A Prayer for Loved Ones Struggling with Addiction
By Ashley Moore
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” - James 5:16, NLT
After almost nine years of sobriety, someone I love relapsed back into the pit of addiction. Stunned by this setback and overwhelmed with disappointment, I’ve questioned why God would allow something that was once such a testimony of redemption to be squandered by a series of bad choices.
Are you someone who knows this hurt? Do you love someone who struggles with addiction? Do you wrestle with the gamut of emotions that comes after a relapse? Maybe you have questioned God’s ability to use this situation for anyone’s good or, much less, His glory. Or have you pulled away from your church community for fear of being misunderstood or judged? Or perhaps you have hidden away from all people, crushed under the weight of depression and doubting God’s ability to heal you or your addicted loved one.
I resonate so deeply with your pain. I, too, have felt paralyzed while caught in the crossfire of the addiction of another. I’ve been embarrassed and ashamed that addiction has taken up residence on the pages of my story. And I’ve wrestled with God about His sovereignty over these so very broken parts of my life.
I want to both acknowledge your despair and gently point you towards the comfort of His Word as others have so tenderly done with me. The book of James tells us how to experience healing, and I believe the enemy is using our pain to draw us away from the very things God designed to bring us to restoration. You see, we have an enemy who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy our lives (John 10:10). This thief wants you isolated from God’s people, he wants to keep you hopeless and doubting, and he wants the souls of our struggling loved ones.
But God! God wants to give us abundant life (John 10:10). The word abundant used in this scripture is the Greek word perisson. This word can be translated to mean advantage. Because of Christ’s sacrifice and power to overcome death we have been given the advantage over our enemy. Sin is defeated and death is overcome! Healing is possible.
And how do we access it? We do what James commands in our key scripture. We confess our sins and struggles to faithful and fruit-bearing brothers and sisters in Christ. And then we pray for each other and our struggling loved ones so that we may be healed. James ends this pathway to healing with the powerful reminder that the righteous person’s prayers produce wonderful results (James 5:16). And friend, if you are in Christ, you are covered in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). The prayers of the saints are powerful because Christ's covering makes them righteous in God’s sight.
So yes, we acknowledge the reality of the brokenness of our hearts and the effects of sin displayed through addiction in our loved ones. We take our doubts and depression before God in honesty. And we remember to engage in the process God laid out in scripture for healing, trusting that God’s Word triumphs over our enemy and all our feelings of despair.
We call on the God who heals! Lord, we come to you confessing our sins and shortcomings. Our big transgressions and even our doubts and unbelief. Jesus, we pray for our addicted loved ones. You say that if we confess our sins and pray for each other we are healed. You made us righteous with your blood and that means our prayers produce wonderful results. God, help us to believe this. Help us use this truth to tear down lies and strongholds from the enemy. Jesus, we ask for complete healing from our loved one’s addictions and complete restoration for our families. Lord, give us the wisdom to understand the very nuanced ways you accomplish your purposes and bring healing. We trust you will use all of this for our good, the good of others, and your glory because your Word says you will (Romans 8:28). Help our unbelief, Lord. Amen.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Kamonwan Wankaew
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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