By Corey S.
It was time! On the first day of cessation, I rolled out of bed, hit my knees and asked Heavenly Father to keep me away from cigarettes for one day. Within a few hours, I was praying for the strength to overcome the next craving.
I had suffered from nicotine addiction for ten years. I finally decided to go to God and ask for help. I remembered as a child being taught to get on my knees, fold my hands, and talk to God like He was a friend. In point of fact, God is more than just a friend. He’s my Father. My Heavenly Father knows me more completely than I can ever hope to know myself. He knows my past, my present, and my future. He knows my strengths, my weaknesses, my shame.
Before I learned help was available through praying, I had set up many quit dates, and defaulted miserably on the sweet promises I had made myself. In moments of desperation, I reasoned that the agitation from nicotine withdrawal prohibited me from supporting my wife and daughter emotionally. I reasoned I could be a leader in my home as long as I was in control. So I would light up a cigarette and after a few drags, everything was back to normal and the guilt would disappear. I would quit when I was ready.
Ready came a lot sooner than I thought, and I began to prepare myself for a very long and arduous two weeks. Ten years of poisoning my body had amounted to countless terrible cessation attempts, and a few good ones. I reviewed my most successful attempts to quit, discovering a single common denominator: every stretch of long-term abstinence that I enjoyed over the years was a result of mental preparation.
So I asked “What if I added spiritual preparation?” I reasoned that if the Word was true, if anything really was possible through Christ’s atonement, wouldn’t the biggest obstacle on my spiritual journey, my nicotine addiction, be rendered insignificant? Couldn’t I be afforded the serenity to combat physical cravings? So I studied, pondered, and prayed.
During one weekend I listened to talks in church in which prayer was an integral part of the counsel: That through prayer we might come to know our Father in Heaven more completely, that we might seek revelation as to what is right, and that we may be blessed with strength to carry it out. So I asked myself, how can I receive such revelation without first conducting an honest appraisal of my personal relationship with God?
Christ reminds us: “Ask and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you” (James 1:4). This message implies we must first ask if we hope to receive, seek if we hope to find, and knock if we hope to be let in. Just as no man would give a son a stone if he asked for bread, no sooner would our Father in Heaven deny us virtues and revelations for which we ask in earnest here on earth. In prayer, Heavenly Father will listen to your questions and your confessions.
In moments of weakness—and of strength—I asked Heavenly Father to guide me through the mist, and bear me up with the strength to say no when my human will had failed. I opened my heart to God, leading with the faith I had acquired, and asking Him in earnest to prepare a way that I might acquire more faith. All the while, I feared the onset of the physical cravings to which I had succumbed countless times before. The physical cravings never came!
There is power in prayer, more power than our finite minds could ever hope to comprehend. This power is available to us and can be mined ad infinitum, as long as we use our whole hearts to confer with our Father in Heaven.