The power of prayer in addiction recovery

A guide to why and how to pray in addiction recovery for people who identify as Christians.

4
minute read

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”  – Matthew 11:28-30

Struggling with a substance abuse addiction takes its toll not only physically and emotionally, but spiritually as well. That’s why Christian drug and alcohol treatment centers strongly believe in treating the person as a whole; mind, body and spirit. How does prayer work in recovery? The power of prayer in recovery builds hope and provides the motivation and strength to fight the good fight against addiction.

Finding or restoring a relationship with God during rehab provides a powerful Helper while on the journey to life-long recovery. Strengthening a relationship with God through group and personal Bible studies, and fellowship with others through prayer groups, provides an unexplainable sense of peace and boundless hope. In its essence, faith in recovery needs to be accompanied by actions.

Prayer Heals

“Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ he asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.”  -Matthew 20:32-34

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The healing power of prayer is a proven fact that scientific and medical research equally support.  There are documented studies that prayer has healed many serious diseases much to the puzzlement of medical practitioners. The power of prayer is a mighty God-given gift that can heal addiction too.

No one is without weakness; no one. How we react to that weakness, however, makes all the difference in the world.  Turning to drugs or alcohol is the easy way out and not the reaction God desires. God offers unlimited strength to those who turn to Him in prayer; releasing control and allowing Him to take charge of that weakness – that addiction – will extinguish its power and hold on an addict’s life.

There are many more benefits gained through genuine faith and prayer:

  • You will never be alone in the battle
  • Relief from fear and anxiety
  • Balance of mind, body and spirit
  • Experiencing pure joy which increases the effectiveness of treatment during rehab
  • Inspiration to do the work necessary to achieve a new life free of addiction
  • Greater mental focus
  • Diminished stress levels
  • Strength against addiction triggers
  • Reduced rate of relapse
  • An increase of dopamine levels in the brain generating the serenity once manufactured by drug use
  • Absence of depression
  • A 24/7 Helper to guide you to making the right choices while accepting what cannot be changed

How to Pray

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”  – Psalm 121:1-2

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Think of prayer as a conversation between you and God. Talk to Him as if you were talking with a friend. Prayer does not have to be a script; filled with ‘thee’ and ‘thou.’ God wants to hear from you – personally.

A good guideline is to:

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  1. Start with some praise, tell Him how you care for Him and trust in Him alone
  2. Thank Him for the blessings in your life; big and small
  3. Ask Him for healing from your addiction and share the desires of your heart with Him
  4. Ask for forgiveness
  5. Ask for strength and protection against the evil powers of addiction

The 12-Step Recovery and Prayer

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr

A.A. and N.A. believe deeply in utilizing the power of prayer for recovery and healing. A countless number of addicts have achieved successful long-term recovery with the strength gained through praying to God.

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Each of the twelve steps is complemented by a prayer which can be incorporated into personal prayer time. Reciting the Prayer of Serenity during A.A. meetings is customary and a good prayer to find strength on a daily basis during life-long recovery (what the Serenity Prayer means).

Believe in the Power of Prayer for Recovery

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” –John 10:10

Drugs and alcohol are not your friends. They are the enemy – the thief – that is intent on destroying lives and families. God promises unconditional love, protection from your enemies, a Helper to guide you and strength to carry you through. All you have to do is believe.

About the author
Liliann Reid is a recovering addict focused on helping others understand the world of drug addiction and eating disorders through her firsthand experience. She is blessed to have found sobriety through a Christian based drug rehab program.

38 Comments

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  1. Cheri, praying for your family during this difficult time. I lost my son. Addiction is a battle. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  2. I just lost my 19 year old grandson to a Herion overdose after nine months clean and sober. Addiction and alcoholism is something you have; not something you are. It is one of the toughest battles you will ever be in. It requires a warrior mentality against the evil with the armor of prayer. You can recover, you can win. It is not for the faint of heart.

    1. Hi Cheri. I’m really sorry for your loss… You are totally right: addiction is something you have, and it doesn’t define you as a person. The battle is hard and painstaking.

  3. Please pray that my son Adrian as he plans to quit meth, God will give him the strength to go through the process in a calm and loving manner. No problems as the devil will not have an upper hand on him.
    Deliver him from this bondage in Jesus name.
    Amen.

  4. I have been on Methadone for 12 years and I have been detoxing off 80 mgs of over the past few months I am down to 11 mg and have been suffering with alot of bloating and discomfort in my side and seem to have alot of gas and water. Is this normal?

