My father and my mother used to talk of having a good many burdens. It would sometimes seem that no more than they would get out of from under one burden, that a new one came upon them. Perhaps, a lot of professing Christians are not familiar with the terminology and the experience of spiritual burdens. Both of my parents were Pentecostal ministers and had a measure of the Holy Spirit, though my mother was probably more mystical than spiritual. Paul tells us in his epistles about some details of such spiritual burdens, expressly in Romans 8:26.
This description of a spiritual burden in the Roman letter here is described as “the Spirit making intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Sometimes it is hard to know what to pray for in such burdens, since we do not understand the outcome that is supposed to be. Paul further adds that such burdens can be so heavy, that the “Spirit himself makes intercessions with ‘groanings’ that cannot be uttered.” (Emphasis mine).
This is the kind of burden that I am presently under or carrying.
I feel such a heaviness, associated with sorrow or loss, that I cannot describe it in words… it can only be expressed in sighs, heaviness, and literally, groanings, or complainings.
I have had such burdens before.
They can last for awhile.
I remember one burden that I had that seemed to take about four years to settle. It was not as consistently strong as the one that I have now, which portends to be of a shorter duration and faster results… which will amount to significant changes. This is what burdens are for… in many respects… to prepare us for what lies ahead.
The burden that I had in 1999-2003 went through several phases. The most consistent effect of this burden was that I had to do a lot of extra praying. This praying though was usually always accompanied by a “spirit of prayer.”
Reader, there is prayer… and then, there is a “spirit of prayer.”
The “spirit of prayer” is a great sense of freedom in prayer,… despite the burden which can be overwhelming at times. Perhaps, the best times in my life have been under a “spirit of prayer.”
The need just flows out of you… You can’t help it. The Spirit urges you on and on to pray without hindrance, unbelief, or interference from outside influences.
There are few freedoms as precious as having a “spirit of prayer.” There seems to be no end of communicating things to God in which you know… not believe… know, that God is hearing your prayer and is being moved by it.
Reader, I cannot describe the elation in prayer when your prayer is actually “moving” God in your behalf, which involves some miraculous instances. When you have God’s “ear,” and He is attending to your prayer… you know that He is getting ready to move in a powerful way that you cannot express or describe.
The Bible also calls this sort of activity… “ministering unto God.” The Gospel of Luke cites both Simeon and Anna, at the Temple at the advent of the Christ child, as having the ability to “minister unto God.”
Reader, you may hear of many great ministries and many great, so-called ministers who like to extol themselves… but there is no greater ministry than “ministering unto God.”
If this sounds like a mystery… as you probably never heard of it before,… well, it is.
When you seek God, and He finds you… then you know something about this.
The burden that I had in 1999-2003 was absolutely life-changing for me. But no more than I got pass this, but a new burden was being prepared for me. This took two years or so to see the fruition of this pass. That was in 2005-2007. I have had other burdens, some took days, others weeks, others months, another a couple of years… but all came to pass. I prayed about each and every one repeatedly. Ofttimes, you have to “pray through.”
“Praying through” is an old Holiness and Pentecostal expression of praying something into being, or prevailing prayer. Many charismatic types believe that “praying through” is for people who have to fight their levels of unbelief to get answers to prayer or faith to fulfill prayer requests.
It is not.
The old Holiness and Pentecostal people were far more spiritual than the whole lot of Charismatic type believers. These holiness and Pentecostal believers knew that prevailing prayer is integral and part of spiritual law. The pattern is based on Jacob wrestling with the Angel in order to secure a blessing by prevailing over the Angel. It is so true in a spiritual or figurative sense. All spiritual greatness has been achieved by prevailing prayer.
Now, I have an acute case or burden. It started coming on me about a month and a half ago. I have an idea what is going on. I have been praying about certain things. Today, it is pretty rough. It is like a boat being rocked and driven by a bad storm. It has practically all my attention today. I cannot do much else. Whatever toils or chores that I had to do today, they will be prioritized later. I must face this burden instead. I will probably go to prayer again today.
When faced with such burdens or burden, you may have to pray several times a day. This will provide some relief. When the heaviness of a burden gets real powerful, the old Pentecostal people who knew the spirit of prayer, called it a “travail.”
My father would undergo travails from time to time. Sometimes, the travail was so bad that he could only weep… and groan almost unutterably. The Bible talks about travail in comparing it to a woman who goes into birth labor. A travail will certainly rend you apart spiritually. I underwent travails when I was a little boy. I have underwent travails since. Travails are when the burden becomes so great and so intense, that you go into such a state. I literally stopped events when I underwent travail and changed outcomes with God’s help and travail through me. I had a spirit of prophecy come upon me in a couple of travail circumstances. I said things and warnings that I knew little of, and they were true and came to pass.
Yet, travail is something that I would not wish on anyone.
It is getting so in this burden, that I am preparing for a travail event just in case. I want to be ready. Because I want the particular answer that I am looking for. If not, then the answer that God has will be more than enough and will exceed my wishes in any situation.
This is God’s Promise. Paul mentions this in Ephesians 3:20. I have never seen God’s promises achieve any less…
Do you have burdens? Have you had a consuming burden?
If so, I hope reading this will be of some help to you.
Despite the spiritual suffering involved, I always rejoice when a burden is put upon me. The end is always the same:… a great place of deliverance is achieved…spiritual growth is ascertained… and confidence in God is increased exponentially.
There are few shortcuts to God’s best.
Let us take the road that He has prepared for us. It is custom made just for us. When we reach the end of the journey, his Righteousness will be as a strong peace in our heart that will give us the greatest satisfaction. And, the greatest humility. Whenever God works in his inimitable way, we are always in awe of our Heavenly Father and how complete that his works are in us.
Thanks for reading, and sharing my burden today.
Copyrighted. Joseph Spickard, 2014. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this intellectual property without prior permission from the author is prohibited.