Prayer Service for Those Who Struggle With Addiction, and for Their Friends and Family
- We are hoping to offer this service once a month on behalf of those who suffer from alcoholism and other addictions.
- We also encourage those who have friends or family members who struggle with addiction, as well as those who work in the field of recovery to come, pray with us, and please accept our hospitality following the service.
Take a moment to read the wonderful story below that gives the context for this prayer service:
A Russian Peasant, a retired soldier, was an alcoholic. He would drink away all his pension, everything that he possessed, anything that could be found in his house. Eventually he was ruined, and became a beggar. His legs slowly became paralysed, but still he continued drinking.
One day, the man, who seemed to have hit rock-bottom, had an unusual dream. In it a venerable old man came to him and said: “Go to the city of Serpoukhov, to the monastery of the Mother of God. There you will find an icon (image) of the Holy Mother called ‘The Inexhaustible Cup’. Have a prayer service before it, and you will be healed, both spiritually and physically.”
Without a penny to his name, and having no use of his legs, the man did not dare to go on a journey. But the holy man came to him a second, and then a third time, and was so adamant in his admonition to obey his instructions, that the poor drunk did not dare to disobey any more, and he set off as quickly as he could, dragging himself on all fours.
In one of the neighboring villages where he stopped to rest, an old woman took him in for the night. To ease his pain, she massaged his legs, and put him to rest on top of the clay oven – a customary place for the old or sickly, because of the warmth. During the night the travelling man felt a pleasant sensation in his legs, and discovered that he was able to stand. On the following nights his legs became even stronger. And so, first with two walking-sticks, and then with just one, he arrived in Serpoukhov.
Once in the monastery, he told about his visions, and asked to have the prayer service. But nobody there had ever heard of such an icon. They started to search for it, and noticed one that was hanging in a passage that bore an image of a chalice. On the back of it, to their surprise, was written “The Inexhaustible Cup.” And in the icon of St. Varlaam, the man immediately recognised the face of the holy elder who had appeared to him in his dream.
From Serpoukhov the man departed, completely healed. The news about the miraculous icon spread quickly through the city, the region, and all of Rus’. Alcoholics and their families and friends, were coming to pray before the Mother of God for healing, and in time many came back to thank her for her speedy help. The prayer service (called and Akathist) that we offer at St. George on a monthly basis was composed in thanksgiving for these events, and asks that they would be granted again.