Warfare and Travail Part 4

May 25, 2012 · Print This Article

Warfare and Travail


The Word

Text: Romans 8:18-28

This teaching is about how the power of God is released through the intercessor or spiritual warrior who takes their stand in prayer until there comes the deliverance and victory they are seeking.

The difference between petition and travail

All prayer has to do with release and advance of God’s will, but not all prayer is petition. There are supplications and intercessions that have to do with spiritual battle; a contending in prayer. The biblical concept of intercessory travail is not the channeling of self-generated human energy toward a spiritual objective. Neither is travail an extended effort to convince God. It is a giving of yourself in the power of the Holy Spirit, praying for the release of God’s purpose, making yourself an available channel for the Holy Spirit’s breaking down of spiritual strongholds.

Some things cannot be accomplished simply by making a petition. Petitions (i.e., “Give us this day our daily bread” or “Lord, I’m puzzled how I got into a financial bind, and I really need your help”) do not require lengthy striving in prayer with the Father—He is already disposed in our interest.

Travail has to do with cutting loose the chains that bind people in darkness, and breaking the strongholds of hell over nations.

Creation longs for deliverance, and so do we

This text refers to three “groanings”:

  • The whole creation groans for deliverance (v. 22)
  • We ourselves groan for the redemption of our body (v. 23)
  • The Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings (v. 26)

The word “groan” is associated with delivery of a child. There is a clear relationship between the breakthrough of a child from the womb and the breakthrough of new possibilities according to God’s desire and design. Jesus, in Matthew 24, said there shall be groanings and travail in the earth so that the Kingdom can eventually be birthed. (The word “sorrows” used in Matthew 24:8 is the Greek word for travail or birth pangs.)

Kingdom entry does not come without travail. Creation is groaning unto that great day when the Lord Jesus Christ will return and His Kingdom will be established over the affairs of man.

Creation is longing for its deliverance, and so are we. Those of us who have tasted of the beginning of life in the Spirit have a groaning and anticipation to be physically in the presence of the Lord, but this body will not be redeemed until the coming of Christ (1 Corinthians 15). It’s not a desire to escape difficult circumstances, but a devotional expression of longing to be with Jesus.

The Holy Spirit helps us travail for a present deliverance

Along with these two groanings—of creation for its deliverance and for the day when we shall be with the Lord, the Holy Spirit is helping us pray for one another with intercession and “unutterable expressions”. The Holy Spirit is helping a person to pray beyond their own understanding, not only anticipating their future deliverance into the presence of Jesus, or the deliverance of nations from the strongholds of hell, but the Holy Spirit is doing something now for a present deliverance.

We are groaning or in travail for the present entry of the Kingdom of God and His Christ; for God’s grace to be manifest in situations here and now.

  • The Holy Spirit is making intercession for saints according to the will of God.
  • It’s related to the inexpressible utterings enabled by the Spirit.
  • It is ushered in by people who participate in this kind of praying and travail.

Babies are not born without travail. The bearing of a burden unto the time of delivery is a sustained and continuing endeavor, and the last part of it is usually the most difficult. When it comes to the bearing in prayer for families to be delivered, for cities to be changed, for nations to be touched, it’s a burden you carry for the duration of a season. There’s a time of inconvenience making yourself available unto the birthing of the Kingdom in a situation. The Holy Spirit helps us in carrying that matter in prayer by helping us pray beyond our own ability.

Breakthrough will not come without travail

Even as we are instructed to advance with the message of Jesus to every city and nation, preceding that there needs to be people who will go there in prayer. You can move to declare the Kingdom of God and His Christ in Baghdad, Peking or Jerusalem right from your prayer closet.

Where high powers of hell are involved, the entry of the Kingdom will not come with the spouting of a few words of transient prayer. There needs to be the person who chooses to lock himself into a struggle to contend for that issue, knowing it will not be without the groanings of travail before there comes a breakthrough. And the Holy Spirit has enabled the Church for that kind of praying.

There is a great arena of spiritual conflict in the heavenlies. It’s not as though God couldn’t, on His own, dominate any circumstance by the mere utterance of His Word. But He has chosen that as man lost this planet through disobedience, and by one Man’s obedience many are being made righteous, He desires us to extend the righteousness of His Son’s Kingdom in the quality of life we let Him work in us and by the way we give ourselves in prayer.

Do all things work together for good?

Romans 8:28 is one of the most misquoted scriptures in the Bible. God’s sovereign purpose is ultimately realized in those who are available to His purpose and will, but the setting of this verse is that when I give place to the Holy Spirit’s groanings in me for present release and present entry of Kingdom purpose, then I know that all things are working together for good.

It’s not just a matter of, “Well, I guess it’ll all work out.” The Lord is saying that when you make yourself available to Holy Spirit groanings and prayer, then all things do work together for good. The role of partnership with the Almighty is a thrilling thing. The Holy Spirit comes to help us in that; let’s make ourselves available to Him.



3 Responses to “Warfare and Travail Part 4”

  1. Sarah Hague on September 8th, 2014 1:55 pm

    This was an EXCELLENT breakdown of what this is, and where it is in the Word of God. This happened to me the other night in a prayer meeting, and I had NO IDEA what was going on. I knew the Spirit of God was upon me, but I didn’t fully understand travailing prayer, and what it meant. Thank you so much for being precise, on point, and very clear. God Bless you and your ministry.

  2. admin on November 10th, 2014 5:09 pm

    I’m thankful that it was a blessing to you! God Bless

  3. Kristine on January 12th, 2015 10:50 pm

    Finally, an article that truly explains this kind of intercession. Easy to understand. Thank you.

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