Join us on our new podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Stormie Omartian was at the end of her rope.
As a young professional living in Hollywood and working in television, she was bound by fear, anxiety and depression rooted in her background as an abused child. No matter what she did, she couldn't escape the pain.
That is, until one day, when she turned to prayer.
Someone led her to Jesus Christ, but, as for many of us, the pain didn't go away instantly. Shortly after her conversion, she began to see a Christian counselor, who encouraged her to fast and pray over her past and explained the impact it would have over her present and future.
That season of prayer and fasting dramatically transformed her life. It is because of prayer that she found freedom from the effects of her past.
"When I found absolute deliverance and freedom from depression and anxiety, I felt a burden lift. It was such a great manifestation of the power of God—I'll never forget it. Prayer changed my life forever," she said.
Now she is widely known for speaking and writing about the subject of prayer, having released a series of popular books, such as The Power of a Praying Life.
"That time in my life led me to find out about what God wants to do in our lives through prayer—our communicating with Him. I wanted others to understand the power of prayer, so my husband and I began to form prayer groups."
Why Don't We Pray More?
Many of us, although we have been walking with Christ for years, have difficulty even praying at all.
"So many of us won't stop and pray because we don't think we're good enough to receive an answer. Or maybe we don't know how to pray. Some of us are too intimidated to pray because we think we don't have the right words—we can't pray the same way as the pastor. We all have these doubts and fears when it comes to prayer," she explained.
That's why she writes the books and speaks at conferences—to help people get past their misconceptions about prayer and learn to effectively communicate with God.
Tips For Effective Communication With God
The first thing, Omartian said, is to express our gratitude for God's faithfulness and work in our lives.
"Thank Him for everything. Praise and worship isn't just something you do while you wait for the sermon on Sunday. It should be a way of life.
"Also, ask Him to show you if there is any sin that needs to be confessed, because unconfessed sin puts up a barrier between you and God. Scripture tells us that God will not hear us if there is iniquity in our hearts," she said.
Once we confess this, then we must ask for forgiveness, and ask Him to help us obey Him in the particular area in which we struggle.
Next, she says it's best to keep our prayers simple.
"It doesn't need to be complicated. Prayer can get overwhelming if you start incorporating man-made rules. Just communicate your heart to God."
She also reminds us that we should seek the will of God in our prayers—not our own.
"Ask God to lead and prompt you to pray for the things He wants in your life. Remember that He will help you pray this way if you ask Him. Be honest with Him in your prayers."
Lastly, she says it's very important to be in God's Word every day.
"It helps you to pray, because it helps you understand what God's will is. You will hear the Holy Spirit more clearly if you are filling yourself with the Word of God. He will bring things alive to you as you read. And, we need to hear His voice clearly, because there are so many competing voices out there. We need to be able to isolate His voice."
Click here to read the original article from BillyGraham.org.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?