Recovering from an addiction will be one of the hardest undertakings in an addict's life. In the midst of his addiction, the typical addict has clocked in hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of hours of repetitive, addictive conditioning. Many addicts rely heavily upon their acting out, as a primary coping mechanism before beginning the journey of recovery.
Recovery is hard work, and more importantly, it is consistent work. Remember, it took consistent behaviors to spiral you into your addiction. It only makes sense that consistent work is going to be a big part of your recovery and reconditioning yourself into a life of freedom from sexual addiction.
Prayer is something many addicts find difficult to do, especially if they have avoided God because of the shame and guilt of their behavior or possibly what was done to them in the past. Prayer is simply a behavior that, when put in place, can change the addict's disposition. We know that an addiction is basically self-will run riot. This expression of addiction is basically "doing your own thing," which is not very helpful for the Christian addict's recovery.
Take time out to pray first thing in the morning. If you need help, just use the guidelines of the Lord's Prayer. During your prayer time, do not forget to ask Jesus to help you stay sober, accountable and honest today, so you can stay free from your addiction. He is proud of you for starting your recovery. His death purchased your freedom. Your prayer can help you realize this on a daily basis.
Prayer is a way for you to behaviorally change yourself. For many addicts, your addiction starts early in the day, not necessarily the first thing in the morning but maybe in the shower, on the way to work or while driving. Prayer is preventative. It is a way of acknowledging you are an addict and are in desperate need of Christ's freedom. Without sobriety, the addict is on a path of self‑destruction, not only in their own life but more than likely those around them have been devastated, either through his anger, depression or acting-out behavior.
Prayer is something that is best to do twice, minimally, every day. At the end of the day, if you are sober, thank God for keeping you sober that day. Every day of freedom is a miracle to personally thank Jesus for.
Freedom from any addiction isn't something you do by yourself. It is something you do with the help of God and others. If there is any other issue from the day you want to talk to God about, you can also bring them up at this time. If you don't have a relationship with God, ask Him to open your relationship and bring people into your life to bring this about. It is important to begin and end your day in a spiritual place. The recovery program that is going to work is spiritual in nature. Since you were born spirit, soul and body, it is important to reestablish your own spirituality. Many addicts don't nurture their spiritual component, even though they are Christians. Make this a time to be thankful you had a day of freedom. Even the worst day in recovery is something to be thankful for. Even on your best day without freedom, you were covered with shame, guilt and fear. So, if you have any relief from those feelings, I believe it is appropriate to respond in prayer.
The addict is in a fight every day, especially the first 30 to 90 days, which is the toughest part of recovery for addicts. So, make sure you connect with Jesus. Your prayer doesn't have to be long. Prayer may or may not make you feel better instantly. As a Christian, prayer is one of the many tools you can have in your search for freedom from your addiction.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Recovery for Everyone You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at [email protected].
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