How can you frame your prayers for someone who is struggling with addiction? We offer some suggestions here. Then, we invite your questions, comments, or experiences about praying for someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol at the end.
- 1 An addict makes her own choices
- 2 6 things to pray for
- 3 Our prayers have value
- 4 Signs of Addiction
- 5 Barriers to Helping an Addicted Person
- 6 How You Can Help Someone with an Addiction
- 7 When to Stage an Intervention
- 8 Universal Messages In Prayers Relating To Addiction
- 9 The Efficacy Of Prayer
- 10 Prayers For The Newly Sober
- 11 If You’re Suffering With Drug Addiction, Help Is Here
An addict makes her own choices
Many times, when we have a loved one who is addicted, the best thing we can do is stand back and let them make their own choices. It can be upsetting to watch them make unhealthy and self-harming decisions, but that doesn’t mean that we are completely helpless when it comes to recovery.
Q: What can you do about it?
“Son, my father told me recently, the only true weapon that had any effect on me…was to pray. There were even times I could feel the prayers and many days they gave me a new courage to take a step.”
My father struggled with alcoholism for many years, and until he was ready to make the change, we were unable to save him from his choices. However, what we could do was pray.
6 things to pray for
Here are six things you can pray for regarding an addict:
1. Pray for acknowledgement.
Pray that your loved one will realize they have an addiction and that they are hurting themselves and others around them.
2. Pray that they move past self-pity and loathing.
After my father had gained awareness about his disease, he had to move past the hate, shame and guilt he put on himself after years of addiction. Pray that they will understand how valuable their lives are that that their experiences could one day be used to help heal others.
3. Pray for desire to heal.
After my father moved from self-loathing and pity, he was finally ready to seek healing. However, he had to find a reason to heal that was stronger than his desire to drink. Pray that the addict in your life finds the reason they want to quit, and it will help them move past their substance abuse.
4. Pray for properly trained support.
Addicts needs support that is not only physical but spiritual. They need help figuring out their triggers, turning points, and what gives them the courage to get through the day. Pray that the addict in your life not only finds support from family and friends, but also finds strong accountability.
5. Pray that God gives them the strength.
Addicts have to make the choice NOT TO USE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL each and every day. They have to choose to go against their desire and choose the healthiest path. Pray that God helps your loved one to choose the path and keeps them whole.
6. Pray for forgiveness.
Breaking the cycle of addiction is not easy. The addict in your life may take a couple steps forward, and a couple steps back. Pray that you can offer the forgiveness they need when they make mistakes. Moreover, be willing to forgive many times as they walk this difficult path toward recovery.
Our prayers have value
My father has worked incredibly hard to work past his addiction to become a healthy person. I am so proud of him and the work he did to become the wonderful man he is today. It was only through applying God’s principles to his personal journey that he was able to overcome obstacles and create a life of peace.
No matter what, our prayers have value, and they can help those who are struggling with addiction to move forward toward healing and rehabilitation.
In your Service,
This section will guide you in how to help someone with an addiction. When someone struggles with addiction, it can have serious negative effects on their relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues. If you know or suspect that someone in your life suffers from alcohol or drug addiction, you will probably want to help the one that you love, but this can be met with hostility or denial. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease, and the path to recovery for someone who is addicted is often a long and difficult one. This inevitably impacts those closest to them, and professional help may be needed to get them to treatment and into recovery.
Signs of Addiction
It is important for family members and friends to recognise the signs and symptoms of addiction. These can differ depending on the type of addictions they are coping with, whether it be drugs, alcohol or gambling addiction. Many people are able to hide their addiction even from those closest to them, and it can be tempting to ignore the problem when that seems easier. Some of the most common signs that someone is suffering from addiction include:
- Developing problems at work or school
- Lying about the substance or how much they use
- Becoming angry when asked about their use
- Changing friends groups
- Secretive behaviour, lying, stealing
- Changes to normal habits or mood swings
- Quitting social activities
- Criminal behaviour
- Appearing intoxicated more often
- Problems with memory or cognition
- Unusual tiredness
- Bloodshot eyes
- Rapid weight fluctuations
- Poor hygiene and grooming
Barriers to Helping an Addicted Person
As much as you want to help your loved one, it is common for those who suffer from addiction to exhibit negative behaviours and attitudes when confronted about their using. Many people will react in the following ways:
Part of the reason that addiction is so difficult to manage and treat is because the person affected refuses to accept that they have a problem. It can be frustrating and confusing for those around the person affected to continue watching them behave in destructive ways and remain in denial when confronted.
