I’ve seen the destruction of families due to alcohol, narcotics, and other addictions firsthand. When I was much younger, I watched my family deal with an addicted family member and often the embarrassment that came from it. They never stopped loving him but struggled with how to help.
As a pastor, I have been connected to the lives of those who were addicted and their families. Victories were few and far between it seemed, but there was always hope that somehow the addicted family member could discover a way to live beyond the addiction rather than giving in to it. Sadly, I’ve officiated at the funerals of those who were overwhelmed by their addictions… and I’ve seen their families have to live with the loss, the pain, and often the shame of it.
I wanted to share some wise and biblical insight from a dear friend of mine, Germaine Copeland, who knows firsthand the challenges of an addicted family member firsthand. In response to a request by someone to pray for their addicted son and the family, she wrote the following reply that is worthy of your time and attention:
When a family member becomes ensnared in addictions, it is not an individual problem…it is a family problem. A family crisis may become your School of Prayer, and it may be the most difficult of all. To pray effectually, you have to allow the Word of God to divide soul and spirit. This is the separation of your emotions (the mother/father’s love) from your faith, which is the victory that overcomes the world. Here is where you, the mother or father, will find it imperative to yield to the constant ministry of transformation by the Holy Spirit. He is the Divine Intercessor who helps you pray when you don’t know how or what to pray. (Romans 8:26-28.) You may wrestle with guilt, self-condemnation and questions that are heart-wrenching, but God will never fail you or leave you without support.
When our son was in his junior year of high school, we were one of the families entrapped by the raging drug culture which rocked society in the 1970’s. The church world was not ready to address the demoralizing effects of drug addictions. We pursued help from many sources, but over time it became evident that we needed help that only comes from the Throne Room of Heaven. For a few months I withdrew from friends and neighbors to inquire of the Lord according to Psalm 27. I did not hesitate to pour out my soul before my Father-God just as Hannah of the Old Testament. But I learned that I could say to my soul: Why are you cast down? Hope in God who loves David and has plans for him that you do not yet know. You can’t walk his journey for him. My Spirit is hovering over him wherever he goes.
The Holy Spirit taught me several lessons…sometimes easy to learn, but not so easy to process. BUT GOD…He has sent a divine Helper…the Holy Spirit.
- Search the scriptures for God’s plans for children. (Isa 54:13; Acts 16:31)
- Forgive your child and remember that God even uses the evil of this world to accommodate itself to His plan. (Romans 8:28)
- Speak your faith (all is well) in the face of painful circumstances. (Proverbs 18:21 and Proverbs 21:23)
- Make a decision to praise and thank God according to Psalm 139 and Psalm 8.
- Don’t be moved by a positive or negative change. You will develop patience as you “count it all joy” and your emotions will not be tossed around by every wind that comes. (James 1)
- Renew your mind to God’s Word which never changes rather than focusing on circumstances which are ever changing.
- Bring your thoughts into obedience to God’s Word and DO NOT focus on the problem.
- Do not discuss the problem with everyone. This opens the door for the opinion of others and you will learn the full meaning of “job’s Comforters first hand. God will send encouragers to you in His timing.
- Choose carefully those you ask to pray. The prayer of agreement is powerful when “two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask.”
- Do not tell God how to answer your prayer…let God arise and He will be glorified!
You read the full blog post at – http://blog.prayers.org/2014/06/26/a-message-from-germaine-praying-for-an-addicted-family-member/