Recovery Pros

Spiritual Warfare Prayers

One of the most important aspects of Prayer is Spiritual Warfare. The Bible tells us that we are in the midst of a Spiritual battle, and our advisory the devil is like a roaring lion seeking to destroy our lives. Paul says,

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against Spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12


Satan and his forces of darkness are trying to destroy your life, and it is imperative that we learn to pray against these forces of darkness in order to gain victory in our lives.

*SPIRITUAL WARFARE PRAYERS*

1. I arise today with the power of the Lord God Almighty to call forth the heavenly host, the Holy angels of God, to surround and protect, and cleanse with God’s Holy light
all areas vacated by the forces of evil. I ask the Holy Spirit to permeate my mind, heart, body, soul and Spirit , creating a hunger and thirst for God’s Holy Word, and to fill me with the life and love of my Lord, Jesus Christ.

2. We use every verse in the Holy Bible that wars against the demonic forces. We bind and loose spirits. We tear down strongholds. We command civil war in Satan's Kingdom. We loose the Love of God, Price that Jesus Paid, Holy Spirit, Word of God, Blood of Jesus and Cross of Jesus against the forces of evil. All these things we do in the name of Jesus Christ , our Lord, Master and Savior, and for the Holy Trinity.

Redeemed Rebels: A Biblical Approach to Addiction

Sometimes we can catch a glimpse of God's majesty in His providence in such a way that we are left bewildered and in awe all at once. These are sweet moments. That is certainly the case concerning my redemption out of the headlong plunge into depravity and my slavery to drug and alcohol addiction. After my addiction, my wife Candi and I used to ask God and ourselves these questions:

    Why, God?
    Why did you allow me to go that way?
    Why didn't you do something to stop me?
    Why did I lose so much of myself, destroy so much, and come close to losing my life so many times?

Recovery Ministry and The Local ChurchPremium Content

If you told me five years ago that recovery ministry would make as much progress in the Christian community as it has made during the last five years, I would have said you were crazy. There is still a long, long way to go of course... but significant progress has been make. It occurred to me recently that I have seen six distinct ways in which local churches invest in recovery ministry and I think it has some value to distinguish between these different approaches.

AA In The Basement Strategy

Historically the most common way for local churches to be involved in recovery ministry is for the church to allow AA or NA or some other organization to meet in church facilities. It is difficult to imagine where AA would be today if it were not for this kind of participation by local churches over the years. Literally hundreds of thousands of people have begun their sobriety in AA meetings in church basements. This is a wonderful kind of ministry for a local church. Even though most of us are very supportive of AA and other 'secular' programs, however, something makes us anxious about congregations whose commitment to recovery is limited to this strategy. Why is it that the power for personal transformation is facilitated by an organization external to the local church while the local church contributes only space? Why is recovery ministry at the margins of congregational life rather than at the center? Don't misread me here - I am not suggesting that the church become more entangled with AA. What I am suggesting is that if recovery ministry remains at the margins of congregational life, we will miss enormous opportunities.

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Are Recovery Groups Needed in Churches?Premium Content

Not long ago I heard someone say: "I don't see any need for recovery groups in our congregation because we already have a very vital small group program." This comment started me thinking about the differences between traditional small groups in the local church and recovery groups.

I have been a participant in small groups and small group ministries for a long time. I have led groups, I have been trained as a group leader, I have written curricula for small groups, I have organized small group ministries and trained small group leaders. These experiences have been very helpful to me and I count them as some of the most valuable of my entire Christian experience. None of them prepared me, however, for the kind of group experiences found in what we now call 'recovery groups'. I remember, for example, the first time I attended a 12 step group. I knew, from the moment the very first person began to speak, that I was participating in a group dynamic which was dramatically different from any other I had experienced.

In order to understand the differences between traditional small groups and recovery

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Criticisms of Recovery - Part 2Premium Content

See: Part 1 | See: Part 3

In a previous article I discussed the most insensitive, intransigent and personally painful kind of resistance to recovery - our own resistance. We tend to be our own worst critics. We resist the changes most tenaciously. In most cases we fight it, reject it, hate it - probably more than anyone else.

