to Him.
But I do make it clear to my “friends” that I am Catholic and I love it. So, I think that causes them to think twice before expressing negative opinions about it. At the very least, they know they’re not going to get a wink, wink, nod, groan from me.
I think the theme in meetings, “I’m spiritual but not religious” is what irked me the most back then. It usually was expressed in a way that religion is “bad.” And spiritual is “good.” Some didn’t mean this in any spiteful way about religion – just expressing their understanding of things. And that’s cool.
But some did. In tone and undertone and the rest of their sentences in their shares, they meant it as as they’re right, enlightened, smarter, too smart to be brainwashed and tricked by man-made rules in religion.
So, that was my big thing. And I left AA just like that, relapsing about 18 months later. Over the next seven years, I went back out there and earned my “alcoholism” degree. If AA required us to bring a resume to our first meeting to prove that we belong there, I’d be immediately hired.
So many consequences: 2 more DUIs, 2 rehabs, bankruptcy, divorce. And even though the divorce saved my life and enabled me to finally get sober for good, I definitely realize our drinking was the main factor of our downfall if only making it impossible to have a true relationship. My confessor once told me, “An alcoholic married to their drinking buddy is a death sentence.” That was almost true for me.
So back to that whole “spiritual but not religious” thing… not wanting to make the same mistake again and stop going to meetings over something like this… I explored this topic. I believe spiritual and religious go together, can’t be separated – I’m not one or the other. I’m both. It’s a very modern day thing to separate the two. Today, (maybe the last 50 years?) the term “spirituality” has come to mean a person who doesn’t go to church or adhere to organized faith practices, but lives according to an individualized moral code. And, today “religious” has come to mean being overly concerned with rules and regulations, narrow-minded, judgmental. One sounds “good.” The other sounds “bad.”
I’m reading lots of interesting things about this — it turns out what I have always intuitively known (spiritual and religious go together) — has a big tradition in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Faith is the totality of our belief system, the common gathering point, the religion, agreement on a set of principals and truths we all share as humans. God wants us to connect with each other in communion.
Yet, Catholic SPIRITUALITY is the way we live out that Faith personally, at home, in our families and in our individual lives. It’s how I best experience God in my life. It’s how I live this big Catholic faith, PERSONALLY. Everybody is different. My way to God is definitely Catholic; but it’s a different path than another Catholic might have.
Understanding we are One Body with many parts; and based on our individual temperaments and life experiences each of us is drawn to one or more of these ways of spirituality over another. Modern (ie. arrogant) thought tells me since I am an “individual,” unique as a snowflake, I will find “my own way” of spirituality. This all sounds good unless and until our “way of spirituality” leads us to following Oprah. LOL. Modern day spiritual gurus don’t have the fullness of the Catholic faith as their foundation. They have themselves as their foundation. They may have good intentions but inevitably lead us down the wrong road.
The truth is I am just not that unique. My “personal” way of spirituality has been practiced for many hundreds of years, and so has yours. It’s actually not anything unique to me and me alone. Like-minded Catholics for 2,000 years have explored these various spiritualities, lived them, written about them, studied them, expanded them… My way is already out there somewhere. No need to reinvent the wheel!
Here are some forms of Catholic spirituality. Pick one!
Ignition (Jesuit) spirituality
Opus Dei spirituality
Missionaries of Charity spirituality
…and more and more paths of spirituality —- all different personal paths to the same end: union with God and salvation of our souls with the Catholic Church at their foundations. I lean most toward the Dominican way of spirituality, with a mix of Franciscan and Augustinian.
Ok, I am writing WAY too much. I should edit but I don’t have time. Oh well. I’ll write another post some day soon describing these different spirituality paths. Sorry for any typos. Bye.