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  • When suffering from addiction, many people turn to prayer. Some pray to spiritual deities such as God. Others pray to non-religious higher powers, such as nature, love, or the universe. 

    In either case, prayer can give you the peace and motivation you need to leave your drug addiction in the past.

    1. The Serenity Prayer

    When you experience a drug craving or other stressor, you might feel anxious, helpless, and desperate for control. In these moments, the Serenity Prayer may help. It reads:

    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

    This prayer encourages people in recovery to accept that life will sometimes be difficult and to seek help when they need it. It’s frequently read at twelve-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

    2. Prayer For The Victims Of Addiction

    This prayer asks a higher power to comfort all those affected by addiction. It reads:

    O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you.

    Look with compassion upon all who through addiction have lost their health and freedom.

    Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy.

    Remove from them the fears that beset them.

    Strengthen them in the work of their recovery, and to those who care for them, give patient understanding and persevering love. Amen.

    Many people appreciate this prayer because it acknowledges every single person in the recovery community. A sense of community is often vital to long-term recovery. 

    3. Third Step Prayer

    In twelve-step support groups, members follow twelve specific steps to achieve recovery. Each step has an associated prayer. For example, the third step is to turn your will and your life over to the care of a higher power. The associated prayer reads:

    God, I offer myself to Thee to build with me and to do with me as thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of  Thy power, Thy love, and Thy way of life. May I do Thy will always.

    This prayer is considered the most popular twelve-step prayer. It promotes selflessness and humility, two traits that make recovery much easier. 

    4. The I Believe Prayer

    Like the Third-Step Prayer, the I Believe Prayer encourages people in recovery to rely on a higher power. It reads: 

    I know that the first step in all spiritual healing is to believe.

    I believe!

    I open my mind and heart believing in your infinite power and possibility.

    I believe that healing is a dynamic and reachable experience, a reality that can be experienced right now.

    I maintain a patient and loving attitude, for I believe that your healing activity is now at work in my mind and body.

    I look forward, with joyful expectation, to the perfect wholeness that you are now bringing into manifestation through me.

    I believe in your constant expression of perfect good in and through me.

    I rest in the certainty of your healing power.

    I know that with you all things are possible.

    These words can help you overcome doubt and strengthen your trust in both yourself and your higher power. 

    5. The Knots Prayer

    During the recovery process, you may have days where you think you’ll never get better. This type of negative thinking can cause anxiety, depression, and, in many cases, relapse. That’s why many recovery prayers promote positivity. One of the most popular is the Knots Prayer. It reads:

    Please untie the knots that are in my mind, my heart, and my life.

    Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.

    Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.

    Release me from the could nots, would nots, and should nots that obstruct my life.

    And most of all, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart, and my life all of the ‘am nots’ that I have allowed to hold me back especially the thought that I am not good enough.

    How To Make The Most Of Addiction Recovery Prayers

    Recovery prayers work best when you make them a regular part of your routine. For instance, you could recite your favorite prayer every night before bed. In addition, you could write a variety of prayers on notecards, place them in a jar, and read one each day.  

    It may also help to put a few of the notecards in your wallet or purse. That way, you can access them quickly if you encounter a trigger (a person, place, or other things that makes you want to abuse drugs). 

    No matter how strong the trigger, praying can help you calm down and remember why you stopped using drugs in the first place. 

    If you or a loved one struggles with addiction, please reach out to an Ark Behavioral Health specialist. Our substance abuse and addiction treatment centers provide personalized, evidence-based care on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on July 26, 2022
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