  5. hi
    i had been an marijuana addict for over a year and since 2 months i am clean and realized that i was doing bad
    god brought me out of the darkness
    i am experiencing withdrawal symptoms
    i just want to be normal again
    please pray for me
    i will never go back to the same darkness again
    i just want to be fine
    please pray
    god bless you

  6. Thank you for the reminder of how great and powerful my higher power is. Without him, I would of never found the strength or desire to surrender from my disease. The feeling of emptiness in my heart and life diminishes once I call on him for help and guidance
    He has taught me patience and in return has filled my heart with love peace and serenity. Thank you for this page. It’s excatly what I needed to hear at this time ♥

  7. Please pray for my friend Ian who is addicted to drugs and chem sex. He is also bi-polar and really needs god to help him as he has cut of from all his friends etc. Please pray for Ian that he will seek help. God is the only one that can help him as he has very dark forces around him.

  8. My son needs prayer he was hurt on the oil rigs . He had a fusion from his neck down to his lower back. So he has pain but the pills are over taking his life . He has a lil girl please pray for my son . I cry out to God all the time . I’m starting get sick myself I want my son back . Please pray ! God Bless

  9. My son was hurt on a oil field job . He has fusion from his neck to lower part his back. The pain pill are taking control od his life. I know he hurt but I’m afraid for his life and he has a 3 month old daughter . He needs help before he loses his or his family. Please pray for my son . It’s starting make me sick . I’ve cried out to God so many times . Thank you God Bless

  10. I am burdened with concern for my son who is a drug addict. He and his wife have used since they have been together. First it was her prescription Opioids, then heroine, then meth. They lost custody of their child of whom my husband and I now care for. They have recently split, and now he, my son is living reckless. He’s been in trouble with the law, and had never been in his life. He’s missed court appearances. Now is wanted for failure to appear. Seems he doesn’t care about anything anymore. We can not talk to him about the Lord, it makes him angry. He’s blasphemous. We pray for his salvation from this stronghold. Join with us as we continue to pray for him. May he repent and turn to God for help.

  11. I am struggling with kratom addiction, but I really want to stop. I suffer from anxiety and panic attack and I am so scared of the wd’s. I would appreciate any prayers and advice.

  12. I need help from nicotine addiction married for 13yrs with 3beautiful daughters am tired of this addiction want to live a healthy and Godly life pls help

  13. Im slipping. I had a yr sober but then I get around some ppl and I’ll do a line.. Or smoke but then the guilt takes over and I don’t come around sobering up again and getting back to my life work. The good things..then I do it again..I absolutely hate it I don’t want this life..I feel so lost and confused

    1. Hi Inked. Have you considered enrolling into support meeting? Also, you may want some therapy session to take control over your recovery again. Don’t throw your sobriety away…

  14. Please keep me in prayer to be free from the strongholds and bondage of drug addiction ,I no longer want it as my crutch to get through life’s circumstances.

  15. I have prayed for 17 years for my son to be healed of drug addiction. He was clean for a few years, I not really sure how long but he is currently using. Please pray for him, I can’t take it anymore. I have laid this at the feet of Jesus. He is my only child and he is a father to my only grandchild who the mother withholds at times from me too. I am falling apart. Please pray.

  16. I am recovering from taking sleeping pills for two years. Never was told about the dangers. Finding I cannot recover w/o God. Thank you for this information.

  17. Im married and my husband does coke. Everynow and then i think then again im unsure. Bills etc are upkept its just its a heavy situation i had parents and current who are heavy drugs and i damn married one it goes against my values im hurt embrassed and disgusted what do i do im so weary
    As a wife dating an abuser what do i do. His cousin do it and they are his partners i hate when he hangs with them because it causes him to slip up he grown he had to be stronger and get around others i cant think for him

  18. I feel blessed to have come across Addiction Blog. U give me hope and encouragement to be free if my addiction. U are a blessing

    1. Hi Mellinese. Thank you for the lovely words! We are glad that we’ve helped… Stay strong!

  19. i need help and i want to get out in this darkness life. I thought i would not get addicted to this drugs but i admit now that i am one of those people whos struggling and suffering for this addiction. please pray for me and please help me . LORD JESUS I NEED YOU IN MY LIFE

  20. Need prayer for my son Freddie Almanza who is addicted to drugs and alcohol he is currently back in jail. This a been going on for yrs. Freddie’s Mom

  21. I’ve been struggling for a long time please pray for me and my family the shields family I never quit quitting I know I’m healed in the name of Jesus

  22. I kept opening my door for the devil, and when I asked God to make that devil stop knocking and give me strength to fight all the vices he bestowed upon me. GOD answered my prayers. I had lost my faith for a long time because I was so high all the time that I never took the time anymore. Today I’m 50 days clean and not looking back… I never want that devil to come back so I pray for God to keep him away. It’s all about finding your faith and keeping your faith.

  23. I am of the opinion that one cannot be completely healed of drug addiction without prayer. Prayer is a powerful tool in every area of our lives. When we pray, we are simply giving God permission to intervene in our problems.

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