How often do you pray travailing prayers? Once a month? Once a year? Once a week? Never? Three times a day?
I find myself praying prayers of travail at a greater frequency than I have, say, in the last 7 years. And I wonder why. Why the intensity now?
My conclusion is that it's all part of the journey. I am being led deeper and deeper into a relationship with the God to Whom my prayers are presented. There are things I understand about the nature of God that I didn't realize 7 years ago. (Not sure why I picked 7. Perhaps because it's somewhere between 5 and 10.)
My desire to know the heart of God has intensified. So have my prayers. My knowledge of the Scriptures has increased. So has my ability to pray God's words back to Him. My longing for God has deepened. So has my longing to communicate with Him.
And I'm realizing all over again that prayer is not one sided. It's not me always being the talker and God being the listener. But it also includes God being the talker and me being the listener.
Today I had some open moments for quietness. I fled the noisome main floor and escaped to my own (nearly) silent place upstairs. As I emptied my heart to God He showed me a place where the motives of my heart were not right. Confession and repentance followed.
But I noticed something. After I'd confessed my own sin, I felt a greater burden for those around me and I prayed with weeping for the Spirit of God to meet with them as He'd met with me. It was travailing prayer. It was understanding the great love and forgiveness of the God of the universe, my High King of Heaven, and wanting those I know to experience Him as well.
Seeing my imperfect, sinful self as God sees me is not pretty. How thankful I am that as I cultivate openness to the Spirit of God He will reveal Himself to me. And reveal the me that only He can see.
My life has not always been so open to the Hand of God. It's a new freedom to be open. Nothing between my soul and the Saviour. Nothing to hide. My past is covered in the blood of Jesus. Heart wounds have been, and continue to be healed. There is freedom to be the person God wants me to be. But it's all because of Him. That's my Jesus.
Something makes me think there is more travail to come. For my children. For repentance. For growth. For the body of Christ. May I be open and willing to travail in prayer as God calls my name.
Care to join me?