Devotional - Health topics

Prayer's Power Over Addiction

Friday, November 25, 2022

He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea. Ps. 102:17, NIV.

Tears spilled from 15-year-old Vicca’s soft brown eyes. Her story was all too familiar to me as a health evangelist in Russia. Luda, Vlad, and Tamara had the same story. Their parents were alcoholics, a common problem among those with no hope.

Vicca was afraid. Her father was leaving to work in Germany, and she felt she would never see him again because of his heavy drinking and poor physical condition. “What can I do?” she wondered.

I also wondered what I could do! I had little firsthand knowledge of alcoholism. Despite the many hours of seminars, college classes, and visiting Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, I was still unsure how to handle such a situation. With no local support groups to help, I had only one answer. If Vicca’s father would come to our evangelistic meetings, I could pray with him.

To Vicca’s surprise, he came. Every night for four weeks he sat front row, center. Together Vicca, our translator, and I prayed with him after three of the meetings. He was appreciative, but that was all I knew.

One of the great disadvantages of such meetings is the loss of contact with those who attend. However, I was fortunate enough to have a visit with Vicca two years later. She is a baptized believer and active as a church member. Her father has not joined her, but since the third time we prayed, by the power of God, he hasn’t had a drink of alcohol. She considers it a miracle, and so do I.

I’m reminded of this story every time I read Psalm 107:17-21: “Others, the fools, were ill because of their sinful ways. Their appetites were gone and death was near. Then they cried to the Lord in their troubles, and he helped them and delivered them. He spoke, and they were healed-snatched from the door of death. Oh, that these men would praise the Lord for his lovingkindness and for all his wonderful deeds!” (TLB).

When you are tempted and tried, hold on to this picture that Ellen White paints in
The Desire of Ages: “God is bending from His throne [on high] to hear the cry of the oppressed. To every sincere prayer He answers, ‘Here am I’” (p. 356).

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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