A Prayer for the Addicts

For all those who feel held captive:

by alcohol, by drugs, by food, by sex, by the internet, by shopping, by anything whose call on your attention is more powerful than the call to health, wholeness, and relationship

You are surrounded by prayer

You are beloved, and you are enough, and the holes you are trying to fill are no bigger than those of your so-together-seeming neighbor  (and no more likely to be filled by objects)

The powerlessness you feel is no reason to be ashamed, but a place from which we all, eventually, need to ask for help

It is never too late

Hope is real, recovery happens, relapses are not always the end of the story

And even in the midst of times when we feel run by urges we do not understand, beholden to appetites we know are not life giving, we are loved deeply

The story isn’t over. You are more than your felt needs. You are worthy, no matter what.

We pray you would find in yourself the possibilities God see in you – and be able to look yourself full in the face without mediation, distraction, or numbing

It doesn’t have to be this way. It won’t always be. And if it is, God will still be with you through all of it.

A Prayer for Facing Infertility

At my church, as at many, we have a time dedicated to sharing our prayer concerns which ends with acknowledgment that God hears “all prayers, spoken and unspoken.” I love these times. But there are always topics lots of people deal with that we don’t hear as much about, because our society has taught us to be ashamed or scared of sharing these struggles with others. In this series I will share prayers for the people whose prayers too often go unspoken – people struggling with infertility, addiction, boredom, rage, and many other realities of human life. Please let me know if you have any such prayers, or have a suggestion for a person or group of people who could use prayer. 

Father God, Mother God, Creator God,

We stand before you holding broken hopes in our hands. We wanted so much to join you in creation, to feel new life growing within us, to dedicate our lives to your (and our) little children.

But the tests keep coming back negative. The ache in our heart remains. Our prayer go unanswered. Why God, can you not grant us this one thing? Why are we surrounded by people who get pregnant with ease, even accidentally, when it remains so maddeningly out of reach for us? Have we done something wrong? Are we not enough?

God, we know you make families in a thousand divine and precious ways. But we thought ours would be made this way. We had a plan. We had a dream. Now, it seems so far away.

God as we seek out the light in what feels like darkness, open our eyes to new possibilities. As we mourn lost visions, comfort our hearts. As we seek medical solutions, heal our bodies. Guide and enhance the minds of our surgeons and doctors. Help our families and friends to be sensitive to our needs, and help us to be honest and kind to them in the midst of our frustrations.

God, we know we are not the first to pray this prayer. Sarah, Abraham, Hannah, Elkanah, Rachel, and many others stand with us in our waiting and in our pain. As you touched their hearts, allowing them to trust in you and love you as either their prayers were fulfilled or their hearts found new desires, we pray that you would touch our hearts. Help us to know how much you love us. Help us to trust that there are great, joyful, and creative things ahead for us, whatever form they may take.

You have always been a God of surprise, second chances, and life where it looks like there is no life. Let us be people of You, who hold onto hope and learn compassion, growth, and faith from our times of hopelessness.

Amen.