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Prayers for Battling Addiction in Others

If you’re reading this article, you may be in the challenging position of loving someone suffering from addiction. Addiction takes many forms. We usually think of addiction in terms of drug and alcohol addiction, however we know addictive behavior may also extend to gambling, work, pornography, food—even shopping and video games.

As a believer, you bring the heavy artillery of heaven to the war against addiction. (Matthew 18:18) This is no light matter! There is great power in praying God’s Word back to Him from a heart of love. Intercession is sacrifice and faith; you are laying down your life in those minutes or hours to step into faith that your heart-felt prayers will be met by God’s grace, who delights in releasing healing and restoration.

Note: There may be a temptation to pray these intercessory prayers a few times and then succumb to despair if you don’t see positive change in your loved one right away. You do not use these scriptures to cajole, convince or bargain with God. You are warring on behalf of your loved one who is under spiritual, physical or emotional oppression.

Remember: the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Trust God to hear your prayers. Your desire for your loved one to be restored is utterly eclipsed by God’s desire for them. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer” (Romans 12:12) and do not “grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

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  1. “Jesus, You say Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. (Matthew 11:30) We know if we are not feeling light, we are operating under the yoke of another. Lord, You came to set the captives free (Luke 4:18) and who the Son sets free is free indeed! (John 8:36) I declare Your freedom over ________! Thank You, Jesus!”

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

Jesus answered them, Truly, truly, I say to you, whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)

  1. “Father, I thank You that ________’s taste for ________ is drying up! No more does he/she yearn for it. No more does he/she seek it in secret. Bring his/her addiction to ________ into the light. (Ephesians 5:13) I remit the spirit of addiction over them; thank You for bringing them into Your wisdom.”

Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)

Have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that is illuminated becomes a light itself. (Ephesians 5:11-13)

  1. “Father, is this not the fast that You have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? (Isaiah 58:6) I thank You for setting ________ free of ________!” (Note to intercessor: Have you considered fasting on behalf of your afflicted loved one?)

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:5-6)

Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11-12)

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:16)

  1. “I pray a hedge of thorns around ________, that those with wrong influence will lose interest and leave him/her alone. I pray this in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the power of His living blood.”

Therefore, behold, I will hedge up thy way with thorns, and make a wall, that she shall not find her paths. (Hosea 2:6)

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

  1. “Jesus, You lived a perfect life to be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. You didn’t die because we are sinners; You died because we sinned. You came to restore Your image in us, the image lost at the Fall. You conquered death in the grave to restore us as sons and daughters. Your shed blood paid a high price for us, which means—in Your eyes—we must have amazing value. Thank You for loving ________.”

For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our afflictions; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

  1. “Thank You for turning ________’s heart to You; I know if he/she abides in You—if his/her heart is on You—everything else that is not of You will fall away.”

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. (James 4:10)

And call upon Me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. (Psalm 50:15)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

Then they cry unto the Lord in their trouble, and He saves them out of their distresses. He sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. (Psalm 107:19-20)

  1. “Papa, You are gathering to Yourself a holy people (1 Peter 2:9, Ephesians 5:7); do not let ________ go astray like a lost sheep; You love him/her. Thank you for correcting him/her (Proverbs 3:12) and bringing him/her into accordance with Your perfect will. (Psalms 119:176)”

Now the works of the flesh are revealed, which are these: adultery, sexual immorality, impurity, lewdness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, strife, jealousy, rage, selfishness, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 6:9-12)

  1. “May ________ see his/her addiction the way You do, Father; You are replacing his/her feelings of invincibility, lust, pleasure and craving with humility, conviction and confession. It is not shame or condemnation, but Your goodness that leads us to repentance. (Romans 2:4)”

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Clean your hands, you who have sinned; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up. (James 4:7-10)

  1. “Father, there is nothing we cannot face when You are for us. Holy Spirit, You are giving ________ the strength and presence of mind to turn away from ________. He/She is learning to turn to You when he/she is tempted.”

