Shawne Wickham of the New Hampshire Union Leader documents how NH churches are addressing the opioid crisis with pastoral care and prayer:
The New Hampshire Council of Churches is encouraging churches to offer prayers, homilies and special activities next Sunday, Aug. 26, to support those struggling with addiction. The observance is planned to coincide with International Overdose Awareness Day (Aug. 31).
The Rev. Jason Wells, executive director of the NHCC, said it’s a natural fit for churches to respond to this crisis. “Throughout the Bible, we have stories of Jesus being interested in healing other people,” he said.
Just as congregations offer prayers for those who are suffering from physical ailments such as cancer, Wells said, healing prayers are needed for individuals and families whose lives have been torn apart by addiction. “I think that prayer does, in fact, work,” he said. “And I don’t really think we can address this without it.”
“For me, one of the powerful aspects of prayer is that act of trusting in God,” he said. “We have said that this is a problem for which we must pray; we acknowledge that we cannot fix it alone and that we are relying on God. We are relying on something outside of ourselves for support and for help.”