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Walking the path of recovery with the psalms

New daily devotional uses all 150 psalms to guide those in recovery from substance abuse and addiction

by Westminster John Knox Press | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — On his first sober day, Jeff Dafler committed to reading the psalms, focusing on one each day to allow his mind time to turn over interesting phrases and words. As part of this process, he prayed for his Higher Power’s guidance and illumination. He savored the psalmists’ bracing honestly and identified with their feelings of fear, shame, loss, and regret.

But Dafler also found hope. Hope in a God who could and would provide a refuge from his addiction. And at the end of reading the 150 psalms, Dafler was five months sober.

Inspired by this initial journey, Dafler offers his new daily devotional “Psobriety: A Journey of Recovery through the Psalms” to those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse. “These beautiful, stirring songs of faith bolstered my resolve, channeled my anguish, and comforted me,” Dafler writes in the introduction.

This daily devotional features the beloved, comforting words of all 150 psalms to encourage and support those in recovery. Readers will find that these ancient poems give voice to the full array of human emotion, seeking the mercy and guidance of a Higher Power. Along the way, Dafler shares about his own journey to sobriety, as well as wisdom from 12-step programs, to inspire others walking the brave path of recovery.

Jeff Dafler

“Whether you’re new to sobriety or an old-timer, those in recovery will find the experience, strength, and hope expressed throughout these pages helpful and spirituality compelling. The format allows the seeker to reflect a bit deeper one day at a time,” says Shannon White, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) clergyperson in long-term sobriety.

“Psobriety” is now available from Westminster John Knox Press.

 Jeff Dafler is a recovering alcoholic and AA member, participating in weekly meetings and speaking regularly to patients at a detox facility near his home in Ohio. He is on the board of CommQuest, an addiction recovery and behavioral health provider based in Stark County, Ohio, and active in his United Church of Christ congregation.

He is founder of The Dafler Company, a strategy, public policy and communication consulting firm, and an adjunct professor of communication at Walsh University.


Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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