Prayer That Births The Purposes of God


When we have received a revelation from God concerning His purpose for an individual, a church, a city or a nation, it is given to us not that we may simply sit back and let God bring it to pass, or even just declare it to those to whom it pertains. God reveals His secrets to His intercessors in order that we may agree with Him in prayer and literally birth them into existence. The role of the prophet and the role of the intercessor are closely linked. Not all intercessors are prophets, but all prophets should be intercessors. It was thus in every case recorded of the prophets in the Bible. Moses was a prophet, and he interceded on behalf of Israel, and because of his intercession, God spared Israel from extinction. Elijah was a prophet, but he was also a man of prayer, and his prayers prevailed over nature, and brought about the purposes of God. The fact is, when the Bible describes Elijah stooping in prayer for the heavens to release their rain, it literally indicates that he was stooping in the birthing position. I have seen it many times in ministry, when an intercessor with a midwife anointing prays for someone whose vision or ministry is near birth, that person often doubles over as if to squat for delivery, and begins to make loud groans as if in labor. That is what this article is about, the prayer that births the purposes of God.

The word “midwife” means “to bear young, to beget, show lineage, birth, make to bring forth, be delivered, labor, travail.” (Strongs’ Concordance #3205 Hebrew). This word is mentioned only three times in the whole Bible, and each time is highly significant. The first mention is in Genesis 35:16,17.

“Then they journeyed from Bethel, and when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labor, that the midwife said unto her, ‘Do not fear; you will have this son also.'”

Rachel, which means “good traveler” was between Bethel and Bethlehem when she went into hard labor. She had traveled from “The house of God”, (Bethel), and was almost to “the house of bread” (Bethlehem), when her time of giving birth came upon her. In the “house of God”, the place of worship, God plants the divine seed within us. He plants vision in us for what He desires to do in our lives. From there we “travel” towards the “house of bread”, the place where that vision is fulfilled. It is at this point in time when the midwife anointing is needed in the Body of Christ. Intercessors are there to “make to bring forth” the purposes of God for an individual, a church, a government or a nation. They are there to strengthen those in the Body of Christ who are “pregnant” with God’s seed, and to pray that “baby” through to birth. They are there to encourage the one who is to give birth not to give up on the fulfillment of that which has been “conceived” in them by the Holy Spirit. It is at the time of labor that this midwife anointing in intercession is needed most, for the one who is in labor is at the point of their greatest agony, and unable to “see the birthing”. They can only feel that unbearable pain and the impulse to “push”, they do not have the same ability to see God’s purpose in the midst of that agony as the intercessor does. In Rachel’s case, had there been no midwife, not only would she have died, but her baby would have died with her. This midwife braced Rachel up by saying “‘Do not fear; you will have this son also.”, or in other words “Don’t give up, I see the head! Keep pushing, he’s on his way out! All is well!” Intercessors, we must be watchful and alert in order to “see” God’s purpose in the midst of what looks like chaos and tragedy in the Body of Christ. It is up to us to partner with God and “birth” His purposes in the lives of our brothers and sisters, and in the destinies of the nations.

The second mention of the midwife is found in Genesis 38:27-30.
“Now it came to pass, at the time for giving birth, that behold, twins were in her womb. And so it was, when she was giving birth, that the one put out his hand; and the midwife took a scarlet thread and bound it on his hand, saying, ‘this one came out first.’ The it happened, as he drew back his hand, that his brother came out unexpectedly; and she said ‘How did you break through? This breach be upon you.’ Therefore his name was called Perez. Afterward his brother came out who had the scarlet thread on his hand. And his name was called Zerah.”

