A LABOR OF LOVE

Arise, cry out [“shrill”] in the night, at the beginning of the watches;

Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord:

Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children,

that faint for hunger at the head of every street. (Lamentations 2:19)

LET THE CHILDREN

There is a sinister, ugly spirit, a Destroyer, who walks stealthily amid the children of the earth, seeking to annihilate these precious souls before they reach the destiny and plan that God has for them. One need only look around to see that wanton destruction is rampant and raging and bent on destroying the children.

Is it God’s intent for a child to be torn from the womb? Or is it the work of a Destroyer? Is it God’s will for a baby to be born addicted to crack or nicotine? Or is it the work of a cruel oppressor? Is it God’s perfect will for a child to grow up unloved and abused? Such things are the results of parental choices influenced by manipulating demons, far outside the perfect will of God. Alas, the children suffer. “The sins of the parents” have catastrophic effects.

Face it. In this world, “your adversary, the devil, walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) And he wants to devour the tender children. While not getting into the issue of “Why does God allow evil or suffering?”, I do want to say that it is the responsibility of God’s people to stem the tide of evil, to stand for justice, especially for the weak.

God has a plan… a plan for mankind and a plan for each life which He brings into being.

“Before I formed you in the belly, I knew you. Before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

YHWH spoke this of Jeremiah, but does not our Creator have a good plan for each of us?

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)

This was spoken of Israel, but God is for us, too! “God is not willing that any perish.” He wants all to come to repentance. “He is for us, not against us.” (Romans 8:31-32) At the same time, He hates sin and evil and perversion and idolatry. Evil destroys children. Jesus said, “Whoever will cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if he were thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around his neck.” (Mark 9:42)

That’s serious! Don’t mess with God’s children! Listen up, you evil-doers and repent!

Children are precious to the Lord. Jesus “took a little child, and set him in their midst. Taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one such little child in My name, receives Me, and whoever receives Me, doesn’t receive Me, but Him who sent Me.” (Mark 9:36-37)

“Let the children come!” (Mark 10:14)

If the children are to come, they first must be allowed to birthed physically, and then to be born-again into Kingdom of God. (John 3) Who will then pray for the children to come?

THE CALL TO INTERCESSION

I’ve already cited two passages from the book of Jeremiah and one from Lamentations, which is also attributed by Jewish tradition to the same author. Interestingly, Jeremiah is called the “weeping prophet”. I ask you now, will you weep for the children? Will you lament? Will you even shrill in the street?
My first grandchild was born on Thanksgiving Day 2009. The next morning, I felt the Lord stir my heart once again for the children of the nations. He had graciously put new life into my family. May I be faithful to partner with Him in bringing the gospel of new life in the Messiah to the families of the nations! May I be a faithful intercessor!

Where are the intercessors? Yahweh looked around and saw that “truth was lacking” and that “there was no justice”, and He “wondered that there was no intercessor”. (Isaiah 59:14-16) We look around wondering, too. We wonder why God allows injustice. God wonders why so few are praying!

Once I substituted for a music teacher at an oil company daycare. The young children greeted me as if they knew and loved me, though I was just meeting them. Under my breath, I prayed for each as they hugged me. A young Arabic boy embraced me next. It was then the Spirit spoke distinctly to me, and said “He has no intercessor.” My heart broke. Here was a child to whom God had brought me for the express purpose of praying for him, for no one else was! How sad! My simple prayer opened up the opportunity for God to move in this boy’s life. God is sovereign, but God chooses to work on the earth through the prayers of His saints. So I ask you, will you be an intercessor for a child who has no one to plead for Him before the throne of God?

As priests of God, we are called to make intercession for others. I hope you know that as Christians we are called as kings and priests. (Rev 1:6) (1 Peter 2:9) You may see yourself as laity, but God has called us “a royal priesthood.” I was handing out “Jesus loves you” cards. A man received one, started reading it as he walked away, then scurried back towards me, excitedly saying, “You don’t know who I am.” Well, that was the truth, I didn’t know but he proceeded to tell me. He said that he was a priest. I smiled and answered him, “So am I.” He was a bit taken aback, but he smiled, too.

