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An Addict’s Prayer

One third of Americans were prescribed pain killers last year. One in seven struggled with an alcohol problem. An opioid addiction epidemic is killing thousands. As The Week says, “The United States is filled with people pursuing various forms of relief from various forms of profound unhappines…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

One third of Americans were prescribed pain killers last year. One in seven struggled with an alcohol problem. An opioid addiction epidemic is killing thousands. As The Week says, “The United States is filled with people pursuing various forms of relief from various forms of profound unhappiness…”

Maybe you’re one of them. How do you even pray if you are? Have you ever felt so broken and separated from God that you wondered if he had given up on you? Maybe you or someone you know has been lost in addiction. If so, maybe this prayer that a friend wrote can be your prayer. Or maybe you have a prayer for those who have lost themselves:


Dear God,

Are you mad at me? Do you know how messed up my life is?

Where are the keys? I’ve even forgotten where all the locks are so it wouldn’t matter if I had them anyway.

Now I know what a Zombie must feel like. Where life and death just hang out together in some putrid smelling bar where drinks are mixed with unbelievable regret but parched lips long for anything wet– whatever the substance.

I pick at crunchy scabs made bloody by my obsessions and rabid pit bulls tear away at the frontal lobes of what’s reasonable while a cracked mirror mocks sunken eyes and scars show new shades of purple.

Soon a judge will look at reams of paper and hear people give *expert* thoughts on my life.

Dread is my dungeon. Fear follows me even to this stainless steel toilet seat and a sad sink that longs for something normal– like a stack of dishes from a family meal.

I don’t recall the last time I was happy. Someone has hit the delete button on my memory banks and downloaded the most horrific killing hardware imaginable.

Firewalls have failed. Viruses are invited in to search and destroy all things good. My spiritual system crashes and reboots in endless cycles even as letters on life’s crazy keyboard keep changing so that every sentence is jumbled.

I can’t understand what I’m saying. How can anyone else know? Hope is locked in a closet without doorknobs.

I’m lonely, lost and lingering in slow death spirals of despair. Are you hearing any of this? If not….I understand.

My dreams have been left in a meth house somewhere and nothing works anymore.

Lost and lonely,

Comments (7)

  • Every age, every color, everyone is affected by this at some level… we need the message of “Born to be Loved” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” to spread!!

  • My friend, exactly one year, one week and one day ago, my prayer to God: “Father, please help me. I do not wish to live in misery anymore and I can not do this on my own. Either save my soul and take me, or help me to live”. Within minutes, an ad came on the tv for a rehab center. I took that as His answer to me. Through hung-over teary vision and trembling hands, I dialed the number. Within two days, I was on a plane 3.000 miles away to learn to heal. Leaving my life and my addiction was one of the most frightening decisions and hardest choices I had ever made. For fourteen years, I had a drink in one hand, but He held the other. I just made one year sober. My life is mine as it never had been.
    My sibling in Christ, you are never alone, but prayer can only go so far; you have to need yourself more than ever. Keep the faith. Give yourself the chance. Give yourself the change. Cry. Heal. Time will start your still heart. Peace to you. Amen.

  • This hits home for me in a big way. I have over a decade clean time today and a fabulous miracle story of how God pulled me from the depths of the hell where addictions live – more than once. There are still days however, that the enemy attacks – demanding I remember all the horrors and guilt of things past. It’s something I will battle for the rest of my life. I can accept God’s forgiveness and my younger daughters have forgiven me the crimes they were subjected to – I’m sure satan will never allow me peace to remain in that state of unconditional forgiveness.

    Forgiveness of self can be a foreign concept…. Something beyond reach… I’ve learned through experience and education that the minute you believe yourself to be stronger than your addictions is a time you should worry. There are reasons for my past – for the pain and desperation, the failures and the prayers for death. Without those experiences, I wouldnt be who I am today… I wouldnt be able to reach the people I work with in the same way… It took decades for me reach a place where I could give thanks to God for allowing me those experiences. I can never let my guard down however – it takes only a split second to decide one more hit, one more high… one more… will be okay. And the ride through hell can start again.

    Only God is stronger than my addictions. Without Him, I am nothing but an addict waiting to relapse.

  • Amen, Marilyn! What a loving God – what a miracle and what a story. He cares so much for his kids and wants so badly to rescue them.

  • Suzanne – thank you for your testimony. That is profound. Your redemption was costly and is therefore precious. I’m confident that God will continue to use what you experienced to rescue others.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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