Praying God's Will For Your Life
Even before her conversion, Stormie prayed, "If you have a will for my life, I need to know what it is and what to do about it." God's answer soon unfolded. Here Stormie reveals the life and attitude that are...
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Even before her conversion, Stormie prayed, "If you have a will for my life, I need to know what it is and what to do about it." God's answer soon unfolded. Here Stormie reveals the life and attitude that are His will for every believer.
For years Stormie Omartian prayed the prayer, "Change my husband, Lord." Then she realized that she had to pray for herself -and examine her own heart - before she could pray effectively for him. Her prayer become, "Change me, Lord." In this book, she presents that process for all wives who want the power to pray for themselves and their husbands.^In the first six days readers consider how to develop or maintain an intimate relationship with the Father. During the next six days they look at the Power Tools that feed this intimat^"Praying God's Will for Your Life" is ideal for women who have read Stormie's bestselling books on prayer and want to move deeper into the power of prayer.^
With distinctive style, bestselling author Omartian encourages women to seek God's blessings and guidance so they can grow in Him and stand strong in the midst of a changing culture.
Omartian is a bestselling author who personally connects with readers by sharing experiences and lessons that powerfully illustrate how God changes lives when we learn to trust in Him, live His way, seek His will, and follow His lead no matter what the circumstances.
The strength and transparency of Stormie Omartian's message has driven her books to the top of bestselling lists and earned many prestigious awards. More than twelve million copies of The Power of a Praying ... series, which includes such books as The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Parent, The Power of a Praying Husband, The Power of a Praying Woman, The Power of a Praying Teen and The Power of a Praying Kid. In May 2002, The Power of a Praying Wife broke a 21-year industry record by becoming a #1 bestseller for 27 consecutive months. It has stayed on the bestsellers' list for over 9 years. In 1998, it was named a Gold Medallion Finalist and in 2001, 2002, and 2003, for an unprecedented three years in a row, it was named a finalist for The Charles "Kip" Jordan Christian Book of the Year Award.
The Power of a Praying Husband spent 32 consecutive months on the bestsellers' list - also reaching the number one position and was honoured in 2002 with a Gold Medallion Award. Omartian's other bestselling books are Stormie, Just Enough Light for the Step I'm On, The Prayer That Changes Everything, and her children's book, What Happens When I talk to God?
In The Prayer That Changes Everything, Stormie Omartian passionately inspires people to look beyond themselves, their circumstances, and their needs so that they may experience the amazing things that take place when prayers of praise are lifted up to God. She encourages men and women to praise God during times of difficulty, sorrow, fear, abundance, and joy as a first reaction rather than a last resort. Sharing personal stories, practical principles, and biblical truths, She offers step-by-step instruction on how to develop a consistent attitude of praise, worship, and thanksgiving to God.
A sought-after media guest, Omartian has been interviewed numerous times on The 700 Club (U.S.) and many other national television and radio programs. She has also been featured in publications such as USA Today, Shine, Profile, Publishers Weekly, Today's Christian Woman, and Marriage Partnership.
As a young singer, dancer, and actress, Omartian appeared on The Dean Martin Show, The Glen Campbell Show, The Mac Davis Show, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and many other variety shows. She also sang backup for Glen Campbell, Neil Diamond, The Imperials, and other well-known artists. Omartian and her husband, Michael, have written hundreds of songs, including the Christian musical, Child of the Promise. They have put together a praise and worship CD, also called The Prayer That Changes Everything, released by Integrity Music. It is a beautiful collection of familiar worship songs sung by various Christian musicians, plus original music by Michael and Stormie. Stormie says, "Michael has written some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard on this CD. It makes me cry every time I listen to it because I sense the Spirit of the Lord in it." The Omartians have been married for more than 35 years and have three grown children.
Her latest books include The Power of a Praying Life, The Power of Praying Through the Bible, and the long awaited follow-up book to The Power of Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Husband which is called The Power of Praying for Change in Your Marriage.