Another time, I met another man who was a priest in some eastern religion. When I told him that I was a priest, he was dumbfounded, especially since I was a woman! But God calls His saints “priests” and that includes women.

A priest makes intercession to God Almighty for others. What a privilege we have to be part of a “royal priesthood” before the throne of the One True God!

A LABOR OF LOVE

Anyone remember giving birth? It takes conception, nine months of carrying, and then labor. My labors were rather easy as labors go but they were still labor. When my granddaughter was born, her mom was physically quite spent. A child is birthed into the world through the mother’s travail. Now I ask you a question, that the Spirit asked me the day after my granddaughter was born, “Do you think the labor is any less in the spirit realm?”

“The fervent prayer”, “the insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.”

(James 5:17)

How fervent are we? Honestly, sometimes I don’t feel like praying, and sometimes my prayers are insipid and weak. But we have a Counselor, a Holy Spirit who is fervent about souls, who is willing and able to pray through us!

“In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses, for we don’t know how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which can’t be uttered.” (Romans 8:26)

Have you ever prayed by the Spirit to the point of just sighing and groaning? This kind of intense, wordless intercession cannot be worked up, but it is a work of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord says in Isaiah 42:14 that “I will cry like a woman in labor, I will pant and gasp at once.” The Lord Himself says He will cry like a woman in labor! Wow! In the spirit realm, what does that kind of prayer look and sound like?

Hannah “in bitterness of soul… wept in anguish” (1 Sam 1:10) If you pray like Hannah, you run the risk of an Eli judging you. He might say you’re drunk or too emotional or you’re just a silly person. However, since the Spirit can pray with such groaning, I can yield to the Spirit. Then who cares what Eli thinks? This kind of prayer moves heaven! Hannah became pregnant with the prophet of God, and you can become pregnant with the will of God!

This kind of prayer doesn’t only move heaven, but it moves you closer to the heart of God! God will delight in you, you’ll delight in Him, and He’ll give you the desires of your heart. When your desire and His desire are one, you may rest assured that that prayer is answered!

God is looking to share His burden for the precious children with His bride. Will you spend the necessary time with Him and let Him cry with you and through you for His children?

Let us “Cry for the children”. Let us “Surround the children with love… with deep intercession. ”

THE PAIN OF CHILDBIRTH

Eve was deceived by the serpent and sin entered the world. Then God told the woman,

“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.
In pain you will bear children.”

(Genesis 3:16)

Have you ever wondered about this curse from the fall on woman? God was serious. The fall meant the suffering and death of Christ. His spilled blood was sufficient to redeem all mankind, yet many souls are still lost. The souls that are saved were at great cost to YHWH. But His love is so great!

There is still great cost, especially in oppressive countries, to saints who follow in our Savior’s footsteps. How often must the saints lay down their lives so that an inroad of light can penetrate the darkness? The blood of the martyrs cries out around the world, and is heard before the throne of the Righteous King.

Yes, both in the physical realm and the spiritual realm, children are brought forth in pain.

THE JOY SET BEFORE US

More now than maybe ever before, women are opting out of childbirth. They don’t want the inconvenience of a child, the inconvenience of pregnancy, the wear and tear on their bodies, the extended hard labor. Yet they will miss out on the joy! And when they’re old, they’re alone and lonely.

Jesus chose the suffering but His suffering has turned to joy. God promised “I will turn your mourning into joy!”

“… Jesus, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Jesus endured because He would do the Father’s will and because He saw us coming into the Kingdom. We are His joy! He knew His labor of love would yield a vast harvest of souls! Now Jesus invites His Bride to bear spiritual children for Him. Our labor, our intercession will bring forth children, children into the Kingdom, beloved princes of God! What joy will be ours! And what joy to have pleased Our Heavenly Bridegroom. His smile and favor will rest upon His Bride!

Jesus said, Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn’t remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.”

(John 16:20-22)

You can opt out of this call to prayer and intercession, or you can go for the joy!

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One response to “A LABOR OF LOVE

  1. This is a really powerful post. I was particularly struck by it now having gone through labor and experienced the pain. But, as you pointed out, children are so special to God. And my daughter is so precious to me. The reward for our labor of love is great. Thanks for exhorting us to keep praying for the unborn.

    Hannah

    Like

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