3 Ways to Pray for Someone in Recovery

Recovery is a chance to reset the dial. To re-embrace hope and change for both you and your loved one.

by
Posted in , Aug 21, 2018

Praying for recovery

Over the years I’ve seen more than one loved one enter rehab and deal with the challenges of recovering from alcohol addiction and drug addiction. Even now as I write this, my wife and I are praying for a loved one who is in a really intense, tough three-month rehab program. It got me thinking: how do you pray for someone in recovery? Here are three things I remember when I pray for my loved ones in recovery:

1)  You’re not in charge.

This is a hard one to remember. When someone you love is slipping down a rabbit hole you want desperately to rescue them. You want to fix them. You want to do everything to help. But as they’re learning how to trust their higher power, we loved ones must do the same. Recovery is something that can only happen with God’s help. It’s not us.

That also means trusting the professionals. Not engaging in any tit-for-tat. Not allowing yourself to be manipulated. Practice a response of “Gosh, have you asked your counselor about that?” or “your sponsor” or “the person who’s running the program?”

2)  Let helplessness help you pray.

Make helplessness your ally. It is your friend. It is why you can throw all your clever ideas away—all your perfect plans to fix things—and just trust. If you’re at all like me, you always want to tell God just how He should help and what should be done and, in fact, what kind of time line would work best. Helplessness can’t do that. Helplessness will leave you with the power of silence.

Helplessness will leave you with the power of silence.

3)  Be in touch.

Depending on the program, you should be able to write your loved one or possibly visit on special days. I remember seeing a loved one in rehab on a family day and feeling the power of recovery in that room. The relief family members had at seeing someone sober and clean. The opportunity to begin mending fences. The chance for honesty. The Spirit seemed to be at work.

You can also send a letter or a card. The old-fashioned way. Snail mail. We’re so used to texts and emails I find it a relief to take my pen to paper, telling someone I’m praying for them and then putting it in the mail. When you let someone know you’re praying for them, you are acknowledging a powerful force. You are becoming the “two or more” that Jesus talked about.

Recovery is a chance to reset the dial. To reembrace hope. This is a time of necessary change for both you and your loved one. Take it one day at a time in prayer. 

View Comments