It’s devastating watching a loved one struggle with addiction. We try everything we can think of, and nothing seems to work. We blame ourselves for our failings and wonder what we could have done differently, done better.
The heartbreak is so great we often lose perspective in life. We blame ourselves for the uncontrollable actions of another. We do it out of love, but our misguided love rarely serves to better the situation, and often our frantic attempts at control only seem to make things worse.
We have, out of love, forgotten God’s love.
We try to accomplish what only He can do, and we live away from His grace.
There is nothing easy about addiction, and the pains of addiction always ripple through the family. Understand what you can do and do all that you can, but pray also for guidance on what you cannot do, and accept that only Christ can truly lead a loved one to salvation.
You don’t have to sit around impotent…you can pray! Pray for guidance and strength and let God’s grace and love flow through. Do what you can! Run an intervention, get educated, don’t enable…and then leave the rest up to God. Trust in Him. He has not forsaken or forgotten.
Let go and let god.
A question from our prayer partners and friends:
Below is an example of a prayer request that we receive from heartbroken, desperate parents, which always touches my heart.
Prayer Request: “PLEASE pray for our son and our family. Our son is enslaved to addiction and desperately needs salvation. He has struggled with addiction for over twenty years and it has taken a terrible toll on him and our family. We have done everything within our power and means; nothing has worked. My prayers for him are constant. Addiction is complicated and our son has many issues which would take too long to detail in this request. Please let me assure you that I do not wish to force God or pray in any way that would offend the Heavenly Father. I am just a heart broken, desperate mother that wants most of all her son’s SALVATION. I know that God is ALL POWERFUL and I am powerless. I understand that I must accept His will. My anguish over my son is great! I have a mother’s heart and cannot give up on my son! Our son is now homeless and we do not even know where he is! We do not know what else we can do. We are in fear for his life, safety and ESPECIALLY HIS SOUL! GOD TRULY IS OUR ONLY HOPE! PLEASE PRAY FOR A LIFE CHANGING ENCOUNTER WITH GOD FOR him AND GOD’S MERCY, GRACE AND PEACE FOR OUR FAMILY! Pray for his SALVATION, abstinence and safety. Ask God to work in his life, heart, mind & soul and do whatever is necessary for his SALVATION and deliverance! Our torment is great and after all these years it is hard to have faith and hope! We are suffering and need to feel God’s spirit. Pray that God will reveal to us what He would have us do and please grant us the WISDOM & COURAGE to do only His will. Can you give me anything hope, encouragement, comfort? Thank you for your willingness to prayer for others. May our Lord abundantly bless you! I humbly, ask all of this is in MERCIFUL & MIGHTY NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and except His will in all things!”
When a family member becomes ensnared in addictions, it is not an individual problem…it is a family problem. A family crisis may become your School of Prayer, and it may be the most difficult of all. To pray effectually, you have to allow the Word of God to divide soul and spirit. This is the separation of your emotions (the mother/father’s love) from your faith, which is the victory that overcomes the world. Here is where you, the mother or father, will find it imperative to yield to the constant ministry of transformation by the Holy Spirit. He is the Divine Intercessor who helps you pray when you don’t know how or what to pray. (Romans 8:26-28.) You may wrestle with guilt, self-condemnation and questions that are heart-wrenching, but God will never fail you or leave you without support.
When our son was in his junior year of high school, we were one of the families entrapped by the raging drug culture which rocked society in the 1970’s. The church world was not ready to address the demoralizing effects of drug addictions. We pursued help from many sources, but over time it became evident that we needed help that only comes from the Throne Room of Heaven. For a few months I withdrew from friends and neighbors to inquire of the Lord according to Psalm 27. I did not hesitate to pour out my soul before my Father-God just as Hannah of the Old Testament. But I learned that I could say to my soul: Why are you cast down? Hope in God who loves David and has plans for him that you do not yet know. You can’t walk his journey for him. My Spirit is hovering over him wherever he goes.
The Holy Spirit taught me several lessons…sometimes easy to learn, but not so easy to process. BUT GOD…He has sent a divine Helper…the Holy Spirit.
Search the scriptures for God’s plans for children. (Isa 54:13; Acts 16:31)
Forgive your child and remember that God even uses the evil of this world to accommodate itself to His plan. (Romans 8:28)
Speak your faith (all is well) in the face of painful circumstances. (Proverbs 18:21 and Proverbs 21:23)
Make a decision to praise and thank God according to Psalm 139 and Psalm 8.
Don’t be moved by a positive or negative change. You will develop patience as you “count it all joy” and your emotions will not be tossed around by every wind that comes. (James 1)
Renew your mind to God’s Word which never changes rather than focusing on circumstances which are ever changing.
Bring your thoughts into obedience to God’s Word and DO NOT focus on the problem.
Do not discuss the problem with everyone. This opens the door for the opinion of others and you will learn the full meaning of “job’s Comforters first hand. God will send encouragers to you in His timing.
Choose carefully those you ask to pray. The prayer of agreement is powerful when “two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask.”
Do not tell God how to answer your prayer…let God arise and He will be glorified!
David and I share “Our Family’s Story” in Prayers That Avail Much for Your Family, which is available on our website.
The sobering reality of addiction’s prevalence is evident in our daily prayers. The “addicted people” we are praying for have increasingly become “our people.” Our family… our friends… our circles of influence… our kids. When we feel a child is lost, slipping away, and have only a crack in the door to peek in on their lives… we can turn to the One in control to restore life.