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:13-14)

Encouragement for you who love someone suffering from addiction

And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:15-16)

Then will you call upon Me, and you will pray to Me, and I will hear you. And you will seek Me, and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-13)

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope makes us not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)

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Dark Fire cover art

Spiritual Warfare: A Warning About Children’s Books

Around quarter past seven one evening, my oldest son Gabriel holed himself up in the bathroom. At first, I didn’t think anything of it, expecting only a simple nature call. After a while past, I went to check on him. As I neared the restroom, I could hear his mother counseling him from inside. As any nosey parent would do, I listened at the door to see if I could overhear the problem. Seemed he was distressed by a Tolkien-esque series of books he had been reading all weekend.

Eventually, my wife and son emerged from the bathroom. My wife told me my son was going to bed and that I needed to go talk with him. She said she had asked him if he wanted Dad to come in and talk with him, but he had said, “No. Dad will just want to pray and I don’t want to pray.”

Hmm..

I went to his bedroom. The light was off and he was already in bed. I flicked on the light and told him to sit up as I took a seat in his reading chair.

“What’s going on?” I asked. “Mom asked me to talk to you.”

“I don’t know, ” he moaned, burying his face into this sheets.

“Nope, that won’t do,” I said. “We’re here and we’re going to have a grown-up conversation.” (Frankly, I might have said “big-kid conversation.”)

Gabriel started rocking a little and he said, “I don’t know, okay!? I am just hearing a voice in my head that says I need to either run away or kill myself!”

“What?”

“Yes! It says I need to run away or kill myself!”

With gravity setting in, I said, “Okay buddy. Now listen. There are three voices we hear in our heads: the Holy Spirit, our flesh, and the Enemy. They all sound like us; they have our voice. I can tell you your flesh doesn’t want you to die and the Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to die. That leaves the Enemy. You need to grow up in this, so I want you to do the praying.”

He nodded, took a breath and tried to begin. Nothing came out. No words. He tried a couple times and each time he would gag as he pressed into the attempt, placing his hand on his throat. Finally, in despair, he cried, “I can’t! I can’t do it!”

Faced with a deepening understanding about the forces at work, I said, “Okay, let me. In the name of Jesus Christ, any demonic activity, listening or watching is to cease immediately. You are to go straight to the feet of Jesus Christ without communicating with anything on the way, never to return here again. Go NOW. You are under contact.”

I gave him a couple moments to simply rock back and forth. Then I asked him, “How do you feel?”

“A little better,” he said.

“Okay. Now pray.

The floodgates burst open at this point. Gabriel let out peals of anguish and a simple prayer he repeated over and over, “God, help me!” True biblical travailing. I had never seen my son pray with such an earnest heart. He was truly wrecked and pleading for God to rescue him.

I stood up and placed my hand on his back. I prayed, “Holy Spirit, I thank you for setting Gabriel free from whatever was on him tonight. I know you love him and you call him a son. I thank you for raising him up as a young man in God and I love what you’re doing in his heart….” As I continued to pray, I began feeling an ever-so-subtle energy moving from my hand to the back of his shoulders.

I closed my prayer and sat down again. I asked him how he was feeling.

“Better,” he nodded. “A lot better.”

Right about that time, his mother came in. Cracking a joke to break the tension of the moment, she climbed onto the bed behind him and gave him a hug. She suggested he go to sleep now and he agreed, so she kissed him good-night and left the room. As I hovered over him, I looked into his face and said, “You feel better now, don’t you?”

He smiled, still crying, and said yes. “Is it okay that I’m still crying? It feels weird, but I’m really happy.”

I chuckled at him and said, “That’s the love of God you’re feeling right now. The Holy Spirit touched you. It’s very alright. Keep talking to him. Good night, pal. I love you.”

Turns out my wife had been listening at the door for only the last few moments, so I told her all that had happened. She was a little surprised. She agreed with my decree that book series was to no longer come into the house and asked that I sleep on his floor that evening. I told her I was confident there was nothing coming back to him that night, but I agreed anyways, thinking it might do his heart good to see me there when he awoke.

