Text for Today – Isaiah 66:8 – Who has heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? O shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
Our topic today will be two of the most important elements of prayer we can consider. I use the terms conception and birth to paint a picture. Without conception, birth will never occur. Without birth, conception is an exercise in futility.
For us, the sons and daughters of God, made in His image, conception and birth may almost seem to be diametrically opposed. Conception takes place in the beauty and ecstasy of the intimacy between a loving husband and wife, while birth is the culmination of the agony of travail in the pangs of delivery. To make a brief statement of it, conception requires intimacy, and birth requires travail.
Herein is a deep understanding of the result of a fruitful, joyful, and robust prayer life. When you go to the Word, and there you find a promise of God, a desire of the Father, and you share that with Him in the closed communion of prayer, there in that place of intimacy, in that place of mutual love, conception takes place in your spirit. Ah, but that is only the beginning. Just like in the natural world, it is not likely that at the ecstatic moment of conception, you were considering the agony of travailing birth.
But once again, as in the natural world, the joy of ecstasy of conception will only be truly known when the labor of travail ends in birth. Over a period of time, what was conceived grows in the womb (spiritual or natural). At a point in time, when it is fully formed and viable for life, labor begins. There, in labor, with its contractions, and the work of forcing a living thing into a world where it can grow, through a passage that may seem too small, the travail of birth takes place. But, oh the joy of the finished work!
This is a description of prayer: intimacy with God that produces conception, carrying to maturity, and the travail of birth. If you’ve conceived from the heart of God, dear saint, don’t abort the birth through unbelief while waiting for its manifestation. If you’re in travail, expect birth. Travailing with birth is self-deception. Remember, conception only comes through intimacy. Are you intimate with the Lord? If you are, expect to travail.
Manna for Today – Luke 1-2