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MY PRAYER: Father,

My soul aches, and my spirit is weak.

Heartache has consumed me,

And I am fearful of the future.

Those who know You much better than I,

Have rebuked me, chastening me

With contempt, ridicule, and shame.

In my heart, I have cowed before them,

Never questioning their motives or intent.

Slinking away in defeat and despair,

I have vowed to never return—to remain aloof

From them, from You, and from their religiosity.

I have wandered far from Your Word,

To a place where there is no joy,

No peace, no kindness, and no future.

 

Time has not been my friend.

My mistakes have brought me low.

My accusers know Your Word,

But they do not know Your forgiving Spirit.

Father, I need Your help to return home,

To come back to where I belong.

Help me become willing to nurture

A real and substantial relationship with You.

Strengthen me with power in the inner man.

Allow me to stand strong.

Allow me to be bold and confident.

Allow me to be the person You created me to be.

Don’t allow my accusers to continue

To have dominion over my wounded soul—

Lest my future be as bleak as my past,

Amen.

 


Father,
I’m not where I want to be in life—not even close.
I am not the person I want to be—
Not the person I’m capable of being.
Even worse, the gap between who I should be
And who I am is widening, rather than narrowing.
If I’m being honest with myself,
Which I have tried to avoid for so long,
I constantly and repeatedly excuse
My poor behavior and even poorer attitude.
I don’t like myself the way I am.
I’m a pathetic substitute for what I should be—
For what I know You want me to be.
Nearly everyone who knows me well
Recognizes that my life is shipwrecked.
My life may look acceptable to casual observers,
But to those who have insight into me—
To those who know what I am capable of being—
They don’t like what they see. Neither do I.
My purpose and zeal for life have evaporated,
Even though I pretend to others that I have it all together.
I know who I am—who I have become from drinking.
I’m responsible for all the self-destructive behavior
That has accompanied it—nobody else other than me.
I want to acknowledge the truth to You, Father.
I want to discard my denial and my pretentiousness.
I want to be real—completely transparent before You.
You see me as I really am, so why pretend to be
Someone I am not and haven’t been for years.
I have traveled the wrong path for so long
That I’m not certain I can correct my journey
Admitting the truth of who I have become
Frightens me and makes me feel insecure.
I have refused to face the truth for so long it is scary.
I know I can’t change my destructive patterns by myself.
Without Your help, I have no chance—none whatsoever.
Will You accept me as I really am—devoid of pretence?
Will You guide me on my journey back to wholeness?
Will You take my hand, touch my heart, and forgive me?
Will You be with me today and give me strength?
Will You also guide me from this day forward, one day at a time?
Because, if You don’t, I will never make it by myself,
Amen.
Jack Watts

RECOVERY: Addictions are destructive, especially to a person’s body, but physical health isn’t all that is destroyed. Inwardly, because addictions wound a person’s soul, the damage can be even more extensive. Addictions empower negativity, feeding low self-esteem. They disaffirm a person’s self-worth constantly, making meaningful recovery virtually impossible.
In their minds, alcoholics, addicts, and codependents repeatedly tell themselves:
—I’m no good.
—I hate myself.
—Nobody cares about me.
—I have no value.
—Life has no meaning.
—I don’t want to go on like this.
Wounded people repeat these messages in their mind constantly. Such destructive thinking, which addictive people firmly believe to be true, regardless of what they say outwardly, makes it more difficult for them to break free from their enslaving lifestyles.
An addict’s only freedom from negativity comes while he or she is using. Booze and drugs make addicts feel okay—even if it’s just for a short period. It’s why they use. It’s their way to escape the realities of life. It’s also why they gravitate to the seamier side of life, where their dysfunction is accepted as normal. Sometimes, it can even be championed.
Jack Watts

 

RECOVERY: Although most of my Facebook Friends and Followers respond more frequently to my COMMON SENSE posts, I expend as much effort on posts to help people who have problems with alcoholism and drug addiction. It’s probably why “Hi, My Name Is Jack” continues to be read by so many.
I post prayers, meditations, affirmations and inspiration daily. Because I do, people routinely contact me to tell me their stories. I always have time for this. It’s part of what I am called to do.
We live in a broken world, most of it of our own doing, but this doesn’t make it any less painful. Being there for those who are shattered is a privilege I cherish. Having done it for quite a long time, it’s also a part of my core nature. I couldn’t imagine living any other way.
Here is a message I received this morning that broke my heart. We say that alcoholism kills, and it does.
“I’m a 27-year grateful recovering alcoholic. At 15 years sober, I watched as they lowered my 33-year-old son into his grave. He knew where to get help. He didn’t want it enough. He had reached the stage in his addiction where he couldn’t imagine life without the substances. He also couldn’t imagine going on the way he was. He was self-medicating with whatever he could get his hands on. There was a military vet in our town who sold his pain meds. My son bought a 72 hour fentanyl patch. He was very drunk. He cut the patch in half then sucked the gel out. It killed him. It was his 3rd overdose. He left two children. One is following in his dad’s footsteps. And I can’t help him either. One thing I CAN do, tho, is to not enable him. It’s hard to turn him away. But it’s the only way to help him see what he has become. And I pray. Hard and often.”
The struggle is real and it’s painful, but our Lord is strong and able to meet us exactly where we are. He is always there for us.
Jack Watts

 

Heavenly Father,

Despite the fact that much of America remaining shutdown

Because of the contagion spread by COVID-19’s destructiveness,

On this long Memorial Day weekend, we still choose

To come before You to remember those who have gone

Before us, sacrificing their lives so that we could remain free.

