Behold, how good and how pleasant it is, For brethren to dwell together in unity!

Psalm 133:1

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View May 2013 Issue >>
 

With an unusual name like Stormie, it is mildly ironic, if not a bit prophetic that this beautiful and talented author grew up in a tumultuous household. Today, Stormie is widely acclaimed as a New York Times best-selling author (she spent many years in the entertainment industry singing and even recording aerobics videos!), but for Stormie, the successes and the blessings would never have happened without the Lord’s grace, and the power of prayer.

“I was raised by a mentally ill mother who was very abusive and kept me locked in a closet for much of my early childhood.
My dad worked long hours and when he was home he was so exhausted and passive, that I didn’t feel he was there for me as a protector from my mother. As a result, I grew up with a lot of depression, fear, anger, feelings of hopelessness and rejection.”

A past filled with pain

“I tried everything I knew to get out of that emotional closet of pain: alcohol, drugs, unhealthy relationships and the occult and eastern religions. But these things gave me nothing more than a temporary relief. I soon grew suicidal.

At the same time my friend, Terry, with whom I had been singing on television and doing recordings, said to me, “I can see you are not doing well Stormie. Why don’t you come with me to meet my pastor.” When I hesitated, she pushed a little harder. “What have you got to lose?” she asked. I had no rebuttal, so I agreed to go with her. She arranged for the three of us to meet for lunch a few days later.”

Surrendering all to Jesus
“When I met Pastor Jack Hayford, he talked to me about Jesus in a way that made Him sound amazingly real and very much like a close and loving friend. He helped me
understand that most of my problems existed because I was separated from God and the only way to bridge that separation was to receive Jesus as my Saviour.
If I did that, then God would put His Holy Spirit in my heart and I would never again be distant from Him. If I surrendered my life to the Lord, He would change me from the inside out and help me become all He created me to be. [Following that meeting I read a few books Jack gave me and met with him again to surrender my life to Jesus] and received the forgiveness and grace of God. Immediately I noticed a difference in my life. I had a feeling of peace, of being accepted, of being cleansed from all my past failures.“

A new creation in Christ
“I felt love, joy, and hope for the first time. I also had a growing sense of purpose, and I began to see a future for my life. As I grew in God’s Word, I learned to walk in His ways. I became better able to make right choices.
With the Holy Spirit’s leading and en-ablement, I could resist falling back into old habits of doing things that were not God’s will for my life. As I moved into the liberty He had for me, I gradually became free from depression, anxiety, and fear.”

Stepping into her destiny
“I learned about the power of prayer and the great things that can happen when we pray. I learned about the importance of worshiping and praising God and the transformation that takes place in our souls when it becomes our priority. I learned that the more I obeyed God, the more I changed.
In fact, God changed me and my life so much over the years that today I hardly recognise myself from the person I used to be!”

Recognising the power of prayer
For Stormie, experiencing the life-changing presence of God, and the power of sincere prayer, has become so integral to her life, that it has formed her ministry (through all the books she writes on prayer). “What the Lord did in me, He can do in anyone. That’s why my goal in life is to help others find that same freedom, healing, restoration, fulfilment, and purpose that I have found.”

A key focus of Stormie’s writing has been teaching people how to pray - for their spouse, their children, themselves and their situations. Stormie doesn’t just write from a set of ideals and principles, but from her experience - she is remarkably candid and transparent about her life.

Seeing God change circumstances
“[In my early years] my husband and I had problems in our marriage and at its worst point, I prayed for a miracle. God impressed upon my heart that I was to stop praying my favourite prayer” “Change him Lord!”, but began to pray every day for Michael, like I had never prayed before.
Each time, though, I had to confess my own hardness of heart. I saw how deeply hurt and unforgiving of him I was. I didn’t want to pray for Michael. I didn’t want to ask God to bless him. I only wanted God to strike his heart and convict him of how cruel he had been. I had to say over and over, “God, I confess my unforgiveness.”

Praying for positive change
“Little by little, I began to see changes occur in both of us. When Michael became angry, instead of reacting negatively, I prayed for him. I asked God to give me insight into what was causing his rage. He did. I asked Him what I could do to make things better. The Lord showed me.
Every day, prayer built something positive. We’re still not perfected, but we’ve come a long way. It hasn’t been easy, yet I’m convinced that God’s way is worth the effort it takes to walk in it. It’s the only way to save a marriage.

A wife’s prayers for her husband have a far greater effect on him than anyone else’s, even his mother’s (sorry Mom!). They are a team, one unit, unified in spirit. The strength of a man and wife joined together in God’s sight is far greater than the sum of the strengths of each of the two individuals. That’s because the Holy Spirit unites them and gives added power to their prayers.”

The key to victory in your life
For Stormie, prayer is an essential daily discipline of the Christian’s life that cannot be ignored. “There is so much at stake if we don’t pray. Can you imagine praying for the right side of your body and not the left? If the left side is not sustained and protected and it falls, it’s going to bring down the right side with it. The same is true of you and your husband, your family and our world.”

One cannot do it alone, in fact Stormie’s advice is that, “the best thing for my marriage [and life] is to have women prayer partners with whom I pray every week. If you can find two or more strong, faith-filled people whom you thoroughly trust, and with whom you can share the longings of your heart, set up a weekly prayer time. It will change your life!”  

 

—by Jackie Georgiou

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