“My Father is always at His work.” (John 5:17)
We can conclude from the miracles of Jesus that God accomplishes the impossible. Jesus came to do His Father’s work (John 6:38, 4:34), and told us that His Father is always at work. When we see our children spiral downward into a hole of bad decisions and strangling demons, know that a miracle-working God is watching the whole thing. Trust that He has their best interest in mind, and is more than capable of pulling them up and out. Place hope in His pursuit of them. No matter how well we’ve prepared our babies for battle, they still have to lift the armor over their shoulders and learn to draw the sword.
“Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 13:1)
By equipping our hearts with the capacity to love others, and ourselves, through seasons of addiction, we are allowing God’s tender hand to work. We are never ready to let go of our children, but we must daily remember our place. Trust Jesus to go after their hearts, call out their demons, and heal them miraculously.
Please pray with me:
Father, Praise You for miracles, and Your perfect timing to bring them into our lives. The winter is bitter cold and brown day after day… until suddenly, one warm day ushers in a thaw. Watching someone we love succumb to the grip of addiction wraps our hearts in an icy chill. Suddenly, we become closed to anything other than panic and reaction, worry and blame, solution and force. But, that is not Your way.
Father, You love us in a perfect way, even in the middle of our mess. And in the middle of our children’s messes,You love them perfectly, too. Thank You for the evidence of Your miraculous power through Jesus’ life. He reminded us that He came to do Your work, and that You are always at Your work. That includes our children… their addictions… their demons… their mistakes… and their sicknesses.
Thank You for loving our kids beyond our capacity.
When we can’t see what’s happening in our children’s lives, we can rejoice because You hold them in Your hands. Their journey with You is as unique as they are. Thank You for the individual way Jesus comes after each unique human heart.
Forgive us for falling into cycles of blame, remorse, regret, control, sadness, and anger. We confess that the first reaction we have is not always to equip our minds with Your truth and cry out to You in prayer, truly trusting that You hear us in those moments. Forgive us for putting too much pressure on ourselves as parents, or for any stray paths we led our children down. Forgive us for wanting to shelter and bubble our precious babies.
Help us to remember that the manipulation of substance-influenced brain is beyond practicality before attempting to speak reason into it. Remind us that the disease of addiction can be healed. Place an army of people qualified and educated specifically in this battle to help our children out of the hole. Help us to seek them, seek their counsel, and help our children to connect with them. Help us to have compassion on our children as they suffer, without enabling them to sink back into the hole. Surround us with a circle of qualified and godly people to guide us on how to execute life with addiction so near and penetrating.
Father we pray specifically for our child’s physical health, mental health, safety, shelter, employment, and dependance on You. Bless us with a released grip on control, send Your Spirit to strengthen us to surrender worry and control. God, You are bigger. You are in control. You are love. You sent Jesus down to earth and after our hearts… to call out the demons, heal disease, and claim His Father’s children… leaving not one behind. Father, we pray, in the name of Jesus, Your perfect Son who died for Your will to be done, for miraculous healing in our children’s’ lives and freedom from the demon of addiction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Megs is a stay-at-home mom and blogger at where she writes about everyday life within the love of Christ.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 14, 2017
This article is part of our larger Prayers resource meant to inspire and encourage your prayer life when you face uncertain times. Visit our most popular prayers if you are wondering how to pray or what to pray. Remember, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and God knows your heart even if you can’t find the words to pray.
Prayer for Healing
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I re-posted this prayer to my Facebook page a few days ago. I originally posted it last year. It has had an amazing response with over 600,000 views in just a few days. I wanted to post it here to my blog for anyone who is not on Facebook, and could use encouragement in this area. Blessings to you all!
Dear Lord, we come to you and we pray for all those who are struggling tonight. We ask in the name of Jesus, that you be with each person who is struggling with addiction…whether it be alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food…sometimes it’s more than one at a time.
Lord, you are our deliverer. We can do anything through Christ who strengthens us…but, we must take the first step. We must realize we have a problem and a need… and we must ask for help. I ask Lord, that you will give each person the courage to face up to their problems and to have a strong desire to change.
I ask that you will remove all outside influences that hinder them from coming clean and who perpetuate their addictions. We ask in Jesus’ name, that you will bind the enemy and that you will put your angels about each person to protect them tonight from themselves and from the things that keep dragging them down. Lord, I know many self medicate so they won’t have to deal with the pain in their life. I pray that you will give them the courage and strength to face down their demons and hurts… and to clean out the wounds once and for all, so they can be free to be the person that you’ve called them to be…to be free from the sickness and pain that keeps them in bondage.
We ask for healing in families torn apart by addiction. We ask for protection for those family members that are in harm’s way because of their loved one’s addictions. Lord, everyone suffers in a family where there is addiction. Please pour out your grace, mercy and healing power on each person who has been affected by someone with an addiction.
May the chains be broken tonight, Lord. Set the captives free and please begin that healing that only you can bring. Please bring hope…give a vision of what life can be like for a person freed from pain and addiction. Lord, for every need spoken or unspoken… and you know them all, we ask for your provision.
Please bring people into their lives that will stand beside them and help them to be accountable and will help them to stay clean and free. May you restore their sense of self-worth, may they find redemption and restoration in you Lord. We praise you and thank you Lord for the work you are going to do. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen
May tonight be a night of life-altering change!
Believing in miracles for you!
Here is a brief description by the artist, Steven Sawyer, as to the meaning behind the images in his painting. This comes from his website. Check out the site, for more insights…The painting is titled “Calvary” and he says ….”When you’ve done it unto the least of these you’ve done it unto Me.”…. “Only God can go where all the doors are held shut by the enemy. Only God will stay even when the devil himself finally walks out on you. Only God will share in the fullness of your sufferings and never forsake you”.
Photo Credit: artist, Stephen Sawyer. all rights belong to him
Prayer is (c) 2012, Debbie Kay, Hope For The Broken Hearted