Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer
In January 2017, several Macon County young people were lost due to drugs. Carol Anne Elliott realized that something needed to be done so she contacted several people who she thought would like to be involved in praying, and the “Prayers Against Drugs” even was born the following February. Townsfolk have been meeting outside the courthouse since then, every first Friday of the month, to pray for those suffering from addiction and the people who love them.
“There are faithful people that come every month to pray. So many are out there doing good things to help stop the drug addiction epidemic, but with God on board great things happen. People need to know that if you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction, people are praying for you. We come together, pray, and sing. Everyone, of all ages, is welcome,” said Elliott.
Mike Barres is the executive of Teen Challenge of the Smokies, a program that provides men with an effective and comprehensive Christian, faith-based solution to life-controlling drug and alcohol problems in order to become productive members of society. When Elliott contacted him regarding her idea about praying against drugs, he was all on board.
“We believe that prayer changes things,” he said. “We pray as a large group and in small groups. We pray for the addiction problem in our area and also pray for individuals who are wrestling with addiction or are in recovery. We pray for family members and for those who have lost friends and loved ones due to addiction. We also pray for addiction recovery programs, law enforcement, chaplains, hospitals, and churches.”
Barres feels that genuine surrender to Jesus Christ and discipleship in His Word, and recovery programs are things that can be done to help reduce the number of folks who use drugs.
Barres works closely with “No Wrong Door,” a program, run by Sheila Jenkins, that tries to coordinate referrals to all agencies and organizations wanting to help.
“Most people would say that there are not enough resources here or anywhere else in our state,” said Barres.
No Wrong Door is helping to change that.
Prayers Against Drugs is a Christian non-denominational event. It is held at the courthouse every first Friday of the month at 6 p.m., regardless of the weather. This gathering is not for speakers, education, program development or promotion or demonstrating. Their only agenda is to pray. Those wrestling with addiction need all the love, help, hope, prayers, and support they can get. Elliot would like anyone needing prayers against drugs, to come out to the courthouse on Friday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. and join with the community and pray together.
Barres urges, “Please support nonprofits who are trying to help with this huge problem. Keep praying, keep reaching and never give up. Matthew 19:26 says ‘but Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”