Home » Blog » Positive Living » Health and Wellness » Addiction and Recovery » How the Power of Prayer Stopped His Nicotine Addiction

Author

Tags

Share this story

How the Power of Prayer Stopped His Nicotine Addiction

As he was reading a passage about overcoming addiction the lights went out. Suddenly a curious message from above sent him into action.

nosmoking_marquee

I had tried repeatedly to stop smoking, but my resolve never lasted. I had built up a powerful nicotine addiction. It had started in the Marine Corps when I was 17. By the time I was city editor of a Pennsylvania newspaper 23 years later, I was up to a four-pack-a-day habit.

One afternoon I was walking down the street puffing away when I had an urge to go into a used-book store. While browsing among the dusty bookshelves, I spotted a worn volume whose title, Direct Healing, caught my eye. I snapped it up.

At home in my apartment that evening I clicked on a lamp, grabbed my new book and settled into a rocking chair, a fresh pack of cigarettes on the table beside me. The book, which talked about how God is capable of healing everything from a broken arm to a broken heart, intrigued me right from page one.

I was three quarters of the way through the book when I came upon a paragraph that stopped me cold. It read, “Let us suppose, for instance, that you are a slave to the tobacco habit … ” Uh, oh. The writer talked about the importance of prayer in overcoming an addiction. When ready to pray, the author advised, “Go into your closet or your quiet, darkened chamber.” I don’t have a dark, quiet room. At that second the light went out and the room was plunged into darkness.

I groped for the lamp and jiggled the shade, thinking maybe the bulb had been loose. No, that wasn’t it. It had to be burned out. Or maybe it was a blown fuse. I flicked the lamp switch off and stubbed my cigarette in the ashtray. Then for some reason I tried the switch again. The bulb blazed with a burst of light so sudden it hurt my eyes.

I got the message. I walked to the front door, opened it and flung my pack of cigarettes as far as I could down the block. That was the first night in years I didn’t want my usual bedtime smoke. Nor did I crave one the next morning.

When I got to the newsroom at 6:00 A.M. the first thing I saw were packs of cigarettes on the desks near mine. I couldn’t go into a dark room, but I could pray. I closed my eyes. Please, Lord, help me. Someone lit up. I got a whiff of smoke—and gagged. I knew I would never touch another cigarette as long as I lived.

Twenty years have passed. I still haven’t.

This story first appeared in the April 1997 issue of Guideposts magazine.

Share this story

ewj-ff

Evenings with Jesus

End each day with a peaceful spirit with 100 beautiful devotions focused on helping you let go, rest in God’s grace and get a good night’s sleep.

PLUS, a FREE GIFT! Your guide to a good night’s rest, Bible verses, stories, and tips to settle in at the end of the day.

Read More and Order

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Scroll to Top