When Caring for Addicts in Our Lives Becomes Overwhelming: Praying through 2 Cor. 1:8-9 (NLT)

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8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die.

Dear heavenly Father, my heart is burdened today for those of us who have the unrelenting and painful reality of “addiction” woven into our family stories. The cost of loving an addict well requires all kinds of currencies, perhaps none more so than emotional money and reserves, a lot of it. Paul’s images of being crushed, overwhelmed, and “done” certainly apply, when we engage in caring for an addict to your glory.

Father, grant us thick skin and big hearts—first and foremost for loving the addict, but for also dealing with all the comments and whisperings, “arm chair quarterbacking” and spiritualized spin that comes from outsiders. Until we really enter the world of addiction, most of us are pretty naïve about the complex interplay of substance abuse, sin, and illness.

But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

     But especially, Father, I pray that, along with taking advantage of resources available for addict care in our communities (for which I praise and bless you)—I pray we will know what it means to abandon ourselves to you—the God who still raises the dead. Grant us supernatural mercy and grace, wisdom and strength. May parents, siblings, and children of an addict be driven to you in fresh and powerful ways. May the gospel become more precious and real than ever.

May our churches become far more informed, equipped, and engaged with caring for families marked by addiction. And forgive me for ever thinking my workaholism was more acceptable and less destructive than other forms of miss-placed worship. Father, I am so thankful that your name is Redeemer, your grace is sufficient, and your power is limitless. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.

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