Wednesday, October 31, 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 41-year-old 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. Before Steve would ever 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 isn't the last resort according to Jesus. 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 with my little girl, Lana, in 1982
Christine Lindsay is the author of the Award-winning Shadowed in Silk. The sequel to her debut novel will be released February 2013, called Captured by Moonlight.

Drop by her website Christine Lindsay.


  1. Thank you for sharing this personal story so close to your heart, Christine. It is such an encouragement to those of us who have family far from the Lord. Believing prayer they will turn the Lord when they come to the end of themselves is not easy. Sometimes we feel our faith weakening and feel like giving up, but the Lord never does.

  2. Christine, I am so happy that you are seeing God working with your brother! What a difficult story to share! Blessings

  3. It is so hard to pray for that crash, isn't it? It's like, "Lord please change them and do whatever You need to do so they come to You...and please don't hurt them" kind of prayer. Thank goodness the Holy Spirit knows our groanings so we don't feel awful when we pray. Thanks for sharing girlfriend. You rock!

  4. Christine, thanks for sharing your brother's story. Alcoholism has affected members in my family too and it is such a difficult struggle, not helped by the ease of access to alcohol in so many social situations. Prayer is powerful and it's wonderful to hear about the great things the Lord is doing in your brother's life.

  5. You raise a valid point Christine.Why do we use prayer as a last resort instead of first resort? Thanks for sharing the story. Sad that some people have to reach that point before they see the light but better than not seeing the light at all.