Prayer leader Mary Glazier founded windwalkers International Ministries to teach other to soar upon the wind of the Spirit of God.
Mary Glazier knows firsthand that the Spirit of God is moving all over the world. Mary, an Alaska native, is founder and president of Windwalkers International, a prayer network of more than 4,200 intercessors and prayer groups in 44 states, four Canadian provinces and five nations.
Her ministry, originally given the name Intercessors of Alaska, began in 1990. Aglow International called upon Mary to "seek a battle strategy for the state" in response to the desperate need for a spiritual awakening. Suicide, alcoholism, rape, child abuse and family disintegration were rampant statewide.
"God is a miracle-working God," Mary says. "I prayed for Alaska even as a young girl. But now as I began to stand in the gap, asking for a miracle in our state, the Lord actually showed me the darkness and wickedness we were up against.
"I prayed specifically, asking God to hover over our dark land. Government leaders struggled to find solutions, but I knew that only God could save Alaska and that prayer and faith were His solutions."
In founding Windwalkers, Mary was relying on the declaration of Psalm 18:10: "And He rode upon a cherub and flew; and He sped upon the wings of the wind" (NASB).
Initially, she organized a weekly intercessory prayer meeting that focused on the specific social needs of the state of Alaska. In addition, she started a weekly Bible study in which she taught on prayer.
By March 1991, 25 more prayer groups had formed throughout the state. Today in Alaska, thousands of intercessors are experiencing intimacy with God and moving to the front lines of spiritual warfare.
"Our message is simple yet powerful truth," Mary says. "The devil loves bondage, but God loves freedom. We want to encourage and equip leaders to find the direction of the Lord for their lives and their ministries to fulfill the Great Commission."
ENGAGING THE OPPOSITION In 1995, Mary mobilized a prayer network for Alaska's prisons and began experiencing spiritual warfare as never before. She had received word that a witch had applied for a job as chaplain of the state's prison system.
Emergency prayer groups were formed throughout the region. Intercessors came together and prayed that God would move the woman from Alaska to another state where she would hear the gospel.
Mary recalls, "As we continued to pray against the spirit of witchcraft, her incense altar caught on fire, her car engine blew up, she went blind in her left eye, and she was diagnosed with cancer."
Ultimately, the witch fled to another state for medical treatment. Soon after, revival visited every prison in Alaska.
At the women's correctional facility in Anchorage alone, 55 of 60 inmates found Christ. "Ask largely," Mary says. "Intercessory prayer is making a major difference in North America."
Because of her strong leadership skills, Mary has been called upon by Aglow International to serve as the Alaska State Prayer Coordinator. She is an active member of the Church of Anchorage (a coalition of local assemblies) and the Anchorage Evangelical Pastors Fellowship, a network of more than 90 pastors.
Currently, Mary is on the board of Mission America and is the northwest regional director for the United States Spiritual Warfare Network. The latter role requires her to travel internationally to promote and strengthen prayer groups and promote church unity.
Through her travels she has identified what is most often the greatest prayer need among Christian leaders. It is what she calls "a shallow prayer life."
"We don't pray boldly enough as Christians," she observes. "Our prayers are often fear based."
Using her teaching gifts to address this and other critical needs, Mary has designed one-day seminars to mobilize and train city, state, and national leaders to hear and respond to the Holy Spirit's direction on all levels of intercessory prayer. She developed a book of prayer guidelines to be used as a part of these training sessions.
ALASKAN BEGINNINGS Mary's roots grow deep in Alaskan soil. She is a Kaigani Haida Indian, born in Ketchikan. Much of the town, a favorite tourist spot with 3,000-foot-high Deer Mountain, is constructed on trestles, docks and pilings at the water's edge. The community boasts one of the largest collections of totems in the world at Totem Bright Park.
Her grandparents migrated to southeastern Alaska from British Columbia in the late 1800s. Mary fondly remembers having participated with her grandmother in an Indian naming ceremony in 1974.
"Characteristics accompany names in my culture and are passed from generation to generation," Mary explains. "My grandmother, a Christian, called a special prayer meeting during which she named me 'Healing jaat,' which means 'Thunderwoman.'"
She adds, "Although at the time the name sounded strong and masculine, the Lord revealed to me through prayer that I am a redeemed part of His inheritance and that this name was given to me as a necessary part of the ministry He wanted to birth through me."
Mary found Christ at age 7 through the ministry of a door-to-door missionary. "Joy leaped in my heart," she describes. "I knew something real had taken place even as a young child."
She was nurtured in her faith by the ministry of the Salvation Army and worked in her church wherever she was needed. "I taught in vacation Bible school, Sunday school, helped in hospital and prison ministry, and went on numerous mission trips.
"Because I grew up in an alcoholic household, I knew that I needed healthy Christian role models. I surrounded myself with leaders and school teachers who would love and disciple me."
At age 13, Mary met Sue Parton, a Salvation Army officer's wife who had a tremendous impact on her life as dear friend, mentor, teacher and fellow truth-seeker. She credits Sue with being an instrument God used in the process of shaping her character.
Sue treated Mary as a daughter and invited her to live in the Parton home for a year when Mary was 15. Today they remain lifelong friends.
Family is important to Mary, and she is grateful to have seen her parents miraculously delivered from alcohol. Along with 60 other family members, her parents have accepted Christ.
"As I matured in my Christian faith," Mary recalls, "I realized that I knew Jesus as Savior, but I didn't know the Holy Spirit. I asked Jesus to teach me about the third person of the Trinity."
Not long after that prayer, Mary received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which transformed her life. She explains: "The Holy Spirit taught me about the lordship of Christ. I struggled to yield my stubborn self-will to the Lord for a number of years until a deep surrender came.
"Not only did I finally begin to understand the lordship of Christ, I came to know God in a more intimate way as my heavenly Father." This was precisely what Mary needed as she faced the challenges of balancing her ministry and being a wife and a mom to three children.
God's faithfulness was revealed to her in 1989 during one of the greatest trials of her life when her son committed suicide. "A fiery affliction came upon me," she says. "But in the midst of my despair my Father was there to care for me. I knew that He could be trusted with my whole being and that I would follow Him wherever He wanted me to go. Shortly after, Windwalkers International was born."
The ministry is an apostolic and prophetic missions organization that focuses on training and equipping the body of Christ to respond to the present-day moving of the Holy Spirit. Recently, in anticipation of future challenges and growth, Windwalkers expanded its administrative facilities.
A new building in Anchorage, which sits on one full acre of land, is "a gift from God," according to Mary, and yet another testimony of God's miracle-working power. "I am more convinced than ever that God is asking His people to step out in faith and follow Him to places where they've never gone before," she exclaims.
Mary Glazier practices what she preaches as she relies on the leading of the Holy Spirit in her life and ministry. C. Peter Wagner, president of Global Harvest Ministries, says, "She knows how to pray powerfully for the nations, and she has an enviable track record of equipping others to move out to the front lines of the kingdom of God."
Mary says, "I have learned to listen to the voice of the Lord in my prayer closet." Then she concludes, "God has been preparing us for a tremendous outpouring of His Spirit, and we want to be ready."
Candice Tolbert is a freelance writer. For more on Windwalkers International, go to www.windwalkers.com.