Romans 8:26: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
In the last month or so, 3 friends (two are members of this group!) have given birth to precious, healthy, and beautiful babies! I have so enjoyed seeing the pictures on Facebook and on Sunday I was blessed to see two of them in person. Those babies are scrumptious! Well, I’ll stop myself from going on about their cuteness as I realize this is a group for prayer and not babies!
You may be asking: Where is she going with this or how can this have anything to do with prayer?
Well, these wondrous events reminded me of how we, as God’s children, can give birth to His plans through our prayers and intercession. You might say that many of us at this very moment are pregnant with God’s plans and need to learn how to release His plans and purposes. One powerful way we do that is through TRAVAILING PRAYER.
Webster’s New World Dictionary defines Travail as: “ 1. Very hard work; 2. The pains of childbirth. 3. Intense pain; to suffer the pains of childbirth.”
Further, the definition of TRAVAILING PRAYER is: To birth; to bear, to have a conception and then deliver it; to be troubled. To toil and writhe in pain; to feel a weight upon you.
If you have ever felt so heavily burdened as you pray for a person or situation that you begin to cry, moan or groan, you have experienced Travailing prayer. Travailing prayer is given to us by the Holy Spirit and releases His power into a situation to produce or give birth to something. It is hard work and can be very exhausting but God’s grace and power bring us through. It is a privilege to be used by God in this way!
We read of Jesus travailing in John 11:33-44 at the death of Lazarus:
v. 33 – He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled; v. 35 – He wept;v. 38 – He groaned within Himself; v. 41 – “Father thank you that You have heard me.”
Notice as you read these verses that Jesus travailed and released the Holy Spirit’s power before He even commanded Lazarus to come forth!
Jesus also travailed in the Garden of Gethsemane, in Luke 22:44: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Hebrews 5:7 speaks of Jesus’ travailing prayers: “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission."
It is important that, as we travail, we pray until the burden is lifted. Also, this type of praying is usually best done in the privacy of our own prayer times and is also more effective that way. More about that another time! God bless you and your loved ones.