The process of childbirth is called labor for good reason: it is hard and painful work.
As a young soon-to-be mom, I was terrified of needles so close to my spine so I chose natural childbirth. Going into labor through the natural process unprepared will lead a woman to tense, scream, close her eyes, and fight against her body. But the prepared mom goes into labor working with her body.
The spiritual labor process also has an unprepared and a prepared way. If we are unprepared, we will fight against God’s will, but if we’re prepared we will work with God’s will.
There are things we can do to ensure productive spiritual labor.
Preparation. Good nutrition, rest, water, and practice are a must for effective labor. When laboring spiritually, we must nourish ourselves daily in God’s Word and be refreshed by His Spirit.
Fasting. Fasting is a good way to create an “emptiness” on the inside to make room for the work of God within us.
Strategy. We must have a birth plan. We cannot wait until the middle of labor to learn how to do something. Labor rarely goes as we plan. Like breathing patterns, prayer ruts are easy to fall into. Prayer has many facets. We can step out of the norm and pray a different way—with thanking, declaring God’s promises, asking, or crying out. Changing positions in labor speeds the process. Sometimes, we must change our prayer position too.
Focal Point. In the labor process, the worst thing is to focus on the pain, which only increases it. A focal point—a place “outside the body,” works to pull us out of ourselves. Vision is our spiritual focal point, keeps us focused on the end of the process, and renews our hope. At the point of pushing, it is easy to hold our breath and close our eyes instead of looking for a sign of the baby’s appearing.
Labor Coach. A labor coach keeps mom on track, reminding her time is short and encouraging her. We should never go through spiritual labor alone. We need friends to hold up our arms during the process.
Think of a few things you can do that will lead to productive spiritual labor.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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