How to pray for an addict

How can you pray for someone who is struggling with addiction? We review some suggestions here.

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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.

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?
A: Pray

“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,
Stephen Scoggins
About the author
Stephen travels throughout the country teaching faith and self-understanding. His goal is to empower others to use the bricks of past failures to build a new foundation for success, reigniting a passion for life and purpose to make large steps toward a bright future. Find out more about Stephen and the Journey Principles Institute here.


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  1. Thanks for this information, I have been praying constantly for loved ones. I told the addict have to get tired before they can become healed. I am praying God will intervene because I am tired.

  2. I prayed a novena for my family recently asking God to watch over them and keep them healthy and on the path to find Gods will in their lives. Mid novena, my child fell and split his head open after a night of drinking at a college party. Flood gates opened and we now know he has multiple addictions. We are in total shock at what’s happened. Upon reflection I can see his accident was a gift and answer to prayer, the addiction is now in the open. While he has a long road and must decide his path for himself, I know the power of prayer to support his healing. This is now my main focus and role in his life, to pray for him and for love and mercy to surround him. The God who created him can most certainly open his heart to healing, I believe this with all my being. My prayers are for him, but also all of us coping with addiction ourselves or with loved ones. I will pray for you. Do not lose hope. Nothing is impossible with the God who created us for He can move mountains…including the mountain of addiction. Do not ask for little of God. Ask for great miracles and place your trust in Him.

  3. I pray that my God son forgives himself and ask for treatment I pray that our family accept his mistakes and forgives him. I pray that he looks himself in mirror and ask God to bring him out of this mess and that he lives a life closer to God. I pray that the lord picks him up and and brings my godson back to our family. I pray all of this for Richard, Ricky we miss you and love you.

  4. Please pray for my daughter who is on drugs and have left two children behind and married a man that’s on drugs and I believe that he’s the one that’s encouraging her to use drugs

  5. My husband is a heroin addict and he was just going in style ISF for 90 days 120 I think God answered my prayers I would pray day in and day out for the financial burdens to go away for the pain he felt to leave for the first time in my life hearing his voice on the phone as a sober man is amazing I’m just praying he can commit to the program…

  6. My niece has fallen into heroin addiction with both feet, leaving 3 small children wondering when Mommy is coming home. Thank you for these praying points. Please pray for Heather.

  7. Greetings from a fellow recovering addict…..I stumbled across this blog about how to pray for an addict at the perfect time…….my youngest son struggles with addictions and right before my eyes I see his true self slipping away. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your wisdom and providing me with structured prayer to help my son. Keep up the good work. God Bless you. Love.

    Linda xo

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