Now with bonus journaling space! A twenty-day prayerful walk to spiritual well-being from the author of the bestsellers The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent.
Praying God’s Will for Your Life is not a book about finding the right person to marry or deciding on a career. It is a book about a way of life and a heart attitude that are God’s will for everyone who knows Him. That way of life encompasses three important components:
- An intimate relationship with God
- A solid foundation in God’s truth
- A commitment to obedience
As she has in previous bestselling books—The Power of a Praying Wife and The Power of a Praying Parent—Stormie invites you to discover the power of prayer, this time encouraging you to pray for yourself as you deepen your walk with God. Accept her challenge to pray for yourself in these areas every day for twenty days, and watch how God changes your life as you move into the center of His will. As you experience the power of God's will in your daily faith journey, take advantage of the bonus Prayer Journal, which offers Stormie's own words of encouragement and plenty of space for reflection and listing prayer requests and answered prayers.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
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About the Author
Stormie Omartian is an award-winning bestselling author and speaker whose award winning POWER OF PRAYING series have sold more than 34 million books worldwide, which includes such books as, THE POWER OF PRAYING WIFE, THE POWER OF A PRAYING HUSBAND, THE POWER OF A PRAYING WOMAN, THE POWER OF A PRAYING PARENT, THE POWER OF PRAYING FOR YOUR ADULT CHILDREN, and JUST ENOUGH LIGHT FOR THE STEP I'M ON. Recently she has written LEAD ME, HOLY SPIRIT – Longing to Hear the Voice of God; PRAYER WARRIOR – Praying Your Way to Victory;and CHOOSE LOVE – 3 Simple Choices that Will Alter the Course of Your Life.
Stormie's newest book – OUT OF DARKNESS – is her personal journey out of the devastating darkness of the first twenty-eight years of her life when she found True Light and liberation. Then it goes on through her next thirty-five years as a believer, learning how to walk with the One True Light and rise above the traps and threats of the dark side.
THE POWER OF A PRAYING WIFE broke a 21-year industry record by claiming the number one spot on the Christian Booksellers bestsellers list for 27 consecutive months. Her books have sold 34 million copies. Stormie and Michael have been married for over 42 years and have two married children and two granddaughters.
Read an Excerpt
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.CHAPTER 2
PRAYING TO KNOW GOD AS A POWERFUL PRESENCE
I took the handful of sleeping pills a friend had just given me and added them to my growing collection in a little gold box in the back of the bottom drawer of my bedroom dresser. "I have nearly enough to do the job right this time," I told myself. Deliberately and methodically I planned my suicide. I wanted to make it look like an accidental overdose so my sister and dad wouldn't bear any guilt.
I had tried to kill myself when I was fourteen by downing an odd combination of drugs in our bathroom, but they only succeeded in making me very sick. Since that failed attempt, I had thrown myself into everything I could possibly find to get out of my dark, emotional prison cell. Unfortunately, every so-called "key to life" I tried only led me closer to death and farther from the freedom, peace, and release I so desperately sought.
I'd had plenty of good psychiatric and psychological counseling, especially if measured in terms of how much money I had paid, and I was grateful for each doctor as he kept me from destroying myself. Yet at twenty-eight years old, fourteen years after my suicide attempt, I still felt as if I were down in a dark hole, and I couldn't produce the strength to pick myself up one more time. Death was again the only solution I could see. I was amazed that in all those years of struggle my life had still come to nothing.
At that low point, which was a few months after the series of recording sessions, my friend Terry said, "I can see you're not doing well, Stormie. Won't you come with me and talk to my pastor?" Sensing my reluctance, she quickly added, "You've got nothing to lose."
I silently bore witness to her accurate assessment of my situation and agreed to go even though I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of religion. My experience with churches had been that they made me feel more dead than I did already.
Terry took me to meet Pastor Jack Hayford from the nearby Church on the Way, and it turned out to be like no other meeting I'd ever had. We met him at a restaurant for lunch, and from the moment he started talking, he had my full attention. He asked me a little about myself, but I was not open to revealing anything of my desperate circumstances. Even at this late hour in my life, I wanted to appear successful. For more than an hour, Pastor Jack talked about God the way someone talks about a best friend. He said that at my invitation, God would come to live within me and transform my life from the inside out.
"If you receive Jesus, the relationship you can have with God will be so personal that every part of your being can be shared with Him and His with you," Pastor Jack explained. "You would never be without hope or purpose again."