When confronted, the person affected will deny they have a problem, and will commonly react in anger, initially or if pushed on the issue. People with addiction will generally be feeling defensive, and can turn aggressive, if the issue of their using is raised. Even the “nicest” approach may be met with anger.
The person affected may start to avoid you, or avoid speaking about their problems, if they begin to feel “attacked”. A person with addiction will often use as a coping method to avoid problems and may continue this avoidance behaviour, starting to shut themselves away from you and other loved ones that confront them.
How You Can Help Someone with an Addiction
Whether you are trying to help someone who has never been admitted to treatment, or someone who was in recovery and is now relapsing, here are 6 things to remember that can help:
It can be really hard to watch someone spiral into addiction, especially if they have reached the point where they can no longer manage daily functions that they used to. In these cases, family and friends might be tempted to step in and help, such as taking over their responsibilities, giving them money, doing more household chores and childcare or apologising to other people for their behaviour.
It can be difficult to draw the line between supporting a loved one and enabling them. Although this is done from a place of love, or feeling of obligation, it helps to shield the person affected from their reality. In many cases, it is not until the person is faced with the consequences of their actions and behaviour that they can come to terms with their own addiction and commit to treatment and recovery.
The old wisdom is that someone with addiction should be treated with “tough love” by those around them to give them the incentive to change. However, this can be counterproductive. Without support, the person who is addicted can feel even more alone and cut off, which will drive them to using more. Negative social support is one of the greatest barriers to entry to treatment, as the person fears they will be ostracised from their family and friends.
But compassion can be one of the greatest motivators that family and friends can use, as they encourage the addicted person to seek help. By showing compassion, the person suffering will feel more comfortable and able to open up, as well as understand how their actions are affecting you. Leading experts now believe that empathy and social support can be key to getting people into treatment, and staying in recovery. However, it is important to understand the difference between enabling and supporting, which can mean the difference in getting treatment or not. Some ways to exercise compassion include:
- Open questions
- Family inclusion in therapy
- Listening and acknowledging pain
- Working on understanding addiction
- Emphasising care and concern
Don’t Focus on Guilt or Shame
Someone struggling with addiction is usually already feeling deep guilt, shame and anger about their using. In addition, many feel judged by their family and friends, and will act defensively in response to any criticism that is levelled at them. Rather than helping, if the judgement or moralising does appear, they may turn to using to combat the feelings of stress that this gives them.
It is understandable however, as the person suffering may have already deeply hurt you, broken your trust or angered you. Where there is love left though, it is important to understand that feelings of shame, anger, and judgement can negatively affect your relationship with the person addicted and actively harm their chances of recovery. Research shows that shame is one of the least effective incentives to change, because it is isolating, painful and can make the addicted person believe they are unworthy of love or treatment.
Encourage Healthy Habits
When someone suffers from addiction, it is common that they will also suffer from a decline in physical health, mental health, and from poor hygiene. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety are often exacerbated by addiction, or worsen the addiction itself. Encouraging the person affected to seek treatment for their health issues can help them understand the toll their addiction is taking on their life. Establishing a structured environment, encouraging healthy eating habits and exercise can help the person affected to want a healthier lifestyle overall, and seek out treatment.
