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Overcoming Addictions - Help for Christians

Christians and non-Christian alike battle with addictions and other behaviors that they find themselves struggling to leave behind. Through faith in Jesus Christ and placing emotional and spiritual health as attainable goals, we can all be overcomers.

This blog, produced by Certified Recovery Specialist Beth Livingston, is for people to exchange struggles and victories of breaking free from addictions and other hurtful behaviors.

Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Stop Smokingby Beth Livingston
Certified Recovery Specialist

These steps are adapted from the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous that have proven helpful to people trying to quit just about anything. Maybe you've never thought of using them to help quit smoking, but they can be extremely helpful when combined with seeking wholeness through a relationship with Jesus Christ. What have you got to lose? Whether it's you or someone you know who wants to quit smoking for good, give these steps a chance to change your life forever.

Step 1 – If you’ve tried more than once to quit smoking, you may have tried the gum, lozenges, pills, and maybe even hypnotism. But you’re still smoking. It’s got you; you don’t have it. Just get real and say, “I admit I am powerless over smoking cigarettes.”

Step 2 – Do you believe that God Almighty is able to give you a life without cigarettes? Or are you stuck believing that there is no power great enough to get smoking out of your life? If you believe God has the power, then meditate on His ability to do marvelous works. Stop listening to doubt and the enemy’s constant reminders of your failed attempts. Simply believe in God’s ability, not your own.

Step 3 – Through the working of the Holy Spirit, CHOOSE to hand this battle over to God. He is your only chance, your mighty warrior! Any time you feel the urge to smoke, pray instead! This is choosing to turn your life and your will over to God. Tell Him when you want a cigarette. Tell Him that you trust He can do a better job of keeping you from smoking than you can. Ask the Lord to take it from you and thank Him as you trust that He will be willing and able to set you free. Believe in the power that you feel when you pray to God. The enemy has kept a powerful grip on you through your inability to quit before and he will remind you of that during this time. Don't believe the lie. Call out to the Lord and claim through the name of Jesus Christ that you will not be held in bondage by cigarettes. Choose to pray until the urge is over. Pray each and every time the desire comes again.

Steps 4 & 5 – Take a look at the patterns in your life that send you into, “I’ve got to have a cigarette” mode. This is a moral inventory. Are these moments that really belong to God instead of your cigarette? The kids are driving you nuts, another costly car repair is needed, you found out about someone doing you wrong, you are caught up in a sin that you know is wrong – are these times for a smoke? Have you made smoking your God? He deserves to hear your problems, your confessions, and be your comfort! Can you confess to God and to another human being that you’ve been treating God like He’s not as much comfort as your cigarettes? If you can, you’re taking steps in the right direction!

Steps 6 & 7 – Can you allow yourself to be entirely ready to have God remove all your desire for smoking? Can you picture your life without cigarettes? Will you get on your knees before Him and ask Him to remove this life pattern of smoking to deal with your issues in life? You might want to ask the Lord Jesus to go to the deeper places of your soul and remove your pattern of seeking this kind of relief; expose to you the truths of why you have done this for so long. Maybe you are having a hard time believing you can live without cigarettes. Take your unbelief to Christ. Ask Him to take your destructive behavior away and let you live with God as your sole source of refuge.

Steps 8 & 9 – Make a list of all the people you can remember who asked you to please quit smoking. Believe it or not, it hurt some of them that you kept on smoking. If your children begged you to quit, they may have felt they were the reason you smoked or that you didn’t love them enough to quit or some other reasoning they took to heart. They may have wanted you to love yourself enough to quit increasing your chance of getting cancer and it hurt them to see you not love yourself. Your spouse, parents, siblings, employers, employees, old friends – do a thorough list of who you may have hurt. Some may have been irritated by the smoke and felt disrespected that you chose to keep smoke in their environment even though they complained. Go to them (if you can) and tell them you’re sorry.

Step 10 – Now that you’re allowing God to remove this from your life, you will be convicted of new ways that you’re substituting your old pattern. Maybe now you eat too much when you’re sad or anxious. In step 10, you continue to take personal inventory and when you see yourself choosing a destructive pattern, you admit it right away.

Steps 11 & 12 - Stay close to God. Stay closer to Him than you did to cigarettes. Continually seek to know Him and His will for your life. Think of the number of times you picked up a cigarette each day. In your changed life, you will find the blessing of praying that number of times each day instead. What a glorious new life without smoking! You smell better, breathe easier, and cough less. Plus, you’ve gotten closer to God. Now tell others how you did this with God’s help. Your personal testimony is your 12th step. How did He get you clean from cigarettes? He can use this truth to touch lives through the working of His Holy Spirit that you’ll never know about.

Can you see working these steps to quit smoking? Have you ever tried to quit this way before? Please feel free to post your feelings on this topic!

