Breaking a Spirit of Barrenness
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A spirit of barrenness can affect you even if you’ve never struggled with infertility. If you’ve ever felt shame at the thought of being pregnant it’s likely this spirit may be affecting you.
This past mother’s day I was processing with God about my own mother wounds and He dropped this revelation into my mind. It’s commonly seen in Christian culture that couples will struggle with sexual intimacy even after getting married because they have been told for so long not to have sex, it’s hard to just flip to switch to sex being ok, let alone good. As I was walking into a restaurant to have lunch with my mom and grandma, God asked/told me, “What if women have been told so much not to get pregnant that they’ve agreed with a spirit of barrenness?”
When you think about our culture, both Christian and secular, it is startling how often women are told not to get pregnant. From our pre-teen days through high school sex ed and on to college we are repeatedly told “…but don’t get pregnant” as if pregnancy is the absolute worst case scenario with no hope. It’s no wonder we have an abortion crisis in our country when pregnancy has been made out to be the end of the world.
Even when married and perfectly acceptable to be pregnant, pregnant women are often demeaned and held to a double standard of being looked down on for being pregnant but also expected to be perfect mothers. As social researcher Sofia Jawed-Wessel explains in her brilliant TED talk, we often label pregnant women as “cute”, treating them as communal property and in effect dismiss them from having a voice or autonomy. For example, strangers would never dare touch a random person’s stomach…unless that person is pregnant and then they feel the right to touch.
It’s no wonder that many women have internalized this culturally broadcast shame around pregnancy. There are certainly other issues that can cause infertility, but having a spirit of barrenness broadcast over you for years and years definitely has an affect on the body over time. And for married women it is no shock that they may still struggle to “flip the switch” to feeling like pregnancy is ok and good.
I believe many women have internalized this “…but don’t get pregnant” message and it is expressed through infertility, painful menstruation, and general aversion to all things pregnancy and children. For many it is this war within of being married and wanting kids and feeling like there shouldn’t be any shame around it, and yet their body expressing this internalized shame.
I realized personally, that even though I’m married and plan on having kids in the next few years, there was a deep sense of disgust and “how dare you!” any time someone would mention the thought of me having kids. I was embarrassed to research pregnancy health or anything to do with children. When I had that revelation about the shame I had been fed, I brought it all to God and prayed for release from it, broke agreement with the mindsets, and asked Him to correct my thinking. Since then, I have not felt any shame or embarrassment when people have asked if I have kids, or when I plan on having them. This was a major shift for me and shift that I believe is available to you as well.
I thought about waiting to post this until I had some more testimonies of healing from infertility and other pregnancy issues, but the Lord encouraged me to go ahead and post and let the testimonies come from my sharing. So far every woman I have talked to about this idea of a spirit of barrenness has resonated deeply with the shame that’s been broadcast over her. For some it wasn’t a major personal issue but for all it has brought a degree of freedom and healing.
Signs You may be under a Spirit of Barrenness
- You felt like you needed to hide reading this article
- A feeling of shame or disgust anytime suggests the idea of you having children
- Avoiding the baby section of stores, for fear of being mistaken as pregnant
- Feeling embarrassed if someone sees you with a friend’s kid and mistakes you as mom
- Shame or embarrassment about researching pregnancy or dreaming about having kids
- Infertility issues
- Difficult pregnancies
- Difficult labors and/or early labors
- Any general feeling of shame, disgust, or embarrassment around pregnancy and motherhood
Prayer to Break a Spirit of Barrenness
If you are ready to take break off a spirit of barrenness, pray something like this:
Lord I reject any message spoken over me that pregnancy is a bad thing.
I thank you for children and the miracle of pregnancy. And declare that they are good gifts from You.
I repent for any way that I have agreed to this spirit of barrenness and any way that I have broadcast it over others.
I ask my body to forgive me for speaking death or infertility over it in any way. And I forgive my body for any way it has internalized those messages spoken by me or anyone else. Jesus I ask that you would heal any physical result of this spirit of barrenness.
I forgive those who knowingly or unknowingly have spoken shame and barrenness over me. And I ask Lord that you would bless them.
Lord I ask that You would sever any faulty neural pathways I have build around fertility and pregnancy. Holy Spirit I ask that You would nurture and fill in all those places with healthy God-given mindsets.
Father God I thank You for the beautiful way You have made my body and for the honor to mother any children I may have.
Other Paths to Healing Infertility
Though I pray this revelation brings you healing, there are of course other issues that can cause infertility that need other paths to healing. Physical issues and sexual abuse are two issues that will likely need more than just this prayer. Kara Rowley with Vibrant Health Healing is an excellent resource for processing through the journey of healing from physical infertility issues. She is a licensed midwife and specializes in holistic health answers to fertility and women’s health. For sexual abuse issues counseling and inner healing will likely be key in processing both the emotional and physical toll those experiences have had on you.