Take care of yourself
This is one of the most important things that you can do if you know someone suffering from addiction. Helping someone with an addiction can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining, and it is important to care for yourself first. Recognise that this is not selfish, it is self-care. It can be heart-breaking to see someone make the same mistakes repeatedly, but you need to take care of yourself before you can help anyone else. Addiction is a family disease, one that can break up relationships and ruin multiple lives, and it is a chronic disease that will affect those closest to the person addicted for the rest of their lives. Please take the time to reach out to others for support, and here are some things you can do to help yourself:
- Don’t blame yourself
- Go to therapy
- Join support groups such as Al-Anon or Families Anonymous
- Do something you love
- Eat healthily and exercise
Addiction can destroy families, friends and work relationships. It is a chronic disease that will last for the rest of the addicted person’s life, and it is a relapsing disease. Knowing this, it can seem almost impossible to stay hopeful.
But addiction is treatable, and while there’s no cure, many people remain in recovery for the rest of their lives or are able to return to recovery after a relapse. When hope fades, the chances of recovery diminish as well, even though the addicted person has the potential to sustain a long and meaningful life.
When to Stage an Intervention
Family and friends are affected as much by the addiction as the addicted person themselves is. When it gets to the point that they want to confront the addicted person, it can be helpful to stage an intervention. Most of the time, addicted persons will not want to accept that they have a disease, but an intervention can help them see how much it affects the people they know and care about most.
An intervention usually involves a group of family and friends, led by a professional such as an interventionist or therapist. The professional will guide the meeting, ensure that everyone gets to say what they want in a supportive setting, and their presence can help to calm the addicted person or enforce the importance of the problem. The person affected will usually remain in denial about their disease, but an intervention can be an important first step on the road to recovery.
Helping someone with an addiction takes education, patience and empathy. Addiction is a harrowing experience for everyone involved, and if left untreated, it can destroy relationships, families and the addicted person may end up alone. Recognising this and reaching out before this happens can be hard, but it is important to remain optimistic and get support when you need it.
If you’re concerned for yourself or a loved one, please contact us for more information on how to help someone coping with addiction. You can be the one to help them find treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol and drug addiction.
Prayers for overcoming addiction are scriptural based prayers designed to break the backbone of any addiction. If you are addicted to drugs, alcohol, cigarette, sex, gambling or something else and you are looking for a way out or maybe you are just searching for prayers to pray for a loved one who is addicted to one thing or the other, here is a list of prayers that you can pray while trusting in God to bring total deliverance.
Spiritually speaking, most of the things we call addictions today are actually the manifestation of demonic spirit of self-destruction. The demons of addiction enter into someone’s life because the person invited them in the name of pleasure. Perhaps that is the reason why it is usually difficult for the addicted to get out of their addiction. Whatever may be the situation, the name of Jesus is here to set you or your loved ones free.
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:22-25, Mark 5:2-15
Praise, Worship and Thanksgiving
Start by singing songs of praise unto the Lord if you know how to sing, if not go ahead and give thanks unto the Lord who is worthy to receive all glory and honour.
- Heavenly Father, I thank you for keeping me alive to this day.
- I thank you almighty God for what you are set to do as I pray about this addiction
- I thank you Jesus for your mercies and faithfulness.
- Everlasting father, I give you praise and honour.
Prayer against Addiction
- Almighty God, I come before you today, please forgive me of every sin of drug addiction, sex addiction, e.t.c, that I have committed against my body (1Corinthians 6:18, 1John 1:9) and against you in the name of Jesus.
- Everlasting father I surrender my life to you, please take total and absolute control of my life as from today in the name of Jesus.
- Father my body, soul and spirit I commit into your hand, please cleanse me with the blood of Jesus in the name of Jesus (1John 1:7).
- It is written, “call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee and thou shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). Father, deliver me from evil spirit of addiction to (name your addiction e.g. alcohol) that I have invited to my life in the name of Jesus.
- I renounce and reject every spirit of addiction to (name your addiction e.g. drug). Heavenly father uproot all form of addiction to (name your addiction e.g. drug) from my life in the name of Jesus (Matthew 15:13).