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Monday, March 29, 2010 5:42 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

I am starting this program. Please keep me in prayer, as I am weak! Thank you CBN for caring.
Left by cindy p on May 29, 2010 9:14 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

I am praying for you Cindy. Praying for your freedom.
Left by patches on Jun 01, 2010 10:13 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Please pray for me also as I will try to do this program starting on Wed. Pray that my chains will be broken in the name of the Lord. Thank you and God bless you.
Left by MaryAnn on Feb 07, 2011 10:19 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Please pray for me to be set free from smoking cigarettes, standing on Nehemiah 8:10 "...the joy of the Lord is "my" strength." James 4:7 "I'm" Submitting to the will of the Lord, "I'm" resisting the devil and the devil "WILL FLEE"! Psalm 91 entirely Lord I pray for myself 91:3 protect me from the snare of the fowler. Lord lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil. 1Corinthians 10:13, Lord help me I surrender this to You, I need You to shield me and my family from the strategies of the enemy to rob us of Your peace reigning in our home and within each of us I stand on Philippians 4:6-9 Lord I need Your supernatural touch with this, I can't do it without that, have mercy on my parents You God Almighty know Dad is calling out to You standing on Psalm 91 too for his war against cancer on his liver, it's only a few little spots You can handle that Lord and kill that cancer in Dad, please strengthen my Dad's faith In Jesus Name Amen! Thank You Lord for delivering & healing us!
Left by thirdwatch on Feb 20, 2012 11:22 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Thirdwatch, I am praying for you to be set free and from smoking cigarettes. I'm thanking Jesus for what I know He's going to do in your life! Hope you post when you've been free for a bit so we can celebrate with you. Also am praying for your father's healing. God Bless you both.
Left by blivingston on Feb 20, 2012 5:02 PM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Please pray for me to stop smoking, with this 12 step program. I have been smoking, for 25 years and it makes me feel like, I am not good enough to attend church.
Left by Tammy Nichols on Feb 20, 2012 6:30 PM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Tammy, am praying for you to use these steps with your faith in the power of God to overcome smoking. I too had smoked for 25 years (from age 16 to 41). Don't give up. Work these steps and keep us posted on your journey to freedom. God is willing and able. You can be free!

My husband still smokes and he sometimes feels bad about smoking on his way to church. He splashes on the cologne to hide the tobacco smell. One day he will be free too. Satan would like to use the fact that he still smokes to keep my husband away from church. Our enemy likes to use our pride, shame over things we still have in our lives, to keep us away from church. While you are breaking free, please don't avoid going to church. We are all sinners saved by grace - just some of our sins are more obvious than others. The one who gossips still goes. :-) You're in my prayers.
Left by blivingston on Feb 21, 2012 11:57 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

I too have tried to quit smoking for many years the more I try the harder its gets.I have almost given up,but my mind keeps telling me I can do it.It's a lot easier said than done alone.With God I can do all things.Amen
I pray for all who are trying to quit.
May God Bless
Left by Jeanette on Feb 21, 2012 4:59 PM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

I have3 very bad addictions--2 of them since childhood --hair pulling, skin picking, & overeating. I'm 63 & want to believe God can still deliver me. Thank-you for this help. ANN I have also been in treatment for depression most of my life.6
Left by Vivecia Coomer on Feb 23, 2012 4:25 PM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Please I need prayer to overcome my nicotine addiction, depression, loneliness, panic, anxiety so that I can get right with God. Also please pray for my 14 year old son, that he can come back to God.
Left by Marsha on Jul 14, 2012 1:29 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Marsha - praying for you. Getting right with God is the 1st step to breaking away from all the enemy's traps in your life. Talk with Jesus, tell Him how much you love him - how wonderful and faithful He is. Get specific with Him - confess each of your sins, acknowledging that he took YOUR punishment for that sin and that you're sorry, and also terribly grateful that He loves YOU THAT MUCH! Thank Him that He has given you freedom from a life spent in torture to these things (depression, anxiety, etc.) because He's not dead from the torture and death he endured - HE LIVES! He shares the victory over sin with you. Seek him. Ask Him to help you. (This follows the ACTS prayer guide.) Sing whatever hymns or worship songs you like. Read your Bible. Mark 12:30, "And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength." Matthew 6:30, "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
Left by blivingston on Jul 16, 2012 1:04 PM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Hi there i am a divorced Mother of 3 girls i have been alone for 18 years as i have never remarried and i have made cigerettes my companion for all these years i want to quit please pray for me as i am finding it very difficult but i know that nothing is impossible with GOD i am having a closer walk with him now more then ever and i feel that this is a curse in my life please pray with me that i overcome this cos we are over comers in Jesus name.I just came across this site now and im going to try the 12 steps
Left by Melz on Apr 16, 2013 7:26 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Am agreeing with you in prayer Melz that you can be free from cigarettes using the 12 steps and relying on the power of Jesus Christ to help you. I smoked for 27 years and just this month celebrated 13 years of no more smoking. Jesus gets all the credit - when I wanted to smoke I told Him so and asked Him to fight the battle for me. I couldn't have done it without Him. He doesn't want you to be in bondage to that all your life and I know He will help you too. You'll feel much better on the other side of this struggle and have one less thing to have to feel shame over.
Left by blivingston on Apr 16, 2013 8:57 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Im so blessed to read this article, as of this moment, im asking people to pray for me as I start a new day of quitting somking.
Left by Dale Spencer on Oct 29, 2014 10:50 AM

# RE: Using the 12 Steps to Stop Smoking

Praying for you Dale.
Left by blivingston on Oct 29, 2014 2:09 PM