Using every weapon in your arsenal is necessary as you awaken the warrior within yourself. Different weapons are effective for different battles, and you must be led by the Spirit when deciding which weapon to unveil during a time of warfare. The weapon of praise is simple to use, and it is most effective when it is least expected by your adversary. It is a weapon made for a surprise attack.
I learned the power of a praising mother during the birth of my fourth child, my daughter Judah. I had attempted natural birth for my first three children. I had a strong desire to experience labor as naturally as possible, but I had complications during my first three births that made natural delivery impossible. But the Lord in His mercy provided an obstetrician who allowed me to attempt what most would not: a natural delivery post C-section. I had determined that unless our lives were endangered, pain medication was not an option for me.
I did everything I could to prepare for my fourth delivery, but nothing would have prepared me for the level of pain and agony I endured. Even though I had willingly chosen the path of natural delivery in the beginning, there still came a point when I wanted to quit, especially after I was given Pitocin to speed up and intensify my contractions. The pain was so overwhelming that I couldn’t think clearly. I truly began to believe that I was going to die in this process and that no one around me, no nurse, or doctor, even cared. It sounds silly now, but in my moment of struggle, it was reality to me. This is what the battlefield can do to us sometimes. Distorted thinking and a clouded perspective can be the result of long-term struggle if we are not careful. Pain can alter our thinking, but pain is unavoidable in motherhood.
Becoming a mom is signing yourself up for heartache and struggle at times. Just the initial act of becoming a mother, giving birth, is one of the most intense processes of pain a human being can experience. There are moments of unspeakable joy and peace and fulfillment, but the pressure can be overwhelming. There is not a pass card from battle, or a get-out-of-pain-free card you can obtain through prayer. Even the most favored and honored mother in all of history, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not exempt from heartache and pain. I am sure she found herself in spiritual battles that no one could have truly equipped her to encounter. In fact, it seems that the more prominent the purpose over a child and the more widespread his kingdom impact is designed to be, the greater the struggle and warfare that surround his birth and development. Suffering was part of Mary’s assignment as the mother of the Messiah. She was even told a sword would pierce through her own heart when Jesus was just a tiny infant (Luke 2:35). That is not really the word of prophecy we mothers are looking for, but the truth is that every bundle of joy will bring with her a bundle of tests and trials and struggles.
The key to maintaining your victory and surviving the difficult seasons of motherhood is to never lose your praise. I learned this powerful lesson during my journey of natural birth. As I approached a personal breaking point in my labor with my daughter and truly thought my death was imminent, I asked my husband to pray for me. I was completely serious, but I think he was so shocked by my behavior during this phase of my labor and so unsure of my mindset that he actually snickered at me as I cried out for prayer. I thought I was dying and cried out to God to have mercy on me, and he thought that was funny. Even while laughing, he faithfully prayed out loud for me. I actually had my arms wrapped around his neck as he completely supported me as I stood, a tactic to speed up labor. The nurses knew I was fading fast, and the only way out of this trial was to go through it as quickly as possible. So I held on to my husband’s neck as he prayed, and he became my physical and spiritual support in that moment. I believe this unification of Kevin and me pleased the Lord; this is what God wills for the birthing of every season in our lives as parents. We needed each other in that moment, and we both shared in the pain of the struggle and the coming joy.
This is how the Son of God was born, with just Mary and Joseph in a stable. There was no nurse and no pain medication. It was just the two of them with all of heaven watching. Joseph became her labor doula and shared in the struggle and joy alongside her. Kevin and I were petitioning heaven together, and much to our surprise, the Lord spoke a word to us. “Deven,” Kevin said. “The Lord actually just spoke to me a word for you. He said, ‘”Let praise come forth.'”
“What? Is this a cruel joke Kevin is playing on me?” I questioned. I was crying out for mercy and hurting so badly I couldn’t even breathe, and God was asking me to “let praise come forth.” I was truly stunned for just a moment until the depth of what God was saying was divinely revealed to me. Kevin and I had not been in agreement about the name of our daughter up to that point. I had felt the Lord whisper to me to call her Judah very early in my pregnancy, but Kevin had not yet received the same confirmation. As he spoke the word of the Lord to me in the delivery room, he was declaring her name with his own mouth without even realizing it. He was saying, “Let praise come forth,” and Judah means “praise.” The Spirit of God was declaring, “Let Judah come forth,” and that is what happened, both spiritually and naturally.
That moment of pain and struggle was the time for the weapon of praise to be released. God taught me a great lesson of motherhood that I still use as a reference point when I am in the midst of a battle or experiencing great pressure and struggle. I remind myself that right in that moment, when the enemy least expects it, is when praise is the most effective weapon. It carries the power and ability to shift our circumstances.
Prayer Power for the Week of Sept. 16, 2018
This week, use the weapon of praise during your prayer times so that God’s power can be released to bring breakthrough and victory in your circumstances. Remember those suffering with the effects of hurricanes, storms and floods and ask God what He wants you to do to be His hands and feet in these circumstances. Continue to pray for worldwide revival, wisdom for our leaders, protection for our allies and a raising up of a righteous generation that will take a stand for Christ. Read: Psalm 63:3, Hebrews 13:15.