“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
That’s the prayer Seth Haines turns to when he’s tempted to return to alcoholism.
When Seth and Amber’s young son Titus battled a life-threatening illness, he turned to alcohol to numb the grief. He quickly turned to it and allowed it to fill the hole in his heart. In his raw book Coming Clean: A Story of Faith, Seth describes his journey to sobriety. He chose to use a prayer learned from an old priest to curb his temptation to drink.
What do we learn from this simple prayer, sometimes called Jesus’ prayer?
“He’s the dispenser of mercy.
He’s the sustainer of faith.
He’s the sustainer of life.”
When we refocus on who Jesus is, we can resist anything.
“When I had moments of temptation, I could kind of step away and whisper this prayer. And really concentrate on the truths in the prayer and speak it earnestly. There was just an enormous measure of grace. It proved to me that I could beat the temptation if I knew where my help came from.”
How should Christians think about drinking? Should we avoid it altogether?
Seth follows the practice of Jesus – it all goes back to the heart. Ask yourself, why do I drink? Better yet, why do I do anything?
“Am I doing this because it serves a purpose, because it has a need in my life, because it’s an okay thing to do, or am I doing it to numb the pain?”
Seth challenges us to be transparent. For some, we drink to forget, we drink to numb, we drink not to feel.
It’s also possible that we drink to not hear.
“If we’re drinking so that we don’t have to feel and don’t have to hear the voice of God, and don’t have to deal with God, then we should probably stop, at least for a season.”
Seth is quick to point out – it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re addicted to that practice. But ongoing habits call for honest questions.
Key Scriptures: Ephesians 5:18-19