Esther Smith: Power in her prayers

Esther Smith: Power in her prayers

Written by: Judith Grimes | Place: Oslo, Norway | Published: Monday, November 07, 2011

The responsibility she took upon herself in her prayers has contributed to the development of the church. Therefore, she will forever stand as one of the strong supporting pillars in the church.

The 2005 International Parents’ Conference at Brunstad

“Her love was like a warm spring breeze which caressed your cheek and made everything so pleasant for you.”

Esther puts her hand over her mouth and laughs so heartily that her entire body shakes. Herson Kåre is telling stories from his childhood during a panel discussion at Brunstad at the Parents’ conference. Kåre tells how during his childhood, in spite of them being poor, his mother was always, in very creative ways, able to make room for all the guests who came to visit.

“Help and comfort,” says the exuberant 88-year-old, still chuckling.

She is so at ease and warmhearted as she sits there. Her whole face is glowing with a divine goodness, which is also evident in the wisdom she shares with the thousands of parents from all over the world who are attending the conference.
“The power of example is the most important thing. Of course if someone asks for advice you need to give counsel to the best of your ability, but then it is very important that you are God-fearing so you don’t speak just for the sake of saying something.

In her genuine and unpretentious way she adds:
“I'm not exactly qualified to be a teacher, but I guess I can start practicing now that I am nearly 90 years old ...”
Then she once again bursts into her infectious, hearty laugh, and the whole audience laughs with her. It is impossible not to love her! 

Who is this amazing woman who has meant so much to thousands of people all over the world?

The Døviken family from Nedre Eiker, Norway, 1917

Esther Døviken was born in 1917 on a farm in Nedre Eiker, Norway. None of the family members had a personal Christian faith. But this was to change when Esther’s sister Eli suddenly became gravely ill. She was only 10 years old. Eli wanted the Sunday school teacher to come sing and pray with her. Her lasts words to the family were, “You must meet me together with Jesus!” Eli’s death was a turning point for the entire family. 

When Aksel J. Smith came to Hokksund in 1931 to hold youth meetings, Esther and two of her sisters decided to attend. The result was that all three of them were converted that evening. Esther was 14 years old at that time.

That conversion and commitment endured for the rest of their lives, and all three of them became women of faith.

"We should truly thank God night and day for our calling and election! We can praise God that He sends us situations so that we are drawn to the heavenly things." (Esther Smith, 2006)

Esther and Helge

Esther and Helge were keenly aware of what went on in the church and they had an uncommon ability to discern and perceive challenges. They used this ability, not to criticize, but rather to help. 

In 1942 Esther married Helge Smith, the youngest son of Johan O. Smith (the church’s founder). They had a very hospitable home in the Grefsen area of Oslo. Their home was characterized by vibrant and genuine Christianity. Ester had a true care and liked to make things enjoyable and pleasant for the friends. She was a warmhearted and good woman. 

Her love was like a warm spring breeze which caressed your cheek and made things so pleasant for you. It was always such a blessing to be around her. That was the life she had experienced in Christ who had been a comfort to her.

Esther and Helge were keenly aware of what went on in the church and they had an uncommon ability to discern and perceive challenges. They used this ability, not to criticize, but rather to help. 

Answered Prayers

Esther had many powerful experiences of faith in her relationship with God. Many times she was in dangerous situations, including episodes with deranged and unpredictable people. She had an amazing ability to calm their agitated thoughts so that even mentally unstable people came to rest. One time she saw a man start to beat up another person. Esther cried out “Stop!” Then she went over to them and helped them sort out their disagreements so they both slunk away afterwards.

Another time, there was what seemed like a quite dire and hopeless situation. This was during financially depressed times and the family had very little money.

Their neighbor had suddenly decided to build a fence between their yard and the Smith’s yard. The cost was of course to be divided evenly between neighbors. Esther and Helga received a bill for a considerable amount, which was due in just a few days. 

This was very difficult for the family since they had no extra money for this unexpected expense. They tried to find a solution but without success. The night before it was due, neither Esther nor Helge could sleep, and they prayed together through the night. The next morning there was a knock on the door. Outside was a man with an envelope in his hand. He said, “My boss told me that I had to rush home from our company trip in the mountains and deliver this envelope to you. He said it was urgent and I had to make sure it was done.” 

When they opened the letter, they found that it contained the exact amount as the bill they owed.

Human tendencies

We are not to follow our human tendencies, but reach out for everything that God has to give, so that the fullness of His divine qualities can be manifest in our being.

Esther said about herself that she was not an uncomplicated person. She could be quite harsh and overbearing at times. She was very much aware of this and expressed it in this way: “We are not to follow our human tendencies, but to stretch out toward everything that God has to give, so that the fullness of His characteristics can be manifest in our being.”

On her 90th birthday, she spoke some thought provoking words to the young people when she described how she had received joy and power in her life.

“I would recommend that you make a firm decision, and establish that Jesus alone sits on the throne of your heart! When you have ordained Jesus as Lord in your heart – that He is the boss – then it is not really so difficult to overcome. I praise God for such a life that we are allowed to live!

What meant everything

Through the years, Esther Smith was a true help for many people. Not only did she love her own family, her love extended to all the people she met. It was not only those closest to her who came to her when they needed advice. Phone calls would often come from places all over Norway and even from other countries. She was very interested in each individual person, and everyone who knew her felt that they meant something special to her.

“Her mission and goal was to lead people to God.”
She prayed many prayers, not only for the people who asked for her help, but also for the church, and she exhorted others to do the same. The responsibility she took upon herself in her prayers has contributed to the development of the church. Therefore, she will forever stand as one of the strong supporting pillars in the church.

Many people today remember Esther Smith clearly. Her kindness touched thousands. Her life was Christ, until her last day. She lived a very purposeful life. Her mission and goal was to lead people to God.

Through her living example, she became a powerful influence on people, drawing them to Christ and the good!

“For me, the understanding of being united with Jesus Christ in his death, and having a firm foundation of faith in God and his Word have meant everything in the different phases of life and the many conditions I have encountered,” was Esther Smith's personal testimony. “So I can boldly testify to God's glory, that I have had a blessed, rich and happy life.”

A Book about Esther Smith’s Life

Work is currently being done on a book about Esther Smith's life, which will be released by Skjulte Skatter Publishing in 2012. Brunstad.org will have more information about it in the near future.

Want to know more? Contact us.