That next morning, my wife came into Gabriel’s bedroom to rouse me while he was off eating breakfast. Turns out, he had immediately sought out the books he so quickly cast aside in his despair the night before. When my wife asked him why he thought that was a good idea, he explained, “Oh, well it turns out it wasn’t my voice; it was the Enemy’s!”

Okay. Send him in. We need to talk, obviously.

I hadn’t told him anything about doorways or treacherous media. When he came back in, I explained how certain books, video games, shows, music.. you name it.. can open doors into us if we allow them. “You had a spiritual experience, last night, buddy.” I told him how his flesh was going to try to pull him right back into those old patterns and how it was at odds with a spirit that desires God’s love and light. “Does the message speak life or does it speak death? There is no neutral ground,” I said. I affirmed I might be able to work with the Holy Spirit to get him free of something once but that I couldn’t necessarily keep him free; that was on him. I let him know that now that he had been freed of his spiritual attack, he needed to fill back up with Jesus otherwise he was risking opening himself up to worse oppression. (Matthew 12:43-45)

Gabriel didn’t really like this story, but he understood and accepted it with a pouty face and slumped shoulders.

Did Gabriel grow from his experience? Absolutely. A couple days later he handed me Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer,” saying he was uncomfortable with the book because one of the characters received a dead rat for a gift. It was one of several classics his mother brought home from the library in an effort to feed our voracious reader healthier material he would still find interesting. I accepted the book from him, giving him kudos for using his discernment. The following day, Gabriel told me about a book he didn’t pick up at the school library because he recognized it as “spiritually unhealthy” (my words, not his.) He’s getting it.

I feel blessed to have received teaching on the authority of the believer by my church and my studies. Without it, I would have likely tried to reason my son out of his spiritual oppression through natural attempts like logic, mental manipulation, etc.

Glory be to God!

Matthew


UPDATE

Turns out the book series my son was reading was “The Last Dragon Chronicles” by Chris d’Lacey. Apparently, the series grows rife with demonic possession, reincarnation, sorcery and magic. Interesting to note the first book starts off quietly with squirrels and clay statues of dragons. By the time a reader reaches the third book in the 7-book series, per Wikipedia:

“In Fire Star, Gwilanna, the evil sibyl that first starred in Icefire, returns. She plans to reincarnate the last dragon, Gawain, and use him to open a portal to the dragon dimension Ki:mera. If she succeeds, the concentrated fire of all those dragons will be released onto an unstable Arctic, already threatened by global warming and in no need of any more heat to push it over the brink. The wishing dragon G’reth is whisked to another dimension by mysterious forces and brought back with an entity that calls itself the Fain. Meanwhile, David and Zanna are on the trip they won to the Arctic, and David is writing another book, an epic book about dragons, polar bears and a mysterious fire star. But when the book, like the one he wrote before, starts to mirror real life, and when Zanna is kidnapped and presumably killed by polar bears, the expedition is cut short. Back at home, he arrives to find Lucy has been kidnapped by Gwilanna for a ritual to raise the last dragon Gawain. Zanna is proved to be alive and learning the ways of the Inuit in a small village. Then, Gwillana’s plans are revealed by a twist of fate that reunites Liz with her former husband Arthur, who is using a powerful relic of Gawain to affect the flow of time. In the dramatic climax, David, Zanna, Arthur, the Pennykettles and the clay dragons have to side with a polar bear army to stop Gwilanna, as well as a darker evil from the past of Ki:mera and Earth. There is however, a final twist, David is stabbed by one of the Ix controlled humans on the expedition with a shard of ice and supposedly ‘dies.’ (At the end, David reveals that he was not dead, but combined with the dragon, Gawain.)”

So, if you’re seeking a Christian book review on “The Last Dragon Chronicles” by Chris d’Lacey, I can safely recommend against it. Not a good idea for your children to be opening themselves to this kind of spiritual pollution. My son explained the Ix are essentially demons. Avoid this one.

P.S.- Cover art for “Dark Fire”, the fifth book in “The Last Dragon Chronicles,” is pictured as the feature image for this post.

Reference: Wikipedia.org. The Last Dragon Chronicles. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Dragon_Chronicles.

 

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