Friday, November 09, 2012

I prayed for my brother’s life to crash and burn.

Steve at 4 years old in 1976

My family on my paternal side is riddled with alcoholism. I call it the family plague. But this past year I’ve seen the Lord reach down and pull my younger brother up by the scruff of the neck and set him on the road to sobriety.

My brother, Steve, had no time for God. It was too painful to watch his life spiral out of control as he lived only for the next bottle of vodka. But before Steve would ever even think of God, I knew he had to reach bottom. About two years ago I began to pray that he’d reach that point, and reach it fast before all hope was lost.

The Lord answered those prayers. He allowed my brother to go down that long, long, destructive road, and at last he crashed.

He’d already lost two marriages, a home, and the opportunity to be a full-time dad to his two girls. But it wasn’t until he lost the love and respect of his youngest daughter that he finally woke up to what he was doing. It was when his fifteen-year-old Kristen wouldn’t return his phone calls or agree to see him that Steve finally realized he needed help.

That was only the start of the long road back to health. Even then, Steve kept returning to his addiction that held on to him like manacles around his wrists and ankles. But through prayer we began to see the release of my brother from this strangling hold.

We so often think of prayer as the last resort. But I’ve come to realize that prayer is not just that thing that helps us get things done—as if that were the inspiration behind our abilities and powers of persuasion.

Prayer is the work.

In the Book of Mark we read that the Lord’s disciples were trying to release a young man from demon possession. This young man was so much like my brother, throwing himself into the fire.

Jesus had already given his disciples the authority and the training to cast out evil spirits such as afflicted this young man. But nothing they did worked. It didn’t even seem to matter how much faith they had. Jesus Himself was able to cast out the demon and set this young man free.

The passage concludes with Jesus’ words, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

Prayer wasn’t the last resort in Jesus’ opinion. Prayer is the greatest work.

It is prayer and prayer alone that will cast the alcoholism from my brother. With God all things are possible.

Steve at 10 years old in 1982 with my little girl.


Elaine Stock said...

Christine, may God continue to show your brother that He's always with him. I am forever thankful that He allows us to make U-turns.

Anonymous said...

Hi Christine,

Thank you for this post. It is so true. So many times I have said, "All I can do it pray." How silly is that? Prayer is all I need to do, it is everything.

For many years my sister lived in Las Vegas and did everything you fear one you love will do. My prayer for her all those years was "God, do whatever it takes to bring her home."

She came home pregnant (after one miscarriage and two abortions), used, bruised and battered. God knew what it would take. Now she is home and God is doing AMAZING things in her heart. Not only is she physically home but she is home in the family of God.


Christine Lindsay said...

Thank you Elaine, and Melissa, what a great encouragement to hear that your sister is doing well. So true what you say, in prayer if we let God have His way, I'm sure things would turn out quicker for our loved ones. Glad to hear your sister is doing well.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful testimony, thank you for sharing. It's hard to pray those prayers for the ones we love, but if we want the best for them, we must pursue it through the POWER of prayer.