PRAYING TO KNOW GOD'S WILL FOR YOUR LIFE As far back as I can remember, I woke up every morning with an overwhelming sense of dread. It's the same feeling you have when you wake up for the first time after someone you love has tragically and suddenly died. The reality of it comes flooding back to you and you realize it wasn't a bad dream after all. You wish with all of your being that it was not true, but it is and you have to face it. The thought of getting through the day brings such a weight of depression it requires a major effort to even get out of bed.
That's exactly the way I always felt, even though no one had died. No one, that is, except me. I was dying on a daily basis. I could feel it, but I didn't know what to do about it.
No one ever saw my struggle, so I pretended everything was fine. And I got very good at it. I stayed as busy as possible, with as many people as possible, in order to create a diversion so grand that I didn't have to feel the terrible purposelessness of my life. But there was always that moment of extreme aloneness, with no noise and no activity, when I crossed over from sleep to consciousness. In those first waking moments, the deafening quiet exposed the futility of my life and it was unbearable.
I often thought of suicide as a means of escape because I didn't want to wake up again with that dreaded feeling and have to face another day. I certainly couldn't imagine that things could ever be any different from the way they were. I had spent a lifetime trying to transform myself and to change my circumstances, and I found I was completely powerless to do so. The way I was and the way my life was going had been entirely unacceptable to me for far too long. And I could see no other way out.
Of course I had been on an extensive search to find meaning for my life. But the god I was pursuing in my occult practices was a weak and distant god who really couldn't do anything for me unless I could be good enough, or enlightened enough, or religious enough, or smart enough to somehow get to him and prove I was worthy. I was fairly certain he had more important things to do than help me.
Realizing that I was without a god or anyone else to come to my aid, I decided it was all up to me. I was in charge of my destiny. I had to make myself acceptable to others. I had to make my life the way it should be. The problem was, I knew I couldn't do it.
I had been a singer and an actress on television for about eight years, and I was finding it increasingly difficult to hide behind either of those occupations for any length of time. The emptiness inside of me was growing at an alarming rate, and I felt so fragile that I knew it wouldn't take much for me to crack like an eggshell.
One week I was asked to sing on a series of recording sessions for a Christian musical. I was glad to have the work, and making records was far easier than the labor-intensive schedule of a television show. Back in those days we did TV shows live, so the rehearsal schedule was intense. You had to have the dance routine, dialogue, and songs you were singing down so perfectly that you wouldn't make a mistake when the cameras were rolling and you were seen live in front of millions of people.
When I arrived at the recording studio for the first session, it was filled with people, most of whom I had never met. There was a sense of peace and calm, and everyone was friendly, warm, and welcoming-quite different from what I was used to in television. My spirits began to lift immediately. This was amazing because it was an early morning session, which means I had not had much time to work out of my traditional early morning depression.
During the first break of the day I met more of the singers, musicians, and recording crew. They all had certain common qualities about them that I found very appealing: a sense of simplicity, fullness, and purpose. Someone might question how I could identify a sense of fullness, and I don't know how to explain it, except to say that it stood in stark contrast to my own emptiness. I could also sense that they were not into drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. Again, there was that contrast.
My friend Terry was the contractor on this session, which meant she was in charge of hiring all of the singers. She was one of the best studio singers in Los Angeles, and I had worked with her often. She always sang the lead and I would stand next to her and sing second. I think she liked working with me because I never tried to compete with her. Instead, I recognized her expertise and tried to blend as well as I could with what she did. She took me under her wing at this session because she was aware that I didn't know many people there.
We were all singing three to a microphone. On our microphone, Terry was in the middle and another girl and I were on either side of her, looking off the same metal music stand. After that first break was over and we were recording again, I reached up to adjust my headphones. When I brought my hand down, the gold ring on my hand hit the metal music stand and made a loud bang. That brought the session to an immediate halt.
This was back in the days when there were none of the technological tricks studios have today. A mistake of this magnitude meant we had to start that whole section of music all over again, which was not good because it had been perfect up to that point. I feared that my recording career was over. Normally something like this could have been enough to keep me from getting called to work again. It wasn't just that I had made a mistake; it was the money it cost the producers for the time involved in having to record it all over again.