It is often true, however, that the recovery journey takes us through territory that is either ambivalent towards or downright hostile to recovery. Recovering codependents, for example, may find that some people prefer the 'good old days' when they were more compliant and self-sacrificing. Unpleasant emotions, once medicated with addictive substances or processes, may be experienced as threats to relationships that have adapted over the years to the insanity of addiction. Some people in recovery experience hostility when they start telling the truth in social systems which have been committed to silence for generations. Other people experience shame and rejection when people are skeptical about or merely uncomfortable with the changes that recovery brings.

Recovery is about change and most of us will encounter resistance when change produces new and unfamiliar behaviors. It is not reasonable to expect that all of the changes which take place during recovery will be received with rejoicing as if they were 'answers to prayer'.

Resistance and Rejection
Most of the resistance we encounter in recovery will be personal and painful. Even when resistance comes in the form of intellectualized 'arguments' against recovery, it may feel like personal assault rather than dispassionate analysis. For example, suppose someone says: "You can't change the past, so you should focus on the positive." This may make some intellectual sense to you. It may 'ring true.' It might, indeed, be good advice at this particular stage of your recovery. But for many people it may also feel like a profound dismissal of their struggle towards sanity. The key to sorting out confusing stuff like this is not the truth or falsehood of "you should focus on the positive". What is critically important is the tone of voice in which you hear "you should focus on the positive". Is the tone practical and understanding? Or is it shaming and dismissing? Do I feel rejected as a person when I hear this?

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Asking for Wisdom - How Are You Praying?Premium Content

A verse that often comes to mind is James 1:5:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.


When was the last time you asked for wisdom? I have been to a great many prayer meetings over the years, but I don't recall hearing many prayers for wisdom. Either church folk are content to be stupid, or else they assume that they are wise.

The interesting thing is that no strings are attached to praying for wisdom. We are simply to pray in faith. At the same time, we are told how important wisdom is: "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom" (Prov. 4:7). We are also told that wisdom is a blessing (Prov. 3:13); it is better than rubies and everything else (Prov. 8:11); it is the foundation of the good life (Prov. 24:3), and so on and on. Very obviously, God regards wisdom as necessary to the good life, and also promises to give it to all who ask for it.

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Moving from Client to Staff Member - Avoiding Codependency IssuesPremium Content

Recovery programs hire many program graduates and others who have overcome addictions or have grown up in troubled families. They can be excellent examples for mission clients and usually have special compassion and understanding for those who are still hurting. On the other hand, some are hindered in their efforts to minister to others because of their own codependency.

Here are a few common symptoms experienced by these "wounded warriors":

A. Inability to detach.

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Organizing the Addiction Counseling Process Index

I wrote a series of articles appeared in five consecutive issues of RESCUE, the journal of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. The focus was to give counselors some guidance that would help them more effectively work with homeless addicts.

Here are the five articles:

Organizing the Addiction Counseling Process – Part 1

Challenges for the Recovered Who Become Recovery StaffPremium Content

Note: Even though this was written for rescue missions, it is of value to anyone working in the recovery field.

Rescue missions hire many program graduates and others who have overcome addictions or have grown up in troubled families. They can be excellent examples for mission clients and usually have special compassion and understanding for those who are still hurting. On the other hand, some are hindered in their efforts to minister to others because of their own codependency . Here are a few common symptoms experienced by these "wounded warriors":

Inability to detach.

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Special Counseling Concerns for WomenPremium Content

1. A special strategy for people with drug and alcohol problems is essential
Addicts have special needs that the "garden variety" sinner does not have. They can be identified by using a standard alcohol screening test during the intake process. Then we can help them to get into an active program of recovery using such activities as support groups, addiction therapy, educational activities, etc. Use community resources if the shelter's staff does not have expertise in this area. Addiction is a primary issue, so all other help giving will amount to nothing if the person cannot stay sober.

2. The Issue of Toxic Shame
By definition, "toxic shame" is an inner sense of being defective, faulty, unlovable, undeserving, unredeemable and hopeless. It is root problem for addicts, codependents and people from dysfunctional families. Most adults in family shelters fall into at least one of these categories. Toxic shame is the "glue" that holds the wall of denial together and prevents hurting people from accepting the help we offer them. They think - "If I admit I have problems, it proves that I am a worthless, useless human being." Addiction leads to a total deterioration of a person's moral life leading to a destructive mix of toxic shame and guilt. The Bible tells us that admitting our problems is not an admission of hopelessness or defectiveness. Instead, it is the key to forgiveness, freedom from our pasts and a new self-image.

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