'Just Say No!' Unites Global Christians to Combat Drug Addiction Through Weekend of Fasting and Prayer

Apr 12, 2014 01:46 AM EDT

Non-profit organization "Just Pray NO!" has announced it will host a weekend of prayer and fasting to combat the growing problem of drug addiction.

In 2012, an estimated 23.9 million people aged 12 years or older were illicit drug users.  In response, "Just Pray NO!" has united millions of Christians from 150 nations and territories around the world in intercessory prayer on behalf of the addicted and their families, the organization's website states.

Steven Sherman, a Jewish-Christian and the president of Just Pray NO! says he founded the organization on the belief that prayer is the strongest defense against drug addiction.

"Too many people wait until they're utterly desperate to pray," he stated.

Sherman references Matthew 18:20, where Jesus says, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Sherman asks, "Why is it when "two or three" are gathered to pray and not just "one" person alone? Because there is power in unity!"

The effects  of drug abuse extend far beyond the user, Sherman added, making addiction that much more devastating.  While he believes that God can instantly heal people's addictions, others, he says, must be detoxified.

"It's a process for most people of sanctification," he stated.

The 24th Annual "Just Pray NO!" weekend for the addicted is scheduled for April 26 and 27, 2014.

Sherman urges those praying around the world to "put on the full armor of God and fervently pray in spirit and in truth."

While Americans are often willing to attend a prayer breakfast, Sherman says, it's much harder to them to commit to pray and fast.

"It seems like third world countries are more willing to sacrifice for the power they can get when they're empowered by prayer and fasting," says Sherman. 

Sherman states that substance abuse has been directly linked to violence and sexual immorality, and is a major source of income for organized crime and terrorist activities.

He hopes that those addicted will come to know Christ through the power of prayer. "I pray that those who are enslaved to carnal desires will be set free," he writes, "and instead hunger and thirst for the Word of God and the righteousness of Christ."