- Father, remove from me the heart of stone that is panting after (name your addiction e.g. drug) in the name of Jesus (Ezekiel 36:26).
- Father, create in me a new heart and a new spirit that will be addicted to nothing but the word of God in the name of Jesus (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
- Heavenly father, please fill me with the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus (Luke 11:13).
- Lord, as I make conscious effort to do without e.g. cigarette, please release to me the supernatural power to hate cigarette and never indulge in it again in the name of Jesus.
- Lord of Host, please deliver me from every spirit of self-destruction that pretend to be addiction in the name of Jesus.
- Heavenly Father, you have created me for your glory (Isaiah 43:7), please help me so that I can be use for your glory on this earth in the name of Jesus.
- Please note that the first step towards overcoming addiction is to let Christ dwell in you. The scripture says, in 2Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”. Without Jesus Christ in your life, you may not be able to overcome that addiction. Here is an opportunity for you to surrender your life to Christ. Please say this short prayer of salvation so that Jesus Christ can begin to live in you.
- I recommend that these prayers be prayed loudly, fervently and consistently until there is a significant change in the life of the addict.
Thanks for reading.
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Whether religious or not, prayers or mantras can become a valuable source of positive affirmation in your life when battling drug addiction. One of the most common prayers repeated in recovery is known as the Serenity Prayer. It was created by Reinhold Niebuhr and reflects the attitude that not everything in life may be controlled. It acknowledges the struggle we all face in seeking out a path toward serenity and recovery in a world that often feels chaotic and beyond our control.
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
A mantra, or prayer like the one above, may be repeated daily to help reinforce positive thinking when cravings are creating distractions on your path toward recovery. The Recovery Prayer by Abby Willowroot, is designed to reaffirm your awareness of the strengths it takes to recover from addiction:
“Today, I heal my body, my mind, my spirit, my life. Drugs are a part of my past; they are not part of my now, they are not part of my future. Today, I am clean. Today, I am clean and free.
Today, I am becoming strong one second at a time, on thought at a time, one action at a time. I am learning how to live and to be the best parts of me today. Today, I am clean and free.”
In the Christian faith, addiction is often linked to a kind of spiritual warfare. Within the book of James this verse appears:
“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Universal Messages In Prayers Relating To Addiction
There are some common themes that emerge throughout in prayers and mantras relating to addiction. These prayers often relate to seeking truth, demonstrating how muddled our perceptions become when we are using. They ask us to remain honest and acknowledge the addiction; not to control or manage it. They showcase the courage it takes for someone to face the fear, damage inflicted by, and the severity of cravings and withdrawal symptoms relating to addiction.
Most, as with the Serenity Prayer, they identify a notion that the addicted individual fell into addiction because they were suffering from some underlying struggle. And nearly all highlight an awareness of a higher power, whether it be God, or finding serenity in nature – seeking out something pure on a path out of darkness and shadow.
One particular bible verse found within Corinthians, quite simply acknowledges the free will to choose to use, while including a most helpful mantra in contrast, “I will not be mastered by anything.”
“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
The Efficacy Of Prayer
Prayer and mantras as described above have been widely used in treatment and recovery programs, but are they effective? Science supports prayer appears to be an effective tool for relaxing the body, lowering blood pressure, and helping uplift mood. As such, prayer or mantras may be most beneficial when they are recited during times of high stress or tension. Repetition of prayer can play a critical role in reducing blood pressure and inducing calm for the troubled individual.
Which prayers work best for one person, depends a lot on their belief system and what the individual finds meaningful. Sometimes addiction has so far blinded a person from any awareness of good left within them, it is easier to acknowledge good outside of the body, a spiritual awareness, while beginning to reconnect with the good inherent in the person.
Someone recovering from a long-term addiction may find himself or herself in a place of destruction, in which relationships, career, and finances have fallen apart. They may feel unlovable, unreachable at the start. This is where prayer can help reinforce a message of hope that they are not lost, that there is light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.