I felt badly about what happened and apologized profusely. I expected to receive angry glares, a severe shunning at lunch break, and a call asking me not to come back for the rest of the sessions. Instead, everyone acted like it was no big deal and as if they still valued me as a person. The only thing that happened was that the conductor politely said if anyone else was wearing rings or bracelets we should remove them, which we all did. I felt like crying at that point, not just because of making the mistake, but because of the love and mercy I had been shown. It was not the norm in my experience.
It was on our lunch break, when we went out together in a large group, that I learned that everyone on the session was a Christian except me. They all talked about their futures, some of which I gathered were even more precarious than mine. Yet none of them feared the future as I did. I feared I didn't have one. They knew they had one because they understood God had a plan for their lives. They said that as long as they walked in the will of God, their future was secure in His hands. I had never heard of such a thing.
Obviously their God was different from the gods I had been pursuing. He was personal. He was warm. He had a plan for each person's life. I didn't say anything about my situation because I did not want to expose that I wasn't a Christian and possibly embarrass Terry. She already knew that I was not a believer, but I didn't think that the others did. Now, looking back, I'm sure they all knew. They were probably as much aware of my emptiness as I was of their fullness.
Each day of the sessions I found myself increasingly attracted to the sense of purpose these people had about their lives. I wanted that so badly, but I didn't know how I could even get close to it. I was sure that a person must have to be born under a different star than I was in order to attain it. Yet I couldn't get the idea of God's will out of my mind.
I wonder if God has a plan for my life? I thought to myself. That would mean I didn't have to make life happen. But what if His plan for me is to be a missionary in Siberia? Death would be better. How do I find out what God's plan is for me?
I thought about this for the next few days of the sessions. I tried to learn more from each of the singers at every lunch break without letting them know why I was interested. I didn't want anyone pressuring me to have a life of purpose. Besides, being miserable was familiar to me, and I was more comfortable with what I knew.
After the last session on the final day, as I was in my car on the way home, I prayed to this God of theirs without knowing if He could even hear me. "God, if You have a will for my life," I said, "I need to know what it is and what to do about it."
I heard no reply. As I suspected, this God would probably never listen to someone like me. I went on with my life as it was, spiraling downward at an ever-increasing pace.
Over the course of the next few months many things happened to me, one of which changed my life forever: I met the God that Terry and her friends had been talking about. The simple prayer I had prayed in the car, to a God I didn't even know, was answered.
That was thirty-one years ago, and now I know that the will of God is not some mysterious thing that only a few select people can understand. It's there for each one of us, but we have to take the necessary steps to find it. The steps are simple, but often for that very reason we don't bother to take them. Yet we have to take them because we can never be happy until we understand God's will for our lives and are living in it.
Until we are living in the will of God, we are destined to have lives that are unfulfilled and incomplete. Knowing that God has a plan for you gives your life purpose as nothing else can. It simplifies everything because you don't have to figure it all out and make it all happen. You just have to look to the Lord, knowing He has it all figured out and He will make it happen.
From that time on, I continually prayed, "God, tell me what to do. Show me what steps to take. Guide me where I need to go." And God answered those prayers. He spoke to my heart saying, "Just be in My presence. I'll make things happen the way they are supposed to."
In the following months and years I learned that life could be much simpler than I ever dreamed. It didn't matter what my situation was at the moment; all I had to do was take the next step the Lord was showing me. As I did, I began to see a solid way of living, which I could explain to other people. I could say, "You just take these steps. As long as you are walking with God and living His way, you are not likely to get off the path. And if by chance you do, He will get you right back on. That's because you've been listening to God's voice and you will feel in your heart when you violate one of His directions."
The following chapters in this book are the basic steps to take to establish an intimate relationship with God, to lay a solid foundation in His truth, and to learn the basic principles of obedience. All of these things are the will of God for your life, as revealed in His Word, and you must do them in order to be in the will of God.
At the end of each chapter are short prayers and a section called Tools of Truth. These are Scripture verses that are God's truth for your life. You can claim them as God's will for you, and they will give you security and confidence.
I suggest that you pray for yourself every day for a month, using each one of the twenty areas of prayer focus I have included in this book. Pray a chapter a day for a twenty-day prayerful walk to spiritual well-being.
Now let me tell you about each of these steps and how I learned of their importance in our lives.