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-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
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Author: Teresa Seputis <ts@godspeak.net>

Prayer-School Course #36

Ask Teresa

By Teresa Seputis

Week 20 Question
Praying For Someone With Addictions

Dear Teresa

How do you prayer for a member of you family who drinks, and does drugs? He is seventeen, and his none of his relatives do these things. He got saved about eight months ago, but He is not walking in it.

I read your write-up on witchcraft prayer and don't want to pray wrongly or try to manipulate him via my prayers. But I do want to see his life changed for the better. How should I pray for Him?

- Concerned Family Member

Dear Concerned Family Member

I believe you are referring to my week 7 write-up on wrongful prayers, where I talk about witchcraft prayer. (If you want to go back and reread it, the URL is: http://www.godspeak.net/pr_lessons/pr36_week7.html). It sounds like your concern is that you don't want to accidentally pray witchcraft prayers to try to manipulated your relative to stop drinking and using drugs.

The write-up dealt with a case where the person in question was trying to use prayer as a form of spiritual manipulation and control over another person, attempting to coerce them to follow that person's will instead of their own free will. The case you talk about here is quite a bit different. You are not trying to manipulate or control your relative, you are trying to break a demonic manipulation/control/addiction off of him.

If your relative is addicted to alcohol and drugs, he is not in control and cannot make rational decisions about stopping. I suspect that he tells you he is in complete control and can stop drinking (or doing drugs) any time he chooses, but he chooses not to stop because he likes the way it makes him feel. That is a classical "alcoholic" statement. If you look at any movie that is a docudrama about the life of an alcoholic, you will see them make statements like that. It is a classic pattern of behavior for addicted people. I think the psychology term for that is "denial."

The sad truth is that the addicted person is not in control, they are a slave to the addiction. They are not able to exercise their own free will to choose to stop, because they are controlled by the addictive substance. There is a physical addiction, but many times there is also a psychological addiction due to underlying inner issues that need healing.

That means your relative (or any other addicted person) is under the oppression of the enemy to do these things. He is under bondage to the devil and he is not free to be himself or to make free-will decisions and choices. There is a demonic bondage that must be broken, and breaking a demonic bondage is not the same thing as manipulating someone. If anything, the devil is trying to manipulate your relative and you are standing in the gap to make the devil stop.

Let me put it another way, you are not trying to manipulate your relative when you pray for him. You are trying to break off the manipulative demonic forces that control him, so that he becomes free to once again make his own decisions.

Now this is the really hard part--some people choose to be in bondage because they like it better than the emotional pain they feel without their bondage. Once you get rid of the demonic forces that influence your relative's ability to exercise his own free will, you might be dismayed to watch him exercise that free will to make decisions you don't agree with. He might even choose to return to the drugs and alcohol, and pit himself under bondage again.

It sounds to me like he was hurting and looking for something to ease his emotional pain. He may have been looking for some sort of spiritual pain-killer to make him feel better. He tried God eight months ago, but he found that was not an instant cure-all to his emotional pain. That is because God is not to into "quick fixes," He is into inner transformation. He does bring healing and peace and joy to the lives of His own...but He doesn't usually do that instantly. Often He works through a process. Many times He makes us deal with things, and the process can be more painful than the original problem for a short while.

My impression is that your relative has some inner issues and emotional pain that you may not be aware of. He tried God when he was looking for a "pain killer," only to discover that God doesn't work quite the way he expected. I suspect that is why he accepted the Lord eight months ago but is not walking in it now. He wanted an instant pain killer more than he wanted an in-depth personal relationship with the living God. God did not work as an instant pain killer, so he tried something else. That something else (drugs and alcohol) seemed to give him what he wanted--relief form his inner pain and perhaps social acceptance. At first it seemed like a good solution, but he soon found himself addicted and no longer in control.

I believe there are two separate prayer issues here. The first is that your relative is being controlled by addictive spirits and is not able to exercise his own free will or make his own decisions about stopping. The second issue is probably a bigger issue and may be more important to pray for: your relative has some sort of extreme inner pain or issue that drove him to drink in the first place. He is trying to escape it via mind-altering substances (alcohol and drugs). It won't work to repress those issues, they need to be addresses with and resolved. There are two different routes to go for that: spiritual (inner healing) or medical (such as a psychologist or possibly a psychiatrist who uses medicine in conjunction with counseling).

The bottom line is that your relative needs to be willing to address his issues, or he is going to end up turning back to some form of addictive substance or mind-numbing procedures (such as drugs or a cult that practices brainwashing). That means God needs to touch his heart. He needs to be willing to deal with the real problems that led him to drink in the first place. There is something in his life that made him want to escape, and God wants to fix that. God wants to bring deep healing into his life. Right now your relative is not in a place where he wants to pursue that.

So an important prayer strategy is to pray that God work in his life to make him willing to get the help he really needs. (I would also pray that he would see/understand that God really is the solution to his problems and that God is the answer.) Pray for God to begin to work His healing in your relative's inner issues. Pray for God to begin to change him from the inside out, and to take away the pain and torment that causes your relative to drinking and do drugs.

Since there are spiritual factors controlling and manipulating your relative, those will need to be dealt with as well. It is necessary to use the authority that Jesus has given you to cancel the assignments of the enemy against your family member, and to tear down the strongholds that the enemy has built in his life.

If it was me praying, I would use of the following prayer strategies:

  1. Authority prayer to break the power of enemy oppression and addiction in his life.
  2. Ask God to meet him and reveal Himself to him.
  3. Ask God to heal whatever emotional/inner wounds that are causing him pain and making him turn to the addictive substances in the first place.
  4. Bless the strengths and gifts God put in him and ask God to cause them to manifest more in his life.
  5. Pray that God would begin to increase his spiritual hunger and make him grow/mature in his faith.

-- © GodSpeak International 2006 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from copyright@godspeak.org --

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