A Devotion for Those in Recovery from Addiction

Addiction is one of the greatest scourges, a kind of terrorism of the soul...

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A woman with her hands up to the sun in victory.

Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. —I John 4:4

The e-mail had been forwarded to me from the prayer service of Guideposts’s Outreach Division. It was from a woman urgently requesting prayer. A heroin addict, she’d been through rehab twice and had relapsed again. Now she had to pull herself back up out of the pit of her addiction and face her family with the truth, and she wasn’t sure she could go through with it.

“I keep thinking I’m hopeless,” she wrote, “that I will never get better. I can’t pray anymore by myself. I need help.” She didn’t give her name, only her e-mail address.

Of all the seemingly intractable problems the world faces—war, hunger, environmental calamities, terrorism—addiction is one of the greatest scourges, a kind of terrorism of the soul. It affects rich and poor alike, advanced nations and developing ones, men and women, and people of all ages and races and religions. The toll addiction takes on the world’s economies is in the trillions. The personal suffering is incalculable.

Yet as someone who has not picked up a drink in many years, I know there is a solution, one that begins with the individual. By the grace of a Higher Power, any addict or alcoholic can take back his or her life from the grip of addiction.

Millions have succeeded, one day at a time, by being willing to put their lives completely in the hands of a loving God, the only power greater than their addiction.

I don’t know what happened to the woman who e-mailed us, but I do know that by asking for prayer and by turning her addiction over to God, she had taken the first step and given herself more hope than she knew. For where God goes, hope grows.

God, one day at a time, You are my Higher Power, the one force greater than any difficulty I may have.

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