In this instance, the significance of the midwife was to “show lineage”, or to certify which was the firstborn child, the true heir. Many times when God conceives vision in His people, the enemy will come along and sow a seed of his own, hoping to steal the birthright and the inheritance from God’s people. Jesus spoke a parable of a farmer who sowed his seed, and when he was asleep the enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat. It was not obvious until the wheat and tares came up together that this had been done. And the farmer instructed his servant to let the tares alone until the time of harvest. At the time of birth, the intercessor is there to certify the authentic from the counterfeit. God gives the gift of discernment to the intercessor as an aid to effective intercession. The intercessor is able to discern between the holy and the profane. In this instance, the midwife tied a scarlet thread around the hand of the true heir, the scarlet thread being a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ which marks believers as “true heirs” of God, and “co-heirs” with Christ Himself. The blessing was always to go to the firstborn. A part of that birthright was responsibility and delegated authority over the younger siblings. The firstborn was to receive double of what all the other siblings received, and it was for the purpose of taking care of the family after the father died. It is the responsibility of the intercessor to discern the sheep from the wolves, and protect the flock. The midwife said to the other baby, “How did you break through? This breach be upon you.” The word “breach” means “a break, a gap in a wall, to break forth, break open, or break down.” The significance of this in relation to birthing God’s purposes in the Body of Christ is that the “breach” is caused by sin. The devil would like to do whatever he can to prevent God’s purpose from being brought forth in the lives of His people. Very often, when someone is near the time of God’s purpose being realized in his or her life, the enemy will send a counterfeit to detour that person. The intercessor walking in discernment and love will recognize the counterfeit and turn the enemy’s assignment back on his own head. “This breach be upon you.” In other words “this attack be reversed on you”. This places great responsibility on the intercessor AND the one for whom he or she is interceding. Intercessors MUST guard their anointing and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in order to have this keen discernment, and those for whom they intercede must recognize and take heed to the admonitions of the intercessor. Much grief can be avoided if this is done, for in this instance the intercessor is a type of the watchman on the wall, spotting an enemy attack on its way to the city. The intercessor sees the attack and sounds the alarm. If the alarm goes unheeded, the enemy succeeds in carrying out his assignment against the Body of Christ.

The final mention of the midwife is Exodus 1:15-17.
“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other, Puah; and he said ‘when you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son then you shall kill him; but if is a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.”

There are several very interesting and significant elements of truth in this text as it applies to intercession. First of all, it is interesting that for all of the women of Israel there were only two midwives. The number “two” is symbolic of the power of agreement and certification of truth.
“By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established…Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:16,19,20). God foreknew that two was all it would take to get the job done. The power did not originate from the two, but from the One who said He would dwell among them, for “How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and the Lord had surrendered them?” (Deut.32:30).
It only took two to birth and preserve God’s purposes in the lives of a whole nation. One intercessor may prevail in birthing God’s purposes for an individual, but for a tougher challenge God has ordained that there should be at least two. Intercessors also need covering, and prayer partners will see tremendous results not just in the situations for which they agree in prayer, but in their own lives as well.

“Shiphrah” means “splendid, i.e. a tapestry or canopy.” A canopy is a type of covering, and a tapestry is generally thought of as being a woven portrait, usually hung on a wall. Both are considered by God as being “splendid”. Intercession first covers those concerned, as seen in Joshua 2:4 where Rehab “covered” the two spies of Israel to hide them from the army of Jericho. Intercession places such a protective covering over those concerned. Intercession is a ministry done in the Secret Place of the Most High, and when an intercessor prays for someone they are in essence drawing that person into the Secret Place with them. (See Psalm 91). Intercession then looks at the finished product and not the immediate. If we cannot “see” a glimpse of the finished portrait, we have no direction with which to proceed. We have to be able to “see” what God is doing in order to partner with Him and agree with Him in our prayers. It is a vital part of intercession to see through the eyes of faith, for very often the natural will look as if our prayers are not being answered. It is our spiritual sight which sees the image of God’s desired accomplishment in the lives of those for whom we intercede, and without it we may grow weary in well doing and give up, thinking our prayers have not made a difference. Think of intercession as a tapestry, the prayers you pray are weaving God’s desired image into the fabric of people’s lives.

