Midwives Of The Holy Spirit #3
The first time I ever heard midwife and prayer used in the same sentence was in a healing seminar with John Wimber. He was talking about how people are often treated insensitively which results in more harm than good being done. They feel embarrassed, even violated. Wimber pointed out that Jesus, on the other hand, never treated people like that. He handled them with dignity, love and respect. He was attentive and thoughtful. Every person felt cared for. Then he said it. “Jesus was like a midwife of the Holy Spirit.”
That image has stuck with me and helped launch hundreds of ordinary people into healing prayer ministry over the years. It describes so well the intention and the feel of what it means to be naturally supernatural.
Midwives are remarkable. They offer a special kind of care to expecting mothers by entering into a partnership with a singular purpose: They make sure both mom and baby are comfortable and safe so that the delivery goes well. They make sure the birth happens.
I actually got look at a midwife in action. As I watched her quietly and skillfully go about her business, Wimber’s Spirit midwife image came alive. Two things stood out: She had a calming effect and she acted as a coach. Both these things are applicable and important to naturally supernatural-style ministry. In particular she set a friendly, relaxed tone that kept the mother at ease during this stressful experience. She was attentive and remained calm under pressure, providing emotional support and reassurance to the mother. This engendered trust. She didn’t force anything. She just paid attention and let natural birth process happen, keeping mom informed, all the while helping her feel confident and in control, helping things move along a lot easier.
Like all midwives, Spirit-midwives have one objective: To make sure the “delivery” happens safe and sound. They want to make sure that the person or persons being ministered to receive everything the Lord wants to give birth to in their lives. And like all good midwives, they set a tone that makes what could otherwise be a scary or awkward experience, as comfortable as possible.
Prayer ministry can be as intimate and personal as giving birth. People are vulnerable when they allow themselves to be prayed for. They need to be protected from embarrassment and cared for. Spirit midwives don’t use manipulation or force things to happen. They simply hand control over to the Spirit, inviting him into the situation while maintaining a safe atmosphere that’s conducive to healing. That’s their job. They pay close attention and listen carefully to the Spirit and to the person so they can act as coaches giving simple explanations and praying Spirit-guided prayers that enable recipients to relax, be cooperative and receive from God.
How does a person become a midwife of the Holy Spirit? It’s actually more caught than taught. An experienced Spirit midwife passes it along to a beginner through a process of apprenticeship that involves modeling, impartation, coaching and plenty of practice.
Maybe one of the most important tools Spirit midwives become adept at using is the five-step Vineyard prayer model. This is a practical aid that was developed by Wimber based on Jesus’ method of praying for people. It’s a naturally supernatural procedure that can be used any time, any place. I’ll unpack this model in my next post. Stay tuned.