Recognizing our profound debt to these heroes of the past,

There are no words that that seem suitable or adequate—

No expression of appreciation that could possibly equal the deeds

That these mighty men and women of valor have done for us,

But we recognize it is our duty and our privilege to pause—

To stop and honor them in a way that is reverent and fitting.

 

Consequently, with profound respect and hearts full of gratitude,

Along with misty eyes, we bow our heads in reverence

And thank You for raising up so many warriors over the years—

From the time of the Revolution to our destructive Civil War,

From the two World Wars to the Middle Eastern conflicts.

Never allow us to forget the sacrifices our warriors have made for us.

Allow their deeds to be perpetually and indelibly etched in our hearts,

Knowing that  in our dark, depraved, and fallen world the price of freedom

Will continue to remain high because of the Evil desires of others.

 

From our nation’s founding, You have put into the hearts of our forefathers

That America would be a “City on a Hill” for the entire world to emulate.

Accordingly, let us pause on this special weekend when summer begins

To remember those who died, that we, the living, might continue

To answer the perpetual call to fight for freedom, justice and righteousness.

In Your benevolence, You have allowed our generation to remain free.

We thank You for this and for each of our numerous blessings.

We owe all of the abundance we have accumulated and enjoy to You.

 

Nevertheless, because of a biological attack upon the land of the free,

We find ourselves in a desperate situation, where economic calamity,

Which we have not brought upon ourselves, threatens our economy

With misery, famine and pestilence that can dismantle the foundation

Of our existence and of all the sacrifices our warriors have made for us.

Father, we come before You today and ask for Your favor.

Do not allow the virus launched by the Chinese Communists,

Which is being exploited by the Progressive Democrats and the media,

To succeed in destroying all that our veterans have fought to protect.

Instead, pour forth Your Holy Spirit and stir the American people

To once again look to You as our benefactor. Heal our land.

We need You now, just as we have needed You so many times before.

Be there for us, even though our generation of Americans is so undeserving.

As Your children, we ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ,

Amen

—Jack Watts

 


RECOVERY: Life can be very difficult, especially for someone who is using. That addicted people need God’s help is obvious, or at least it should be. Nearly everybody who has been in recovery for any length of time acknowledges this. Living life on life’s terms can be tough for anybody, but especially for those trapped by their addictions. For these people, adversity can become overwhelming and debilitating. Their coping skills simply do not allow them to deal with life’s problems the way they should.
Instead of accepting the responsibility for their actions, they make the choice to use—to act out. By not dealing with their problems appropriately, they create additional problems. This isn’t what they want to do, but it is what happens. As a result, family dysfunction and work related difficulties inevitably follow; creating a vicious, destructive cycle that destroys people’s lives.
Unable to cope with stress and difficulties in healthy ways, millions medicate their problems with alcohol, drugs, excessive prescriptions, inappropriate sexual relationships, over-eating, over-spending, and numerous other addictive vices. As they see it, it’s their only solution, their only alternative, and their only way out of intolerable situations.
Drinking and drugging provide these people with an unhealthy way to deal with life—a one-day reprieve from facing their troubles. It’s a quick fix that works for the moment, but in the long run, it creates far more problems than it solves. Those who choose to pursue this path cease to live lives that are meaningful. Instead, they simply exist from one day to the next, and the destructiveness of their actions creates dysfunction for everyone who loves them. It also makes healthy people codependent by the millions—an unintended but predictable consequence.
Jack Watts

RECOVERY: Most people in recovery don’t discount God involvement intentionally. It’s just something that happens—it’s not purposeful. Focusing on spirituality doesn’t seem important enough for them to make a priority, but this is exactly what it needs to be—a priority.
Instead, they just muddle along, trying to do the work of remaining sober or drug free within their own power. Unfortunately, this makes the success of their task much more difficult than necessary.
Such a mindset is counterproductive and the specific reason why so many fail to achieve lasting sobriety. When God’s role is diminished, the user’s ability to remain sober or drug free is also diminished. When His role is accentuated, the end result produces stronger, more firmly established sobriety for alcoholics and drug addicts—not just abstinence.
Seeking God’s will is literally the way to emotional wellbeing and personal fulfillment, not just for people in recovery but for everybody.
Jack Watts