Can you pray your way out of an addiction cycle and into sobriety? While we certainly believe that nothing is impossible with God, we also know that prayer isn’t a spiritual vending machine. You can’t put in some time and words and expect the miracle of your choice to be spit out. Prayer is something else: it’s a powerful, mysterious, life-changing habit that can become a cornerstone in your overall recovery and your life.
Why should Christians pray?
Prayer isn’t just for someone who is experiencing a crisis, difficulty or addiction. Prayer is a fundamental spiritual discipline that all Christians should engage in because it lets them commune with their Creator, learn more about God and themselves and seek the kind of peace that only God can provide.
Yes, we can ask God for help, guidance or wisdom during prayer, and Scripture models all of these types of requests. Abraham, David, the apostles Peter and Paul, and Jesus himself are just some of the people who are shown in Scripture praying and asking for God’s help.
At the same time, Scripture is clear that God doesn’t always answer immediately and he doesn’t always answer in the way we expect or believe we want. Consider Jesus’s prayer in the garden of Gethsame. Jesus knew he was about to be arrested and what he would go through before he is crucified; he knew he was about to be separated temporarily from God as he takes on the past, present and future sins of mankind. He prayed “let this cup pass from me.” God doesn’t remove that burden from his Son, and Jesus also prays that it all be done according to God’s will and not his own.
That is a major part of prayer in your life – helping you understand and seek God’s will in your life.
Some benefits of prayer during recovery
In addition to helping you know God and yourself better, prayer can help pave the way for healing during recovery. It’s easy to imagine that God is angry or disappointed with us, just as other people in our lives might be. While God certainly isn’t happy if you are mistreating yourself or others or if you are sinning because of the things you are willing to do to get more drugs, above all God loves you. He wants to forgive you, and all you have to do is ask.
Even if you aren’t ready to seek God’s forgiveness, prayer lets you “talk” things through with him and seek the guidance of Christ going forward. These are some of the reasons that prayer is a foundational element in many 12-step recovery programs; we recognize that a higher power is in control of our lives and prayer lets us start submitting parts of our life to God.
The five-point prayer template
If you are new to prayer or only have practice in saying the dinner-time grace, approaching prayer can seem a bit daunting. Luckily, there’s really no right or wrong way to pray as long as you are sincere about it. You can pray silently in your mind, talk out loud to God, sing your praise and requests or even just say “God, I’m here,” and sit silently with him. You can pray anywhere at any time.
If you want to start with a prayer outline as you get to know God and learn what type of prayer works for you, you might consider the 5-point prayer. It’s often called the Five-Finger Prayer, because you can use the fingers on one hand to count out the points.
- Start with your thumb, which is nearest your body. Pray for those closest to you in life — Scripture says to include both loved ones and your closest enemies. You might pray that God protects them, gives them wisdom or works on their heart in some way. This prayer should be positive in nature, helping you to build on feelings of caring or love you have for people.
- Next is your pointer finger, which reminds us to pray for people who are supposed to point us in the right direction. You might prayer for teachers or mentors, bosses or even the people treating you for addiction or medical conditions. Pray that God would guide them and provide them with wisdom.
- The tallest, middle finger calls us to pray for authorities and leaders. This prayer might be more sweeping, as it could involve your state, country or world.
- The ring finger is known as the weakest finger, and it reminds us to pray for the sick or weak. You might pray for those who are in the hospital, for your friends in recovery or for those struggling financially.
- Finally, the pinky finger is a reminder to pray for yourself.
Praying for others is a great way to give back, to seek God and to boost your own spirits. Another prayer template you can follow is the Praise, Thank, Repent, Ask and Worship outline. Begin by praising God, thank him for good things in your life, ask forgiveness for your sins, ask God for help or healing, and end by simply worshiping him.
However you pray, making it a regular habit is important.
If you’re struggling with addiction or can’t stop using drugs, consider seeking outside help from a Christ-centered recovery facility. Our counselors are available now to take your call and answer any questions you might have about treatment. Call (844) 402-3605 Today.