Jackpot Prayers, Empty Promises and Addiction
“Just get me out of this and I promise to…..”
How many times, both in and out of recovery, have you made a jackpot prayer followed by an empty promise? You know in the back of your mind that you are unsure if you will be able to follow through with it or not, but you make the promise anyway. It’s like we attempt to fool God, or our Higher Power, while naively thinking we can. This type of pattern is most often used while in active addiction. Usually, this takes place when we are flat on our backs, but sometimes it follows us into our recovery program.
Even though we are sober now, old behaviors still exist. We may find ourselves in a jam, in which the same jackpot prayer shows up. “Oh please get me out of this traffic ticket, and I promise to never speed through a school zone again.” Hoping that God, or our Higher Power, will divinely intervene, so we can avoid consequences, is probably not the type of relationship He would like to have with us.
Even though jackpot prayers can be out of habit, we should be careful not to make God, or our Higher Power, part of a monopoly board game. We should be responsible for consequences that come our way due to our actions. If we speed, we risk the chance of a speeding ticket. If we use drugs, we risk the chance of jail, drug rehab or death.
Being responsible in all areas of our life is a skill which takes some practice. Our Higher Power should be a resource of support, not our “get-of-jail-free” card.