Lord God of freedom, we pray today for those held prisoner through habits, through inescapable patterns of behaviour, through addiction.
We think of those so weighed down by the pressures of life, by the daily struggles that seem hopeless, by circumstance, and grief and depression. For pray for those who, in their own eyes, know only failure. Show us what it means to offer a hope that goes beyond words of comfort, a love deeper than sentimentalism, and friendship that reaches beyond friendliness.
For those of us so weighed down by the addictions we bear, grant us courage. Courage to value the gift we are to others, courage to face the depths of our own struggles, courage to entrust ourselves to others.
Give us hope that displaces hopelessness, may we know forgiveness that penetrates the darkest secrets of our hearts, and grant us that gratuitous, wasteful love that pushes despair from centre-stage of life.
Open the eyes of all who follow you – to see who we really are in relation to you. And show how to love and care for one another, in ways that penetrate our true being. When we harbour prejudice, or smug superiority, or shallow views of addiction – open our eyes again to the reality our vulnerability before you. When we think ourselves strong, open our eyes once more to fact that only by your grace do any of us live.
As we seek freedom for those who suffer addiction, may we seek it not in the lazy quest for a heavenly wand-waving miracle – but in the grace-driven, divinely enabled, mighty acts that force us to change our view of nature. Break the monstrous, natural, unbreakable cycles of despair by the gentle, mighty and life-giving truth of your Gospel.