I had no trouble listening to him talk about God because I knew there was a spirit realm. I had seen enough supernatural manifestations through my delving into the occult to convince me of their reality. But when he started talking about receiving Jesus and being born again, I winced.
I had frequently seen people standing on street corners, waving black books and screaming, "Jesus saves!" and "You're all going to hell!" to everyone passing by. Because of them, I feared that accepting Jesus meant having an intellectual lobotomy, which would turn me into an unthinking, self-righteous, coldhearted, beat-people-over-the-head-with-your-Bible kind of person with whom the reality of other people's true pain and circumstances never registered. I had noticed, however, that neither Pastor Jack nor Terry was anything like that.
Fortunately, Pastor Jack saw through my fears and didn't push me for any commitment. Instead he sent me home with three books: the first, about the life of Jesus, was the gospel of John in book form; the second one, The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, was about the reality of evil; and the third was a book about the working of the Holy Spirit of God in people's lives.
"Let's talk again next week in my office and you can let me know then what you think of these books," Pastor Jack said as we ended our meeting. We agreed, and I went home to start reading. Something about what Terry and Pastor Jack said and did that day made me want to find out what they knew that I didn't.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Praying God's Will for Your Life"
Copyright © 2001 Stormie Omartian.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part One: THE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP,
1. Praying to Know God's Will for Your Life, 3,
2. Praying to Know God as a Powerful Presence, 11,
3. Praying to Know God as Your Savior, 19,
4. Praying to Know God as Your Heavenly Father, 29,
5. Praying to Know God as the Holy Spirit, 35,
6. Praying to Know God as Lord over Every Area of Your Life, 41,
7. Praying to Know God as a Name That Answers Your Every Need, 49,
Part Two: THE SOLID FOUNDATION,
8. Praying to Move On with the Lord, 59,
9. Praying for a Solid Foundation in God's Truth, 63,
10. Praying to Know the Power of Prayer, 73,
11. Praying to Understand the Freedom in Praise, 87,
12. Praying for Release from Unconfessed Sin, 99,
13. Praying to Forgive Yourself, God, and Others, 107,
Part Three: THE OBEDIENT WALK,
14. Praying to See the Link Between Obedience and Blessing, 117,
15. Praying to Say Yes to God Each Day of Your Life, 123,
16. Praying to Remain Separate from the World, 129,
17. Praying to Be Baptized, 137,
18. Praying to Have Fellowship with Other Believers, 145,
19. Praying to Know How to Give Yourself Away, 153,
20. Praying to Be Reminded of Jesus' Sacrifice, 161,
21. Praying to Be Able to Walk in Faith, 167,
22. Praying to Find Comfort in the Center of God's Will, 175,
Prayer Journal, 183,
About the Author, 218,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I can still remember the first time I read a book by Stormie Omartian. It was the mid 80's and I read the book in one day because it spoke so vividly to my heart. This book is the same for me. As always, Stormie shares openly from her life and the struggles she has been through. She reminds us that God has shown Himself to her so many times and that prayer is truly the catalyst to change. The book is divided into three sections and is to be read over 20 days. This encourages us to get in the habit of making prayer and giving over our life to God. I really love that she writes in a way that new believers or long time believers can understand. She draws us in by sharing her own journey of prayer and encourages us through Scripture. This book is packed with relevant Scriptures and that is another wonderful thing I love about her books. There is journaling space, which I love, although, I would have loved to have had it at the end of each chapter, but it's still in the book and I love when I can write down my thoughts as I'm reading. This is another wonderful book by Stormie and it has greatly enriched my life. I hope that you'll pick this one up as it really will create a richer prayer life. I give this book 5 stars. *This book was provided to me by BookLook Bloggers. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
Stormie's book is great as always. If you are trying to find and/or understand God's will for your life, this book is for you. If you like Stormie's books you will not be disappointed. Loved it.
This book really affected my prayer life!! VERY inspirational!! I have her 2 most well known books: The Power of a Praying Wife & The Power of a Praying Parent, and they are both great! But this book is what made the real change for me. I believe it is a necessity! It makes the other books "work" better.
This is just one of the many books I have read of Stormie's in the last 6 months. I was referred to her writings by my neice when i accepted Jesus into my life. I am a new Christian and this book is the most compelling truth that hits the heart and really makes a difference in your walk with God. I would recommend this book to anyone who is new to Christianity and has a lot of questions regarding their faith