“For I heard a cry as of a woman in labour, the anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands saying, “Ah, woe is me…” – Jer 4:31
A Poignant Picture
There is a picture I will carry in my heart for a very long time. It depicts two women holding each other in tight embrace, weeping and crying, as they prayed and interceded. Standing around, with hands stretched towards the two women are several other women, also ardently praying and weeping. The interesting thing about this picture is that it seems so powerful and spiritual, and yet, so very natural. That picture, I can honestly tell you, was an actual event that took place a couple of year ago in Kenya, as we prayed and interceded for Congo. The woman in my arms represented Congo and, as I held her in tight embrace, we stood in the gap and travailed for her nation!
The truth is that women are very good at engaging with each other on a deep level, when it comes to interceding, praying and warring until heaven responds or the enemy flees. It comes to us so naturally, which is why God is searching for and calling on women to rise up at such a time as this!
Amid the turmoil and trouble that is happening all round us, God is not only stirring up the Church to prayer, but is also stirring up women to arise and position themselves to carry and birth a fresh outpouring of His Spirit and glory upon the Church and our nations. We must respond to this call!
The Call – Isaiah 32
To understand what God has to say regarding women rising up in prayer and intercession, we must turn to Isaiah 32, which talks about the coming of a righteous King, who would transform society by bringing righteousness, justice and peace. This is a prophecy with a future fulfillment in Christ; however, it also gives an example of what a nation would be like if its government and leadership were righteous and godly. There would be righteousness and justice, security, prosperity and blessings for the people of the land. Sandwiched between the promise of an ideal government and its actual manifestation, Isaiah 32 issues a call and command to women to rise up and take responsibility.
“Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice; you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech. …Tremble, you women who are at ease; be troubled, you complacent ones; strip yourselves, make yourselves bare, and gird sackcloth on your waists… Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest.” – Isaiah 32:9-15
The scripture very clearly puts a huge responsibility on women! It not only calls on us to rise up and begin to intercede, but also describes what would happen if we ignored the call.
There are many things which stop us from heeding God’s call. However, nothing hinders us as much as complacency! Many of us are complacent and apathetic. We are self-satisfied and self-focused. Some have a comfortable lifestyle, so are at ease, indifferent or disinterested in what goes on around us. God hates complacency (Amos 6:1; Jeremiah 48:11-12)! The call, therefore, is for women to come out of their ease, self-satisfaction/focus and indifference, and take responsibility.
The Onus Is On Women!!!
If women do not heed the scripture, nothing will improve or change in our home, communities, towns and nations. There will not be good and righteous government or peace, unless we arise and pray (1 Tim 2:1-4). Our streets won’t be safe unless we arise! Our children won’t change unless we arise! In fact, things will get worse unless women take responsibility. Our economies will fail if we don’t begin to cry out to God. Society will collapse if we don’t come out of complacency and take responsibility. Therefore, God is calling on women to rise up, strip themselves of comfort, self, fear and pride, and position themselves in the gap for our homes, communities, towns, cities and nations. God is calling on women to humble themselves and cry out in prayer and intercession, pushing through the pain of travail, until the Spirit is poured from on high and there is fruitfulness in our homes, communities, cities and land (Isaiah 32:15). This is REVIVAL!
Why does the scripture instruct women to rise up? What is the role of women in national development and change? What is it about women that qualifies them for such an awesome task? God has designed and created women in a unique and powerful way. He put certain abilities, strengths and gifts into us, which He wants to utilise for His glory. Here are a few examples:
- Everything a woman receives she multiplies. Give a woman a male seed and she will incubate, multiply and nurture it to create new life. Give her trouble and she will multiply it and give you hell. Give her love and she will multiply it and build a home and haven for you. Better still, give a woman the seed of revival, and she will take it into her spiritual womb and carry it.
- A woman has the strength and patience to endure nine months of pregnancy with its associated problems. Thus though revival tarries, she will endure and patiently await and expect its manifestation.
- A woman has the strength to labour and birth what she has carried in her womb. Thus she will labour and travail, and will not give up until revival has been birthed
- A woman nurtures what she has birthed; hence she can sustain revival on her knees and by moving in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel and disciple new believers.
The women who will heed the call will have peculiar traits.
- They will focus on God and listen out for His voice.
- They will tremble at God’s Word and Presence, knowing He is their only Help. There is no familiarity in their walk with Him, rather, love, respect and honour for His Presence.
- They are troubled by the state of affairs around them. They seek, to know and take the Lord’s burden concerning what is going on.
- They strip themselves bare and are transparent and open before the Lord. They are women of integrity, sincerity and character.
- They gird themselves with sackcloth (expressing their humility and brokenness) in intercession, travail, wailing and waiting before God.
- Their only desire is to bring the Presence and Glory of God back into their churches, communities and society.
- They will not give not give up until revival comes.
What is the way forward? What can women do?
“Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift your hands toward Him….”Lamentations 2:10-11
- We can rise up and take responsibility for the spiritual, political, economic and social climates of our nations, and pray, intercede and war for righteousness, justice and peace to prevail. We can hold prayer meetings and vigils, do prayer walks, etc.
- We can share the gospel, lead souls to Christ and disciple them.
- We can get into the word of God to know His mind and will. This will not only help us pray, it will also cause us to grow and mature.
- We can build strong marriages and families, in Christ and after biblical pattern.
- We can raise our children, the next generation, in the fear of God and by the standard of His word.
- We can serve in the local church.
- We can give towards God’s work., and even start businesses to fund missions and the Gospel of Jesus Christ
- Wherever we are, we can declare and proclaim Jesus Christ
- We can cry out for God to send REVIVAL!
““Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she gave birth to a boy.” Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? A nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons.” – Isaiah 66:7-8
It will not be easy, but we possess the strength and tenacity to endure! We can certainly go the long haul and endure the length of time and the travail it takes to bring change in our world! With the help of the Holy Spirit we can make it.
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” – Romans 8:26
With His help we can birth revival and the fruits of righteousness, justice and peace in our land. Our communities can be safe again, and our children dwell in hope. JESUS CHRIST our Righteous King can reign and rule in our nations, if we rise up!
Woman, Daughter of Zion, God is calling on you. Will you heed the call? Will you rise up and take responsibility? Will you stand in the gap for your nation? …Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high…
The Church of Jesus Christ is His Bride, and therefore must possess these same qualities and characteristics. She must also arise, strip herself and cry out to God, until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wildernesses of our churches, families, communities and nations becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest
If you would like to heed the call and get involved in prayer and intercession for your community, town, city and nation, then please consider joining QUIVER. QUIVER is simply women coming together in groups of five to pray for Revival in the United Kingdom (or your particular nation). For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to http://www.quiverprayermovement.org
In Christ’s Love and Service
Apostle Jennifer Abigail Lawson-Wallace