“Puah” means “to glitter; brilliancy.” That sounds a lot like “glory”! Make no mistake about it, one of the rewards of intercession is that the glory of God will at times be seen in the intercessor! Even as Moses’ face shone with the glory of God after descending from the mountain, spending so much time in God’s presence will show in the lives of His intercessors. After all, intercessors have “gone beyond the veil” and into the Holy of Holies where the High Priest sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. And when we intercede, we must remember that our prayers are effective only when they are presenting the blood of atonement. Everything we pray must come out of the finished work of Christ on Calvary. Salvation, deliverance, healing, protection and prosperity – all were provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

This account in Exodus is probably the most significant mention of the midwife. It shows the responsibility, the power, and the reward of intercession. For in this text we see that the midwives triumph as God’s instruments to preserve His plan for His people. This is the responsibility of intercession, prayer that births and preserves God’s purposes in the Body of Christ and in the nations of the earth. Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As we intercede we do not pray out of our own understanding of the situation, but we seek to hear the prayers which Jesus Himself is praying as He makes intercession on behalf of the saints. (Hebrews 7:25). We seek to find the mind of Christ regarding the situation, and get God’s strategy for warfare. The power of intercession is seen in the fact that the ability to bring either life or death was in the hands of these midwives. We bring life to the purposes of God, and death to the assignments of the enemy. The reward of the midwives was that “God dealt well with them.” Although these women disobeyed the king of Egypt, remarkable, no harm ever came to them. God also “gave them families of their own”. God protects the intercessors and provides for them. The midwives had been in the business of helping those who were giving birth to be delivered. But now God has also birthed life in them. Intercessors are rewarded for their faithfulness by being given vision of their own, life is birthed from them. They have travailed for the vision of others to be birthed, now they will travail for their own vision.

Finally, the text reads that because of the faithfulness of the midwives “Israel became great in number and in strength.” (Exodus 1:20). This should be the outcome of our intercession! The kingdom of God increases both in number and in strength! What an awesome reward, to know that one’s prayers have birthed not only strength and vision in the Body of Christ, but new sons and daughters of God as well!

God is indeed pouring out a spirit of intercession upon the Bride of Christ in this final hour. There is a Manchild to be born, and it is the overcoming church of Jesus Christ, the true sons of God. The Bride of Christ needs midwives to help birth this Manchild, to travail in prayer for such a One to come forth from within the people of God. For as the Scriptures state, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God…for we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” (Revelation 12:1-5; Romans 8:19,22).

Intercessors, be watchful and be diligent, for your adversary the devil roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith. Don’t let the dragon touch that Holy thing which God has conceived in His Bride. Guard your hearts and your minds against the subtle and the overt tactics of the enemy to distract you from the place of intercession, from the watchman’s position on the city wall. Recognize that the enemy seeks to discourage you from your intercession in any way he can. Do not underestimate the importance that you play in the Body of Christ!– Author: Jessica Brown Olsen

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5 responses to this post.

  1. I am so enjoying your blogs as I have just discovered you today! Blessings to you for your encouragement and the mighty way that our Lord Jesus Christ is using you!!

    Reply

  2. Carla, I thank you for taking the time to let me know you appreciate my blog. I dont get on here as often as I would like, but feel lt necessary to share with others what the Lord gives me. It warms my heart to know that people are reading them and that they enjoy them.–I live on the scripture that talks about Gods word not returning void. Isaiah 55:11.

    Thank you again and I pray blessings over you and your family.~ Gypsy

    Reply

  3. Hey, that is MY article!!!! How did you get it?? I wrote this about 10 years ago and had it published on my ministry website, www,healingnations.org and on a blog page that I can’t seem to find anymore. I found your blog when I typed in the name of my article on a google search hoping it would lead me back to my blog page. Well, now you know who the author is, so you can change it on your blog.

    Jessica Brown Olsen

    Reply

  4. this has blessed me on travail this was talked about a lot back in the early 20’s and 1900 you don’t hear much talk about this topic, I was searching the web and found this I am teaching on different types of prayer, and this is one of them thank you

    Reply

  5. Posted by Quantika Johnson on August 19, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    Jessica Brown Olsen, this blog fed me today. I can not tell you how much i needed the words on this page to continue moving forward. I took notes! Two pages worth and I’m at work. I SHOULD be working but this was so good… So much meat! Please continue writing!!!

    Reply

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