Prayers For The Newly Sober
Prayers or mantras for the newly recovered might be more strongly rooted in helping connect the individual with the support that surrounds them, whether that be support from God, family, or some other network. The following is a message that separates the addiction from the individual.
“My mistakes don’t define me, but are transformed by the grace of God. Therefore I release shame off of me and receive love from God and others.”
Other prayers help us remember the importance of focusing on one moment at a time, one day at a time, to manage the anxiety that is recurrent in early recovery. Knowing that the problems that surround us are temporary and will subside, and that we must only focus on one issue at a time in those early stages of recovery will also help alleviate some of the self-inflicted guilt when we try to think so far ahead and feel we must fix all that was broken at once. The following mantra is part of a larger poem to aid in this one day a at a time thinking:
“Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.”
While most are aware of the beginning few lines of the Serenity Prayer, the remaining text is often left out. To paraphrase, the text goes on to suggest living one day at a time is key to finding peace. It also suggests that the challenges we face on this path are not designed to stop us, but to help strengthen us on our path toward serenity in recovery:
“Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace…”
St. Jude’s prayer addresses the addiction accurately as an illness. At the same time, the prayer is interwoven with the notion that the addicted person is not alone in his or her battles with addiction. Again, it reiterates those powerful messages of unconditional love, separating the addiction from self, and self-awareness that we are no longer in a place of control, but on a path toward recovery from something that has so long controlled us.
“God of life, You made me in Your perfect image, to live in Your love and to give You glory, honor and praise. Open my heart to Your healing power. Come, Lord Jesus, calm my soul just as you whispered ‘Peace’ to the stormy sea.
St. Jude, most holy Apostle, in my need I reach out to you. I beg you to intercede for me that I may find strength to overcome my illness. Bless all those who struggle with addiction. Touch them, heal them, and reassure them of the Father’s constant love.
Remain at my side, St. Jude, to chase away all evil temptations, fears, and doubts. May the quiet assurance of your loving presence illuminate the darkness in my heart and bring lasting peace. Amen.”
The “set-aside prayer,” popular within Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups, asks the addicted individual to open their minds to the experience of living free from addiction, by addressing specific long-standing notions.
“Dear God, please help me to set aside everything I think I know about , so I may have an open mind and a new experience. Please help me to see the truth about .”
Prayers and mantras sometimes seek help from a higher power or behave as affirmations designed to connect an individual with personal growth and strength.
The following poem, Salutation to the Dawn, asks a person to focus on the power of today by examining the reality of what exists within a person’s life and to celebrate how far they have come, how much they have grown. To live in the now with the kind of awareness that will create a vision of hope for the future.
Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence:
The bliss of growth;
The glory of action;
The splendor of achievement;
For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is only a vision;
But today, well lived, makes every yesterday
a dream of happiness,
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Most 12-step programs are built upon the tearing down of old thinking in the rebuilding of a life in recovery. These poems, prayers, and mantras help remind us that we are still learning, still innocent in our awareness, and that we are not in control of everything around us, but are students of the world. This can help someone struggling to deal with underlying issues like anxiety, depression, or doubt find strength in perceiving each situation as a new opportunity for self-growth.
The following Native American Prayer to the Great Spirit, carries a message that as we work through each day on this path toward recovery, only one thing is truly known: There is much we do not yet know.
“O’ Great Spirit, whose voice we hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear us! We are small and weak. We need your strength and wisdom. Let us walk in beauty, and make our eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make our hands respect the things you have made and our ears sharp to hear your voice. Make us wise so that we may understand the things you have taught our people.
Let us learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock. We seek strength, not to be greater than our brother, but to fight our greatest enemy— ourselves. Make us always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades as the fading sunset, our spirits may come to you without shame.”
If You’re Suffering With Drug Addiction, Help Is Here
If you or someone you know is coping with a drug addiction, DrugRehab.org can connect you with professional support and treatment services available in your area. Give yourself the freedom to seek serenity every day beginning with a confidential phone call to start you on a path toward recovery from drug addiction. Contact DrugRehab.org today.