Chattering Mind

Chattering Mind

Prayers for Cigarette Smokers

My 45-year-old brother can’t seem to stop smoking, even though he’s been diagnosed with the earliest stages of emphysema, a truly dreadful ailment that will eventually leave him constantly breathless if he doesn’t quit lighting up. I’d hate to see my brother tied by the nose to an oxygen tank. But I don’t want to nag or make him feel worse.

When I stopped smoking cigarettes some 25 years ago, someone told me this: “You have to learn to hug yourself.”


When I heard that, I thought, “Oh, what an absurd thing to say. Hug myself! Ridiculous!” But that’s because I was still smoking, still young enough to think I could beat the habit with ease. Once I quit, however, I felt I couldn’t go out to parties; I believed I couldn’t write articles as well, argue or even talk, since smoking was so incorporated into my self-image. I felt as though I’d gone back to my most insecure teenage years, the years when I started puffing, posturing, and looking around for ashtrays. Not a good feeling. So the “hug yourself” idea came back, and I did eventually learn to give myself psychologically soothing hugs of love by taking deep breaths and chanting calming mantras to myself.


I looked for smoking cessation prayers on the web today and there’s not a lot out there. Here’s one prayer I found with a country and Western beat (don’t click on that link though unless you want to see the most terrifying photo of a smoker’s lung):

Heavenly Father, hear my plea,
and grant my lungs serenity.
Give me strength to kick the smoking
that’s been causing all my choking.
Let my breath be fresh and clean
without a trace of nicotine…

You get the idea. Broaden the online search topic to “addiction prayers,” and you’ll find a lot more.

Dear God…I have tried to throw away my life, my body, my soul through addiction. But recognition of my addiction has never given me power to control it. You know this. You never blame me. You know the truth…Pain is transcended through an authentic calling from You. Therefore, I surrender myself, now, to You…


There is more; you can read the whole thing here.

Branching out, here’s a good Catholic smoking cessation source. And here’s a list of excellent Buddhist recovery resources that anyone can use to address addictions as unwanted attachments. Finally, here’s a general-interest smoking cessation guide with excellent links to other resources.

Do you know anyone who still smokes? Wouldn’t it be great if the habit truly became a thing of the past? Have you yourself quit and did you find your faith helpful when you did?

Comments read comments(16)
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Peter Clothier

posted May 3, 2007 at 10:07 pm

Amy, I too gave up smoking cigarettes more than twenty years ago. The secret for me, after ten years of trying and failing, was to give myself permission to smoke instead of telling myself No: musn’t, shouldn’t, bad, and so on. All those negatives produced the usual result: they made me all the more stubborn. As soon as I gave myeself permission to smoke, but offered myself some positive alternatives (sleeping better, smelling better, walking upstairs without losing my breath, etc.) I found it possible to quit. I quote you, by the way, in my own blog today. Wishing your brother all good things on his way to recovery…

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posted May 4, 2007 at 3:20 pm

I smoked in my late teens into early twenties. I guess it was a kind of statement of coolness. Anyway, I was at a club with my friends one nite with a cigarette lit between my fingers and I decided right there- “w Why am I doing this. I don’t even enjoy it much”. I put out the cigarette and never touched another one since. True story! Barb

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Diane Rinaldi

posted May 4, 2007 at 3:32 pm

I quit shortly after giving my life to Jesus. I began realizing my life was precious and He had a plan for it, which didn’t include poor health. But I didn’t give them up without having to pray and believe He would help me. One day, when I was telling Him how much I hated them and wanted to quit, I heard Him speak to my heart. He said, “You LIKE them.” !! Well, it was true – I always enjoyed smoking. He told me, “Ask Me to change your desire.” So I prayed for Him to change my desire. I found myself despising cigarettes – but still lighting up! One day I said, “Lord, will you just take them off me?” and He answered, “If you’ll lay them down, I’ll take them away.” That very minute, I obeyed what He said to do, and I can honestly tell you I haven’t craved a cigarette since that day 12 years ago. Praise the Lord!

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posted May 4, 2007 at 10:02 pm

I quit smoking 8 years ago. I managed the awful hell of withdrawal by giving myself permission to suffer; to feel every craving, headache, brain fog, the creepy crawlies, etc., knowing that this is how it feels when the addiciton leaves your body. I also used on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis and relied on the patch during the first six weeks of quitting.

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posted May 4, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I quit after a good friend pointed me to the amazing book, The EasyWay to Quit Smoking, by Allen Carr. Based on my unscientific study, it has a 90+% success rate.

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posted May 7, 2007 at 8:34 pm

THANK-you chattering mind for all the great links – you are a blessing – peace kat

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posted November 12, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I’m coming up on 23 years of being smoke free. It’s not a coincidence that my son (and only child) is 22. I believe God definitely had a divine hand in my quitting. I found out I was pregnant on Dec.31, 1990. I had smoke for 16 years and the thought of quitting was scary. I prayed for strength to quit for my baby’s sake. I kept dreaming of seeing a little baby in my womb choking and coughing. Then, on Jan. 6, I woke up and the smell of a cigarette nauseated me so bad I puked. I couldn’t even think of one without wanting to throw up. After I had my son, there were times I wanted to start up again. But, praise God, I haven’t. My husband, however, had double bypass open heart surgery in 2006 and is still smoking. I will continue to pray and not nag.

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posted July 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Reward yourself when you meet key events, like your first day
or 7 days without smoking. The cockroach chews sideways and will eat just about anything, including food (preferably starchy foods and meats),
dead insects (including other roaches), hair, paper, glue,
clothes, cigarette butts, feces, the skin they shed, and
their eggs. On average one cartridge is estimated to equate to smoking a pack of 30 cigarettes but this is only an approximation since it will vary depending on how many times you draw
down on your cigarette.

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