Renaissance Ranch

How Prayer Creates a River in the Desert

Nov 16, 2021

Prayer is an incredibly important component that helps us stay connected to God throughout our recovery experience and beyond. Praying is much more than just asking God to grant us wishes – it helps us to feel God’s presence while keeping us on the path of gratitude. Depression and anxiety often creep up at sporadic times during recovery, where we feel like we have nowhere to turn. At the times we feel like we are a burden to others or ourselves, prayer can be the light at the end of a tunnel.

Prayer and meditation are necessary parts of recovery. When we feel lost and need guidance, we can turn to prayer for direction. When we feel distressing emotions that accompany the pain of addiction, we can experience compassion and forgiveness through The Lord. We acknowledge that prayer is effective, but in what ways does prayer create a river in the desert?

The Benefits of Prayer in Recovery

#1. Fosters Hope

One of the things that stands out in the act of prayer is how it fosters a sense of hope. Recovery from addiction is incredibly challenging, with many intense obstacles along the way. There ought to be days that you feel like your addiction will take power over you again. With consistent and intentional prayer, you can restore hope in yourself and your ability to persevere beyond your addiction. When you can no longer hold onto your burdens or mistakes, God can give you strength through prayer. Praying can also serve as a reminder that you are not alone in what you are feeling or experiencing, and that you are deserving of a better future for yourself. Addiction can cause you to fall into the pit of despair, causing you to believe there is no way you could possibly sustain sobriety or success with recovery. During these moments, reach to God through prayer for guidance and wisdom.

#2. Encourages Self-Reflection

Another essential benefit of prayer in recovery is that it encourages self-reflection. Self-reflection keeps us focused on reaching short and long-term goals while encouraging us to discover deeper parts of ourselves. If you have recently left treatment, you may be struggling with how to navigate a sober lifestyle. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of triggers that lead to cravings. Although distractions are everywhere, prayer encourages us to focus on the present moment through the things that we can control. Praying gives us an opportunity to step away from mental and environmental distractions and analyze our own behaviors and values. Self-reflection is important to enhance emotional regulation, which helps us understand how to better respond to things we cannot control.

#3. Influences Appreciation 

Many of us turn to prayer in the moments that we need guidance, but there are many other benefits to prayer than just that! Prayer also fosters appreciation and gratitude. When you find yourself asking for help through prayer, remember to also acknowledge the things that have helped you throughout your recovery thus far. You can be grateful for your therapy experience, the professionals who have helped you, your loved ones for supporting you, or even for finding a healthy alternative habit to combat your addiction. Gratitude keeps us focused on the positives while we navigate through difficult times. In recovery, gratitude is essential. During the times you feel depressed or low, use prayer to foster appreciation. A positive attitude can make us feel happier and more confident in ourselves, which contributes to success in long-term recovery.

#4. Achieves Forgiveness

The journey of recovery will inevitably reveal unpleasant feelings of guilt and shame from our past. Even well after treatment, these feelings may need to be revisited from time to time. Many of us have made mistakes over the course of our addiction experience, which led to harming ourselves or others. Prayer gives us an opportunity to open the door to receiving necessary forgiveness for our past. Prayer equips us with the peace that we need to move forward in our health and joy. When we ruminate over our past mistakes, we limit our ability to heal. Incorporating daily prayer into your routine can help you to not only forgive yourself but also forgive others who may have influenced your reasons to use substances. You deserve to live a life free from anger and resentment. While these feelings may also pop up from time to time, prayer can be an effective way to heal these wounds quickly and keep you on track in your recovery.

Prayer in recovery is necessary, as it holds a variety of benefits that strengthen our ability to sustain long-lasting recovery. Incorporating prayer into your daily routine can foster hope, which is needed for creating and reaching recovery goals. Prayer also encourages self-reflection, appreciation, and forgiveness, which are important elements involved in the recovery process. When we feel weak or limited by our own potential, we can turn to prayer and receive strength through God. Prayer acts as a river in the desert and is a valuable resource whenever we need guidance and support. Renaissance Ranch prioritizes and understands the value of prayer. We offer many inpatient and outpatient services to help you stay spiritually connected to your recovery journey. If you have recently completed treatment, we can also connect you with our Band of Brothers alumni program for extra support in your journey. For more information, give us a call today at (801) 308-8898.