Silhouette of woman holding child at sunsetBecause of her many books on the topic, Stormie Omartian has become well known for her confidence in the power of prayer. But what many people don’t know is that as a young girl she was physically and emotionally abused by a mother who was mentally ill. Her book Stormie is the account not only of the pain she suffered but of the gracious God who reached through her brokenness and brought healing to her life.

Because of the abuse she suffered, she was terrified that she, too, might become an abusive mother. When her first child was born, she developed tremendous fears for his physical and emotional safety. Though never abusive, she was always anxious, filled with fear that something might happen to her son. One day she cried out to God, saying, “Lord, this is too much for me. I can’t keep a twenty-four-hours-a-day, moment-by-moment watch on my son. How can I ever have peace?”(1) One of the answers to her agonized plea was a sense that she and her husband should cover their son in prayer.

Since that time, she has experienced countless answers to prayer and has taught thousands of people to pray, one of whom is her daughter, Amanda. Here’s what Amanda had to say when she was just thirteen years old about how prayer made a difference in her life:

“At my school, I had a classmate who was very mean and I never wanted to go near her because she scared me. When I told my mom, she decided we should pray together for this girl. I thought that was a good idea and so we prayed nearly every day until school was out and through the summer too. The following school year, a miracle happened and that girl changed completely, and she became one of my best friends. It affected my life and it was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.”(2)

What a privilege it is to be able to pray for and pass on the practice of prayer to the next generation. Prayer reminds us that, though we have a role to play, our burdens ultimately belong to God, who graciously listens as we cry out to him.

1.  Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Parent (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995), 16.

2.  Ibid., vii.

(Image courtesy of subhadipin at freeimages.com)





Originally published April 13, 2015.